Apparently, nothing fuels the fires of man-passion like a QB pageant, er, competition.
After stating last week that - all things being equal - the Browns should start Quinn and be done with it, many an angry reply made its way across the electronic connections of the world to my e-mail address. It seems abundantly clear that I didn't state my position clearly, or some people didn't follow my point, or there is a small but vocal minority with DA moony-eyes. Or some of each.
Here's a sampling:
If Anderson proves to be better than Quinn, then why wouldn't you pick the QB that gives you the best chance to win?
If DA is markedly better than Quinn, then he should start. If Quinn is markedly better than DA, then he should start. I do want the QB that gives the team the best chance to win. My point was based around the assumption that neither QB had separated himself.
I think the coaching staff knows more than you.
Yes, you're probably right. Before Romeo, I would have guaranteed it. But after Romeo... I have learned better than to automatically assume that the coaches will make an informed and intelligent decision, and thus refuse to trust them implicitly. Will that make any difference? Of course not.
Do you Quinnbots all call each other up and decide which pink # 10 jersey you're going to wear?
I'm 36 years old. Calling me a "Quinnbot" means about the same to me as if you called me a "Dum Dum" or a "Poo Poo Head".
I don't see where Quinn has done enough to supplant DA.
Supplant DA? I seem to remember last season that DA was BENCHED for Quinn. If Quinn had not been injured, he would have ended the year as starter (just ask Romeo). DA is NOT the incumbent. If anyone had to be the incumbent, had to be supplanted, it would be Quinn. But the purpose of a true QB competition is that NO ONE is the incumbent, that the job is up for grabs.
You people just love Quinn because he's from Ohio and he's Catholic.
I could care less if he were from Finland, and if you think I would like him more because he's Catholic, you're smoking something better than anything I've ever had. Please actually read my words before you lump me in with the people you're lashing out against.
Quinn can't throw the ball over 10 yards.
That's just stupid. You must be a DA-bot, or whatever stupid name that stupid people that are taking sides in this stupid QB showdown are using to call each other "stupid".
It pisses me off that everyone is bailing on DA, who proved in 2007 that he's a Pro Bowl QB and was sabotaged last year by drops, no running game, a bad O Line, and a bad coaching staff. If the Browns get rid of him, they'll be crying as they watch him win Super Bowls with someone else.
Man, if I had a dime for everyone that said that same thing about Tim Couch when he left, I'd be driving a Porsche.
And, to be fair, I bailed on DA before the end of the 2007 season, during his so-called Pro Bowl season (2nd Alternate). I'd seen enough of him by that point to formulate my opinion, and he's done nothing but reinforce it since. Yes, there is a chance that he will improve, that he'll go somewhere and get the Midas touch, but there's also a chance I'll sprout wings. Meaning I'm willing to stake my claim that DA is what he is and that's all that he is and that's all that he'll ever be and if you want that to be the starting QB on your team for the long term then I just don't get you.
If Mangini is taking one second to think about what the fans reaction would be if he makes the wrong choice, he should be fired this second.
I agree. The fans should play no part in Mangini's decision. Fans are stupid (present company excluded, of course).
Unfortunately, I think fans are going to have to accept the idea that the Browns do not have an NFL quality starting QB on the roster.
You might very well be right. I have that sinking feeling myself. But, to be fair, I'd like to see more than 2 ½ games of Quinn before I accept it unconditionally.
Why does everyone feel that Quinn deserves to start?
Who said he "deserves" to start? Deserve's got nuthin' to do with it. I only said that if all things are equal, it makes more sense to start a player whose potential is still unknown versus a player whose pretty much a known quantity at this point.
OK, let me make this very clear: If one player proves to be markedly better than the other, then that player should start. However, if neither player distinguished himself, then I believe that the coaches should start Quinn.
I feel DA has hit his ceiling and that the likelihood that he will improve is minute. I feel that DA is not a Franchise QB and that he is not a long-term answer. We don't know what Quinn's ceiling is, and we should probably find out so that we know whether or not we have to draft a QB high in the 2010 draft. That is why - if it's considered a "tie" - I am a proponent of starting Quinn and feel that any other choice is incorrect.
I could very well be wrong. It's just my opinion.
I am not saying this because I especially like Quinn or even think he'll be a great QB. I don't feel like I have an agenda here except the club's best interest. I don't care about individual players - I only care about the success of the team. There are way too many people getting their personal feelings involved in the QB Farce.
And, yes, I call it a QB Farce, because Mangini already knows whom his starting QB is. He might not have been sure before Saturday (then again, he might have), but I cannot buy that he doesn't know now. There is little that can be gleaned in the Bears game, and even less that can be gleaned from remaining practices. Mangini is simply perpetuating this façade in an effort to make Minnesota "prepare for both QB's" (which, in my book, is much less important than getting your first unit as much playing time together as possible to actually form some cohesion, but, hey, I'm just some dumb shlub that "don't know football from my ass").
The "Competition" is over, and we all know perfectly well who the starter will be.
And it's not the guy that will make last week's e-mailers happy.
The Titans went 3 and Out (we even saw this thing people call a "sack"), but the Browns returned the favor, and then TEN went on a long time-consuming drive, longer and more time-consuming than driving to Miami from Boise, and it ended with a perfect TD pass from Kerry Collins (who looked great) to Justin Gage. Titans 7, Browns 0.
Quinn then led CLE back, performing well under pressure and finding his outlets nicely and moving the team 60 yards to the Titans red zone by the end of the Q.
End 1st: Titans 7, Browns 0.
Without anything more than a ghost of a Running Game and no room to run the screens and quick outs, the drive stalled at the 4. Titans 7, Browns 3.
TEN did it again, moving the ball methodically in small chunks, hitting consistently on quick-hit passes to the Tight Ends and interior Receivers, driving roughly the circumference of the earth until they were finally stopped at the CLE 9. Robaire Smith penetrated the line on the FG attempt and blocked the kick, turning that impressive drive into a colossal waste of time.
It was DA's turn, and he came in and also looked sharp, hitting on a couple nice intermediate passes, but a sack and a penalty doomed the drive, and they punted.
Vince Young came in with 1:51 and he TOO moved the ball straight down the field, forcing me to make snide remarks at the Browns' expense. However, with but a few seconds left in the Half, VY tried to run the ball in from the 4, and D'Qwell Jackson and Brandon McDonald tandem hit him, forcing a fumble, which McD then recovered himself. The Half was not pretty, but, well, give me a case of Schlitz and I'll take it.
Halftime: Titans 7, Browns 3.
DA started the 2nd Half, and he led the team on a somewhat methodical drive that stalled when Braylon's freakin' crazy one-handed 20 yard TD catch was called out of bounds. Phil time. Titans 7, Browns 6.
The Titans fumbled the ball on the Kickoff, and Brady came back in with the ball on the TEN 34. He made a nice check-down to Jamal on the 1st play, then hit Braylon perfectly on a 20 yard post for the first Browns passing TD of the year. Browns 13, Titans 7.
On the next possession, backed up deep in their own territory, Robaire Smith pressured Young and forced him to try and dump it off. Alex Hall read it, nabbed the easy INT, and basically walked it in for another Browns score and his first ever jump into the Dawg Pound. Browns 20, Titans 7.
No good play goes unpunished, and Vince made up for his error by driving the Titans 80 way-too-easy yards against the Browns 1st Team D for an answering TD. Browns 20, Titans 14.
Quinn came back in and started a drive that ended the Q.
End 3rd: Browns 20, Titans 14.
Quinn continued the aforementioned drive, moving nicely down the field, but missed an open Heiden in the End Zone on 3rd Down, forcing Phil to come back in. Browns 23, Titans 14.
Another long drive by the Titans (this is not an echo). This one ended with some very nice pass D in the End Zone by Coye Francies on 3rd and 1 from the CLE 13. Browns 23, Titans 17.
Richard Bartel came in and managed to run out the remaining 4:29, thanks in large part by a nice run by Noah Herron on 4th and 1.
Final: Browns 23, Titans 17.
Braylon Edwards - BrayBray '07 made an appearance, what with that sick one-handed grab in the End Zone (incomplete) and the nice catches on the skinny posts, one for a TD. Yes, that, Mr. Edwards, is how an Elite WR plays.
James Davis - he is quickly becoming one of my favorite players on this team. He makes Jamal Lewis look like he's running underwater. And, no, I'm not trying to damn him with faint praise.
Special Teams - this is a STRONG unit, and one of the reasons that the Browns may be hanging in games they have no damn business being in.
Brandon McDonald - for the play on VY at the end of the Half. That's not easy to do to a Vince Young.
Alex Hall - if you get a Pick 6, you get a Gameball.
Kaluka Maiava - when he's on the field, he's always in on a play. Hits hard, doesn't miss tackles, around the ball a lot. If he were a couple inches taller, he'd have been a 1st Rounder.
Jamal Lewis (catching the ball) - a strange concept, those screen passes. The Run game isn't working, TEN is bringing the heat, and you're allowed to throw a short pass to the RB, who's then allowed to run it for good yardage? Why didn't anyone tell me about this before? Jamal was particularly effective in this capacity, picking up 36 yards on 4 catches.
Brady Quinn - his arm strength is plenty fine, and he proved it by zinging some nice intermediate passes around, including the TD pass. 4 drives, 3 scores. 121 Passer rating. If he'd have just hit Heiden on that TD pass...
Robaire Smith - blocked a FG and got the rare pressure on VY that caused the Hall INT.
Kam Wimbley - got one sack on Collins, and very nearly got another on VY (get that 2nd one, and you move up a level, Kam).
Coye Francies - got beaten a couple times, but made some nice tackles and had a beautiful break-up on a 3rd Q End Zone pass.
Wall of Shame
Jamal Lewis (running the ball) - 10 carries at 2.8 per. Be still my pounding heart. Any Jamal Lewis running play is really a surrender.
The Defense As A Whole - No QB pressure, can't stop teams, can't match up physically. Urg.
David Veikune - Big, fast, active... and doesn't seem to accomplish shit. There's no way in Pittsburgh I'm down on this guy yet, but so far he's no Kaluka.
Time of Possession: Cleveland - 30:19, Tennessee - 29:41,
Total Yards: Tennessee - 355, Cleveland - 312
Yes, that Time of Possession stat is seriously skewed. When Tennessee's 1st Unit was in, they dominated the ToP. The Titans had the ball for 17:20 in the First Half, and it seemed even worse than that.
But I can't honestly say the Titans would have dominated the Browns over an entire game with only the starters, because it wasn't like TEN was blowing CLE off the ball (like in the Green Bay game). I am not necessarily encouraged by the performance, but I'm not discouraged either.
That being said, you probably should get used to long drives like the ones TEN perpetrated. The Defense is slow and lacks playmakers. A smart scheme can delay certain death, but death is likely on its way nonetheless.
Several were surprised by the trade of Louis Leonard to Carolina this week (for an undisclosed draft pick), and it has been speculated that it was due to Leonard clashing with D Line Coach Brian Cox formerly in Training Camp.
If it weren't for the depth at that position, I doubt very much he'd be gone. The Browns have a wealth of decent talent at very few positions, and D Line is about it. You have to figure they're only going to keep 6 - that would be Shaun Rogers, Ahtyba Rubin (I've finally learned to spell his name without looking it up), Robaire Smith, Corey Williams, CJ Mosley, and Kenyon Coleman. Very likely, Leonard would've been the odd man out anyway, so getting anything for him is a win.
I am in 2 Fantasy Football leagues, and both drafted this weekend. Here's how I believe the results of the fantasy drafts pertain to the Cleveland Browns of reality:
**Braylon got drafted in the 4th and 5th Rounds, which is much later than last year, showing that people don't trust him after 2008. However, both times he was drafted, it met with much cursing from people who hoped to get him soon thereafter. That tells me that people do expect him to have a strong year; they just hoped that no one else thought the same.
**Brady Quinn got drafted as a backup QB in one league. Anderson went undrafted in both.
**Josh Cribbs was drafted in both leagues (he was a write-in with the CBS Sportsline stickers), and that's looking like a solid pick where he was taken (after the 15th Round). He's likely the Number 2 WR in Cleveland, and with the plethora of skills he brings, he could be a huge steal. He really should be the # 2. He's running better routes, catching the ball well, blocks incredibly (for a Receiver), and brings all kinds of Reverse and Wildcat calls into play.
**James Davis was drafted in both leagues, and both drafters (one was me) gloated mightily with their late round steal.
**One league has Defense separate from Special Teams. Naturally, the Browns Special Teams went high - second after only Chicago.
**Jamal Lewis went in the 8-10 Round Range. In one league, I managed to draft Cedric Benson 3 rounds after Lewis was picked. Suckers.
**No one picked the Browns D for some strange reason. I was going to... but then I didn't.
Rotoworld (via National Football Post) speculated that Jamal Lewis may not make the 53 man roster. The exact post read:
Mike Lombardi of the National Football Post speculates that Jamal Lewis may not make the Browns' final 53-man roster.
Cleveland mistakenly paid Lewis a $4 million roster bonus in March, but with rookie James Davis excelling and Jerome Harrison back healthy, the 30-year-old may be expendable. Avoid Lewis entirely on fantasy draft day.
This is an interesting thought, and one that actually makes a little sense. Lewis does not look good. He has some value, and can still be effective in some situations, but he really isn't a starting NFL RB any longer. Now I doubt that it will happen, but if the Browns go into the season with Harrison, Davis, and Herron as opposed to Lewis, Harrison, Davis, I don't really know if that would offend me. Can we honestly say that Jamal Lewis 2009 brings more to the table than a Noah Herron? It's not a no-brainer.
One might even argue that platooning Harrison, Davis, and Herron would be more effective than surrendering the customary 2 or 3 drives at the beginning of every game because the Offense is doomed to being hamstrung by Jamal due to the fact that he is the "feature" back and has to get his carries.
I'm not saying I would argue it, but I'd at least be willing to listen to the argument from someone else.
I'm pretty sure nothing is wrong with Shaun Rogers. Mangini is just keeping him rested and healthy for the Regular Season. He's breaking his own "Everyone Is The Same" Rule, but I'm cool with that. Rogers is one of the few players that doesn't need to prove himself, so it's just smart to manufacture some phantom injury to keep him vigorous and intact until the games count.
Ahtyba Rubin is the guy that has benefited most from Rogers' absence. He's looked decent at NT, and shouldn't cause a massive production drop-off when Big Baby takes a breather. And there have been rumblings that the Browns should/might try playing both at the same time, having Rubin play Nose while Rogers takes DE.
I don't mind seeing them both on the field at the same time in some situations, but I think I'd prefer Rubin to play DE and Rogers to stay at NT. The reason is that the NT is the most important position on the DL in a 3-4, and you want your biggest and best player there. Rubin may be big, but he ain't no Rogers.
People complain about Bernie Kosar's announcing, sounding like he's drunk or stoned. But that guy really knows his shit. He often predicts the plays before they happen, and is usually right about what the QB should or should not have done in a certain situation.
But you gotta do something ‘bout that hair, Bern.
PS - Psst! Jim Donovan! It's "Abe Elam", not "Ay Beelam". You confuse me every time you pronounce his name. Who's this Beelam guy?
And since I'm contractually bound to make a decision:
Round 3 winner - Brady Quinn.
Honestly, they both looked pretty good. Quinn just looked a little bit better. He handled the blitz very well, made some strong throws, and led the team to 3 scores. Neither QB really got enough time on the field, but the Defense has been screwing up this whole QB Farce from the start by not getting the enemy off the damn field.
I was more surprised by the DNP - Coach's Decision for Brett Ratliff. Are the Browns seriously thinking about keeping Richard Bartel over Ratliff, one of the key components of the Draft Day trade? That can't be right, can it?
Although, I must admit, Bartel has looked fairly solid in his limited time in the games...
If the Browns somehow manage to go 8-8, then Mangini deserves to be Coach of the Year. That's the kind of respect he'll earn if he managed to coach this talent-lite team to a .500 record.
Not trying to be negative, it's just I've been watching a lot of Preseason football, and it seems like all the other teams play in Fast Forward in comparison to our boys.
Ryan Tucker went on IR this week, and it might very well spell the end of his career here in Cleveland (or period).
In case it is... thanks for the memories, Ryan. You're easily one of the Top 10 players in New Browns history (and, once again, I'm not trying to damn you with faint praise). Good luck.
From Von Doe, Medina: "I was listening to KNR Sunday, and Aaron Goldhammer was on there and he kept going on and on about how the Browns were owned so much by the Tennessee Offense that the Titans would've easily had 300 yards rushing had the First Unit played the whole game. That take is so dumb that he should probably be fired for stupidity. Do you have any pull at KNR, and, if so, can you make this happen?"
Uh, no. I wish. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone that would like to hit Goldhammer with a dead cat.
The Titans had 83 yards rushing, so making a statement like that is like me saying, "If I hadn't moved out of California, I'd be banging a Playmate right now." It's easy to make asinine speculations if you aren't burdened by facts or concern for reputation.
But I don't think he's stupid. I think being a massive tool is his schtick. I think saying completely retarded crap and being unreasonably negative about everything are tricks that he learned at Sports Shock Radio U. If he can't get people to appreciate him, then piss ‘em off. At least they'll be talking about him, like we are now. In the minds of guys like him, negative attention is still better than no attention. And he probably hopes his spiel will take him National at some point (despite the fact that he clearly loves our city and teams).
Believe me, going out of your way to make a complete arse of yourself just to make a splash is hard work.
The Chicago Bears.
Normally, the 4th Preseason game is meaningless. It may not be the case for the Browns, but it probably is for the Bears. So scouting the Bears might be fruitless when Jay Cutler and Matt Forte will probably be getting pedicures sometime around the middle of the 1st Quarter.
The Browns will likely play their starters longer in an attempt to perpetuate the QB Farce. Yawn.