Regular readers of my columns (and I’d like to thank you two again) remember back a few weeks ago when I boldly (fearlessly is probably a better description) and accurately summarized the Browns-Broncos preseason game before it happened.
And both of you readers will likely recall last Sunday’s article that informed you of my long association as an insider with the Browns (ball-boy/coach’s assistant/insider) and the stirringly emotional portion of the article that compared the building of this season’s Browns team with the foundation that was laid for those beloved teams of the mid-1980’s. Some of you said that article actually motivated you and pumped you up for the season opener against the Steelers. I wish that high could have lasted past 130pm on Sunday but hey, I did my part.
However, fortunately for all of you, the combination of me being a gifted seer as well as a Browns insider works to your benefit again. Because only through that special combination do I have here in front of me, the transcripts to the upcoming Phil Savage press conference on Tuesday, September 18th. Not sure last week’s doozy can be topped, but we’re about to see.
Tuesday, September 18th, 2007. Berea, OH
Phil Savage (PS)- “I’d like to thank you for all coming down here again this week. Seems like we’re making a bit of a habit out of this…ha ha....errr..yeah…um..anyway. I wanted to explain our rationale in trading Derek Anderson to the Cincinnati Bengals during the 3rd quarter of the game this past Sunday.
“It may seem a bit unorthodox but this is the track we were looking at for Derek all along. We were waiting for a team to express interest in DA and it happened that the Bengals found themselves in somewhat of a desperate situation at quarterback on Sunday what with the injuries to Carson Palmer and backup Ryan Fitzpatrick.”
Reporter- “Coach, can you comment on how those injuries occurred? I mean, Palmer threw for four TDs in the 1st quarter and Fitzpatrick looked pretty good in leading two more TD drives late in the first half after the game was out of hand. No one saw them get touched.”
PS- “Well, I can’t comment on the on-going police investigation in regard to what may or may not have occurred outside their locker room at the half. I’m sure you understand that.”
Reporter- “Any truth to the rumors that Ted Washington and Orpheus Roye ‘gilloolyed’ the Cincy QBs with a lead pipe at the half?”
PS- “Again, that’s for the law enforcement folks to look at. All I know is that no one in the stadium saw them close to those QBs during the first half and that’s got to help their case in defending these allegations. Either way, a need was created and we felt that trading DA at that time was a move that was going to bring us the most value. In receiving a 7th round pick for DA we’ve fortified the back end of next year’s draft. We’ve also signed former Browns replacement QB Jeff Christensen to take Derek’s roster spot for the remainder of the year. Jeff was a leader of the replacement players back in the strike year of 1987 and we’re confident he’ll provide some veteran leadership for Brady Quinn as we head into week 3.
“What you should understand is that this was all part of the plan for this season. We knew Brady’s development was being accelerated and that he was on a different track with that accelerated development than the guys actually playing. We’re hopeful that plan and that process for accelerated development continues as he watches Jeff and Ken Dorsey calling signals.”
Reporter- “What about the national media, as well as those of us here locally, who can’t help but wonder what the hell is going on with this team?”
PS- “Look. We’re still digging out from the whole that the prior regime dug. While you guys were using a first round pick on a running back from Boston College who had colitis and a penchant for falling on steak knives while walking up stairs, I was watching Ozzie draft Ed Reed and finding Bart Scott. It’s going to take some time to dig out from this mess. Hell, that redneck Butch Davis used to park his car on the lawn in Berea. We’re still trying to re-seed the tire marks he left there. I understand there is a proud tradition here since 1999 built around guys like Jim Pyne, Tim Couch, Gerard Warren, Travis Prentiss and Terry Kirby but it takes time to build a foundation when the prior regimes were busy turning 3rd picks into trades for 6th round picks a year later.
“While it may seem that we have no plan and that things are deteriorating at an alarming rate, nothing could be further from the truth. I think we head into the Oakland game as healthy and as strong as we’ve been all season, pending the Ted Washington and Orpheus Roye investigation, and we’ve upgraded the QB position by dealing both DA and Charlie Frye and acquiring Jeff Christensen.”
Reporter- “Does this make Quinn the starter?”
PS- (Laughs) “Noooo. Starting Brady at this point makes no sense. We want him to get some more practice snaps and have a better handle on the offense. Christensen will start and Quinn and Dorsey will work together to dissect defenses and further accelerate Brady’s accelerated development track. Jeff is a veteran with starting experience and he gives us the best chance to win football games right now.”
Reporter- “You mean there are no plans to start Dorsey?”
PS- (Laughs heartily) “Good God no. You ever seen the guy throw? I’m not sure he could hit the ground if he dropped the ball. Let’s be honest, this was a guy who wasn’t good enough to make this roster ahead of Frye or Dorsey. Not only that but not even QB-desperate teams picked him up. There was a good reason for that. Taking a guy who couldn’t make this roster on September 1st and then naming him the starter would be embarrassing and ridiculous. I’m not sure where y’all come up with some of this stuff.”
Reporter- “Any message to the fans who are concerned about the direction of the club?”
PS- (Looks amusedly shocked) “The fans? Umm….no. No message. Let’s be honest, those lemmings will line up 70,000 deep regardless of what I do to the roster. Not only will they line up to fill the seats, but they’ll also line up for $7 beers and $5 Cokes all day long. That’s after they pay $15 to park and swill beers from 7am to the time they stumble over here. They’ll watch whatever we throw out there and then sleep it off afterward only to line up all over again next week. We sure do appreciate their devotion though.