~~~ As much as I hate joining in with the Deceased Equine Flogging, there is no way I can avoid the entire QB mess. Seriously, the only way I think this could get any worse would be if Phil were to call a press conference and announce that the Browns have traded away their 2009 first round draft pick for the rights to Michael Vick.
Would that mean that Vick would try to electrocute or drown some of the masked people in the Dawg Pound? When it comes to Big Dawg or the Bone Lady...he may actually be performing a public service.
In any case, it's buh-bye Charlie, in a series of events that are similar to another QB being a starter one week, and then off the team a short time later. Well, except for the fact that the previous time, it was Bernie Kosar, who had actually accomplished things in his career, and was beloved by the fans, spending his last game designing a play in the dirt for a touchdown to Michael Jackson. As opposed to Charlie, who spent his last game with a look in his eyes that was probably similar to those of Custer when he sized up the opposition at Little Big Horn ("Holy Shit! Look at all of those Indians!").
Another important question. What will Charlie's parents do with that Bernie Kosar poster Chuckles used to have in his bedroom?
~~~ Not that we'll be seeing that much better play in the next few weeks from Derek Anderson. His 46% completion rate was probably 10% higher than it should have been, due to some great catches by Winslow. Remember, Anderson was 3 for 10 in the first half, worse than Frye in that regard. And had James Farrior not been blessed with the same hands owned by Travis Wilson and Tim Carter, DA would have had three interceptions instead of one.
What you did get from Anderson was a much quicker release, which is how the Steelers went from five sacks in the first quarter and a half to just one during the rest of the game. And that one came on a corner blitz from the LEFT CB...that would be the one running thirty yards straight to Derek's face...without Anderson being able to see it coming?!?!
Was Anderson's great-great grandfather on the crow's nest as chief lookout on the Titanic? That could explain his defective gene that causes him to not see something right in front of him.
Frye and Anderson have the quarterbacking skills equivalent to Travis Henry's birth control skills. The Brady Quinn Era cannot start soon enough. But sadly, if Quinn does not start this weekend against the Bungles, then he needs to stay on the clipboard until the Dolphins game at the earliest, because there is no way he should make his first start against the ferocious defense from the City-That-Penicillin-Forgot, nor in Oakland, in front of those cretins.
~~~ For the rest of the recap of the game...I'll first start out by trying to be somewhat of an optimist in the midst of all the self-flagellation going on right now by Browns Nation.
Point 1. The offensive line was NOT that awful. The only sack that was truly the fault of the O-Line was the first one, when Shaffer was beaten like he was Scott Zahursky. The rest were due to Charlie holding on to the ball for too long, or a flat out jailbreak blitz where seven people were going against five blockers. Those numbers just don't work. The run blocking showed some moments...but also showed some "moments". All in all, I don't think it was that bad of a performance given (a) who they were playing and (b) that this was the very first game when all five starters were on the field together.
Point 2. The reports of the death of Jamal Lewis are greatly exaggerated. "Oh, my Gawd, he only had 35 yards on 11 carries!!! We must run and tell the King!!!"
Get a grip, people. It's only the first week, and the Browns were playing from behind from pretty much the opening gun, not conditions conducive to a power running game. Jamal himself has always been the type of back that gets stronger after about 15 carries. Give it time.
And consider these stats from the first week when you want to bury someone after just one game:
LaDainian Thomlinson: 25 yards on 17 carries
Larry Johnson: 43 yards on 10 carries (against Houston)
Stephen Jackson: 58 yards on 18 carries
Thomas Jones: 42 yards on 14 carries
Reggie Bush: 38 yards on 12 carries
Rudi Johnson: 50 yards on 18 carries
Frank Gore: 55 yards on 18 carries
Point 3. The defense played surprisingly well. At least, they did during the first half, shutting down Pittsburgh quite well under the circumstances. This included one great play where the D-Line went through untouched to Big Ben...and then realizing that a screen was being set up, three of them stopped in mid charge and dropped back, blowing up the play. Another time, Grantham had Peek, Thompson, and Wimbley all lined up on the right side of the defense and all three rushed at the same time, garnering a sack for Peek.
And then came the second half.
Unfortunately, it appears as if we now know why Romeo Crennel is so large. It's because he is really a Vogan, and during halftime, he commenced with the reading of Vogan Poetry to the defense, which immediately caused all of them to lose their will to live, let alone their will to play (and for the 10% of you that understand the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" reference, you know what I mean...for the rest of you...trust me, it wasn't a compliment to RAC). If he's not a Vogan, then he spiked the D's half-time Gatorade with Benedryl. So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Point 4. I think the Browns have really found a leader in Kellen Winslow. The kid WANTS to win, and will push himself and his teammates to be better. It wasn't just the outstanding catches (ignoring the B.S. "interference" call he received), it was that devastating block he made downfield, plus him calling out Lawrence Vickers for an end-zone dance when you're down 24-6.
So let's not get too bent out of shape about everything, OK?
Right...and other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
~~~ So who can really tell how good or bad the Browns will be this year, given the woeful exhibition at the QB position, and the ineptitude of Romeo Crennel. It's like if you'd make "The Departed", but instead of Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, you have David Schwimmer and Chris Kattan in the lead roles, and it's being directed by Paul Verhoeven ("Showgirls") instead of Martin Scorsese? Somehow I don't think it would be seeing too many Oscars under those circumstances.
~~~ Count me as fully on board with the "Romeo Must Go" crowd. Seriously, are there ANY positives to him? 1 and 12 against the AFC North. 0 for 9 in challenges...an absolutely unbelievable stat. Coin flips for starting positions. Knowing your punter is injured on Tuesday, but not bringing in a replacement until Saturday. Total lack of discipline that starts off the field with juvenile actions like shaving the heads of rookies and continues on the field with FOUR penalties on one play. Lacking the motivation skills to even get a Border Collie to move. The continued Chris Palmer-esque blank stares from the sidelines as everything goes to Hell in a handbasket.
The team HAS talent, but they are currently rudderless. I truly see nothing, zip, nada, bupkis, that Romeo brings to the table. Turn it over to Grantham...hire Marty...hell, I might even view LLLLLoyd Carr as an improvement at this point. (OK, Mitch, let's not get carried away here).
~~~ So for now, I'll just take all the craziness in, and hold my breath for next week. I'm not really sure what to expect. In one regard, I'm really looking forward to seeing the Browns offense match up with Cincinnati's defense, which is still weak, and struggled against the Ratbirds any time they couldn't get the lucky turnovers.
On the other hand, Carson Palmer couldn't scare me more if he had a mask and a chainsaw (but does he have Bud Light?).
~~~ And for the third and final movie reference of the day...at a certain point while watching Sunday's game, I was reminded of a particular scene out of "Young Frankenstein", where Gene Wilder and Igor (Marty Feldman) are grave robbing for parts for Frederick's monster, and Wilder laments about how disgusting it all is.
Igor states, "It could be worse."
Frederick: "How could it POSSIBLY be worse!!???"
Igor: "It could be raining".
Huge thunderclap, torrential rain begins.
Which summed up things perfectly when the Browns needed a huge passing attack to get back into the game, so the skies naturally "cooperated" by opening up a whoop-assed can of monsoon. My wife was truly worried that I'd flipped, given the sad, maniacal laughing from me at that point.
If things don't turn around soon, we're going to be referencing another "Young Frankenstein" line, this time from Inspector Kemp.
"A riot is an ugly thing. Undt, I tink, dat it is chust about time ve had vun."