Browns ‘Showcase' Both QBs in Baltimore I've had the flu since early Friday morning. It's been fitful nights of sleep, alternating 20 minute periods of sweating like a ...umm...less than reputable woman in church followed by 20 minutes of freezing to death, and constant violent stomach cramps, fever, nausea and headaches. I tell you this only because I know watching the Browns-Ravens game on Sunday probably caused many of you the same symptoms. Just know that mine preceded yours by days and are still likely going to be there tomorrow.
Anyway, as to the ‘football game':
How does one actually choose between a punch in the face or a kick to the groin?
Do you prefer watching Brady Quinn attempt to set the single-game and single-season records for most passes thrown in front of linebackers or would you rather watch Derek Anderson aimlessly fling balls into the hands of opponents and occasionally sack himself when his size 16 clown shoes trip on a hash mark at M & T Stadium in Baltimore?
What was nice about Sunday's 34-3 defeat to the Ravens is you got to see it all in one three hour crap-tacular.
As an added bonus you got to see no running game, ridiculous penalties and a defensive back apparently trying to pull the flag off of a Raven receiver while surrendering about 15 additional yards on a reception.
But at least Billy Cundiff's parents now know that their son is alive and well and living (at least for a week or two) in Cleveland. Head coach Eric Mangini sent the Cundiff family that message when he sent the field goal team on the field trailing 27-0 in the fourth quarter. You have to go back a long, long time to remember the last time a Bill Belichik disciple did something like that.
Huh? What? You don't? Romeo did it last season you say? Hmm...maybe 34-0 would have crossed the line and been embarrassing.
Now it gets really fun fans. You're looking at football team that has a very solid chance of winning two games or fewer and your QB situation is as out of control as Kanye West. They pulled the plug on Brady Quinn after two and a half games in a game that was not winnable at the time they pulled him and they left the team in the hands of a guy who couldn't beat out Quinn for the starting spot to begin with. Then Anderson rewards their gamble by going out there and doing his very best Derek Anderson impression.
More importantly, they exposed both quarterbacks for frauds in one fell swoop. There was a time when each of these guys had value and could have been exchanged for something of value. The clock struck midnight on that hope at about 3pm EST on Sunday. At least for the time being.
So now what?
Does Mangini put some half-assed spin on the move and say Quinn is still the guy and DA was inserted at 20-0 to see if he could provide a spark? If I was to guess, I'd say that is how it's going to go down.
The simple truth didn't change with anything that went down in Baltimore Sunday; Derek Anderson is and has always been the guy capable of and likely to throw three interceptions in one half and look clumsy doing it. He can and does occasionally look good in moving the football team but in the end he's the good looking prom queen that likes to kill her date at the end of the night.
With Quinn there is the slight chance that he can get over his phobia of throwing the football and actually improve. And your only chance of increasing the value of either of those two guys is for Quinn to improve while DA looks tall and capable holding a clip board and people forget his abomination in Baltimore, Part II.
The difference between the two in relation to wins and losses is negligible. So maybe you win two games with Quinn while DA manages to eek out three or four wins. What's the difference other than you worsen your draft position and actually force this front office to actually make another difficult choice with players on the board?
Forgive us for not being too optimistic in that regard.
Unpopular As it May Be...
I'm starting to get concerned with what I've seen of Terrelle Pryor's development as a quarterback.
I know Saturday was a day better suited for hunting waterfowl than for passing the football in Columbus but I'm really wondering whether, when everything is said and done, Terrelle Pryor is really just Juice Williams in scarlet and grey.
Williams is the Illinois quarterback who can be exciting on the run and who is often at his best when a play breaks down and he has to tuck the ball and improvise. He is not a very good drop-back passer.
Pryor is a year or two younger and is exciting on the run and especially so when a play breaks down and he has to tuck the ball and improvise. Right now, he is not a very good drop-back passer.
Again, taking the rain and field conditions into consideration, the Buckeyes had to go anti-Tressel late in a blow out win over the Illini and throw the ball with less than a minute or so remaining in a 23-0 game just to try and build Pryor's reps and confidence level. He hit Dane Sanzenbacher to provide the final margin of victory in the 30-0 whitewashing of Ron Zook's Illinois team but that play call says as much about Pryor as his zero yards passing in the first half did.
I know Tressel promised Pryor he'd put him in an offense where he could develop into a star as a passing quarterback but this experiment seems to go squarely against Tressel's M.O of playing team football and winning games with class by virtue of a strong running game and a strong defense.
The defense is there. The second straight shut out and their effort against a talented USC team speaks to that. But Pryor's development seems to be lagging behind, which just may be a result of trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole when it comes to his strengths.
If you answered anything other than "There's not any damn thing you mentioned in that sentence that makes sense" then you lose.
This will be debated from now until draft day on these pages and everywhere else but if it's me doing the drafting for a team with so many needs on both sides of the ball I'm identifying the greatest impact player and selecting that kid. The best part about legitimate suck all over the field is that you can't go wrong if you get any stud.
My opinion is that Berry is that guy as it currently stands. That kid would just as soon kill you as look at you on the field and he has the talent to be an impact, Ed Reed/Troy Polamalu-type defensive back for years to come.
This team needs playmakers on both sides of the ball and I think it's easier to patch in a journeyman QB and RB and take what you believe is a sure thing at another position of need. Running backs don't have enough of a shelf-life for me to consider unless you can identify an Adrian Peterson coming out in 2010.
What are you thinking? Who do you like? It's not as if draft talk is premature at this point.