Browns effed in Big D

by Cleveland Frowns on November 19, 2012

“We don’t have a team of Pro Bowlers and we don’t have a Hall of Fame coaching staff, but we have a team.”Josh Cribbs

“We’re not getting it done late. I don’t know why.” — Brandon Weeden.

“The Cowboys scored when they had to and we didn’t.”Ben watson

“It was personal, man, you know.”Lawrence Vickers

“[Mike Holmgren] is a heck of a man. … We have a top friendship.”Jerry Jones

—————

The best piece of journalism published on this week’s Browns/Cowboys match-up was published before the game, by Tom Reed in the Plain Dealer: “Joe Banner, Jimmy Haslam get an up-close look at the NFL’s dominant marketing team: The Dallas Cowboys.”

“Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner were invited behind the curtain in the NFL’s Land of Oz [Dallas] this weekend to witness how a franchise with one playoff win in the past 16 years is virtually without peer when it comes to making money,” Reed starts.

“With open notebooks and minds, Haslam and Banner welcomed the opportunity to meet with Cowboys executives Saturday in advance of the Cleveland-Dallas game. … A year ago, a season which saw the Cowboys finish 8-8, they generated $550 million in total revenue, according to Forbes, thanks to their futuristic stadium and sponsorships from Ford, Bank of America, Pepsi, Dr Pepper and Miller Brewing. Regardless of what their on-field records suggest, there are no losing seasons for owner Jerry Jones and his club. . . .

“We want to maximize our understanding of what a lot of people who are doing really well around the league are doing,” [said Banner.] “And we don’t want to be shy about stealing some ideas.”

Yes Mr. Banner please don’t be shy about stealing ideas from Jerry Jones because god knows the Cleveland Browns haven’t been good enough at leveraging the brand name of one of the NFL’s most beloved franchises despite a straight decade of unimaginably horrific football. As much as it’s a wonder that Browns fans haven’t burned the Stadium to the ground yet, let alone that the place sells out every game, the first thing Haslam and Banner need to do is learn more from the world’s grand champions of squeezing every last dime from fans of a bad football team. Because when you can do that, who needs to worry about winning games? There’s no such thing as a losing season for the Cowboys, and there’s no reason for anyone to be shy about that in Big D.

Which of course also goes a long way to explain why Jerry Jones and Mike Holmgren get along so well.

“Apart from being an outstanding coach, he’s a heck of a man,” Jones said of Holmgren, who attended yesterday’s game. “He’s got a lot of character, and I can’t tell you how much I respect him. When you’re in close like that and spend a lot of time with somebody, familiarity can breed contempt, as the old thing says. It’s just the opposite with him. Every time I’ve ever been around him he’s gone up in my eyes. … We have a top friendship.”

Familiarity might breed contempt in another situation, but when you’re one of the tiny handful of people on the planet who gets to roll around in such an enormous pigpen of cash from fans of bad football it gets hard to relate to anyone else. So call it a top friendship, and a top show that the lame duck Browns President put on with the Cowboys owner before the game. Because what else would you do a week after you denied rumors that your agent planted about your interest in returning to coaching only if the Cowboys job came open, because you “would never do that to anybody” like Dallas head coach Jason Garrett who’s “trying to work and []fighting like crazy for [his] job”?

Naturally, you would make a scene about traveling to a road game for the first time all season with the franchise that just gave you your walking papers, and spend “quite a while” on the field before the game gladhanding the owner of the team whose head coaching job you’re rumored to be interested in, right in front of that team’s current head coach who’s “trying to work and []fighting like crazy for [his] job.”

Which might explain the Browns’ ability to jump out to a 13-0 halftime lead as well as anything else, with Garrett having every reason to be preoccupied with life’s bigger questions after the Jones/Holmgren display. But the Browns lost anyway, despite dominating the game along both lines of scrimmage.

Both teams were significantly hampered by injuries yesterday, with the Browns missing Joe Haden and Dimitri Patterson badly in the secondary, and the Cowboys offensive line a mess. All three centers on the Dallas roster were out with injuries, so guard Mackenzy Bernadeau played his first NFL game at the position with backup Derrick Dockery inserted at guard.

But after falling behind, the Cowboys adjusted at halftime, “to faster-developing pass plays to beat the pressure and going more to a three-wide shotgun set to tire out the Browns’ pass rushers.” And despite superb pass protection against Dallas’s pass rush (I can’t remember a Browns quarterback ever having a more comfortable pocket week in and week out), and excellent play from the receivers, the Browns attack couldn’t keep up in a furious overtime finish. Brandon Weeden turned in another wildly inconsistent performance, there were some big calls that could have gone both ways on both sides, and there was another clock management mess in the fourth quarter that didn’t end up mattering in the end.

And in the end, the Browns are 2-8, with twelve straight road losses. Pat Shurmur is now 0-2 as a head coach coming off a bye week, and hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record in 26 games and counting. The Steelers come to town next week, and Joe Banner and Jimmy Haslam have books full of notes from Jerry Jones.

  • http://brian23.com Brian

    is a top friendship even more powerful than being best friends with someone

    but yes, the team’s performance aside, the browns are one of the worst managed brands around, in any category of any industry

    the only reason they have any significance is the strength of history and the passion of the fans

    if someone with control of the brand ever cared about the brand, something something something

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      I guess it depends on what the controlling ideas are regarding what it means to “manage a brand.” I like to think there are better ones than the ones the Cowboys use.

      • http://brian23.com Brian

        Of course, there’s a lot to it.

        I just know that as someone who only has a loose interest in pro football, I always assume the Cowboys are good, or somewhere in my mind, it seems like they should be good, even if they’re terrible – like that just fits their image/brand somehow.

        Merchandising and dollars aside, from a perception angle, to me the Browns are the type of franchise and brand that could/should have that type of general image.

        • NeedsFoodBadly

          You have to win first before you can start milking a legacy.

          • Believelander

            Paul and Jim Brown’s teats were apparently epic in proportions as figurative teats go, but that well’s got to be running dry.

      • Believelander

        Know who manages the f*** out of their brand, which was a puddle of drek 20 years ago? The Patriots.

  • Wiseoldredbeard

    How about this other Cribbs original: “We almost always almost win.” Genius. That game injured me deeply.

    • BigDigg

      I actually find it fascinating to watch this team self-destruct week after week. I mean, law of averages, every dog has a day, etc. kind of thing. They are literally immune to the randomization of good fortune and utterly bankable on coming up on new inventive ways to throw a winnable game.

      It’s impressive really when you think about this and how long it’s been going on. Forces much larger than just bad drafting, coaching and QB play must be responsible. Sinister forces…

      • Beeej

        2007?

    • Believelander

      I HAD IT FIRST ON TWITTER

      /Prick Reilly’d

      but fo real tho I saw that a bit ago and I was like “…………………………………………………………….sigh…………….”

  • Jim

    If that was not a textbook example of a Browns’ loss I don’t know what is. After Weeds’ second touchdown pass, and instead of celebrating, I told my wife that there was too much time on the clock and that the game would go to overtime.
    Being a non-Cleveland fan, she simply didn’t understand. After watching the Cowboys quickly march into field goal territory, combined with the help of terrible officiating and whatever it was that the cornerbacks were doing for much of the day, she now understands.

    • Beeej

      I did the same thing. What surprised me the most was that it took Garret until the second half to realize he needed to throw it to whomever was being covered by Skrine. That is why I was saying we needed to take Mo. On the bright side our O and D lines are looking tough. THAT is the foundation to winning football…and getting rid of Shurmur. It’s like he is just closing his eyes, pointing to a spot on the card, calling a timeout for not randomly picking a play fast enough, then calling a different play. That 4th and goal call was inexcusable.

      • Jim

        I agree on all accounts. The line play was great and on offense, the pass blocking has really been excellent all year (which makes some of Weeds’ decisions even more disconcerting). The defensive line looked good yesterday as well but it comes with the caveat that it was against the Cowboys who have a terrible offensive line and run game right now.

        And the fourth and goal play was a terrible call and even worse execution. If you are going to throw that ball you have to give the receiver a chance to make the catch in bounds.

        • Beeej

          I remember thinking, “Just pound the ball 4 straight times. Knowing Shurmur, he’ll probably call a shitty pass play that will get intercepted.” If you’re going to throw the fade, do it on 3rd down, but why wouldn’t you try a toss sweep with TRich? Why? Why? Why?

          *Bonus–Haslem gets sooooo pissed during the games.

          • Believelander

            Remember against…………..Cinci? when Ben Watson pulled a block and release drag across the formation in that kind of situation and caught a touchdown with no defender within 10 yards?

      • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

        Mo Claiborne is having an awful year. I don’t know how he would upgrade CB for this game. In the future he may be an upgrade to Skrine, but right now he isn’t.

        • Beeej

          I see what you’re saying, but our secondary is so bad w/o Haden in there.

          • Jpftribe

            Never thought I would be wishing Patterson was healthy…..

        • bupalos

          I hear people saying this but I also hear the opposite. I have no doubt that even if he is a significant disappointment he would be a significant upgrade for our secondary. I can’t say that Richardson has done more than squeeze a few extra yards out of short runs. He hasn’t been a factor for us at all, for all the talk.

          http://cowboysblog.dallasnews.com/2012/09/breaking-down-the-boys-morris-claiborne-film-study-and-grade-vs-giants.html/

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M
          • Cranky M

            I’m still stuck on those games against the Falcons and Eagles. He got torches so bad by the Falcons that they ended up benching him for Mike Jenkins, and the next game he had about as many terrible penalties as Skrine did yesterday. He had at least 4 or 5 off the top of my head: pass interference, couple of defensive holdings, offsides….he looked bad.

            I wouldn’t write him off, but…if he were playing this way in Cleveland, we would probably be talking about what a terrible pick it was.

    • Bernietocatcherguy

      My wife walked in near the end of the game and started to ask, “how’s the game?” She stopped because apparently she knew what the outcome was going to be. I apparently tell her the same thing after every game each week. “They could have won, they played well at times, but they just…I don’t understand how they always blow it.” I HAVE BEEN SHURMURED!

  • Wiseoldredbeard

    Does anyone have thoughts on Josh McDaniels?

    • Bernietocatcherguy

      Better than Shurmur.

      • Wiseoldredbeard

        His offense in NE scores a boat load of points. Does he call the plays? He’s from Ohio and went to Carroll. He’s learned from basically the best. Sure he had one shot and failed, but that doesn’t mean he can’t now correct. Keep him away from final personel decisions. I am not thinking this is a terrible idea.

        • nj0

          I agree. Seems like 90% of coaches should be kept away from deciding on personnel.

        • Cranky M

          It’s not just that he failed. It’s how badly he failed.

          Trading a 1st-round pick for a terrible CB (Alphonso Smith) that he traded away for peanuts the next season; trading two 3rd-round picks for a terrible TE with one career reception (Richard Quinn); drafting Moreno and Ayers, who are both awful, in the 1st round; trading up for Tebow; trading away Cutler and Marshall; etc etc.

          I understand he wouldn’t be making personnel decisions, but i just have a hard time putting any faith into somebody who made so many moves that were so absurdly terrible. How can you trust somebody who makes those decisions? They’re just so awful.

        • Cranky M

          And more importantly than the personnel moves, let’s not forget:
          -He was widely criticized in Denver for firing or overlooking qualified assistant coaches and replacing them with highly unqualified friends and family members.
          -The one decent assistant coach he had, Mike Nolan, left due to McDaniel’s arrogance and general personality (supposedly).
          -McDaniels’ chosen successor to Nolan as DC, Dean Pees, chose to become a linebacker coach with the Ravens instead of the DC of the Broncos. Everybody assumed it was because of McDaniels’ (supposed) reputation in the league as being insufferable and arrogant.

          I’ll pass.

      • Believelander

        This.

    • Cranky M

      He is beyond terrible.

      • Believelander

        This.

  • dr. jew

    It wasn’t the call on fourth and goal that was so bad; it was the execution. Weeden gets great protection. He has a talented group of receivers that has overcome its early-season affliction with dropsies. He has an effective running game to compliment his passing. Yet he continues to underwhem, and worse. Yesterday’s loss rests squarely on the QB’s shoulders.

    • bupalos

      No that is a terrible call. There is really no reason to be safe with the football there, at worst it costs you 18 yards. But yeah, Weeden’s execution was even worse.

    • Jim

      I would say the secondary deserves the lion’s share of the blame for yesterday’s loss. 10 defensive penalties including at least five!! penalties for the secondary that extended drives and led to the Cowboys’ scoring on a number of occasions.

    • Believelander

      Hyperbole!

      The Browns committed 12 penalties for 129 yards. Many of them were even legitimate penalties. Brandon Weeden’s accuracy was again not great, but he did throw two touchdowns. Good touchdowns. And made a number of good throws to go with the bad (terrible) ones. Maybe this is all Brandon Weeden will ever be. Maybe not. Time will tell. But he didn’t solely lose the game for the Browns. Never mind his effective running game isn’t used on 3rd and 1/2, and couldn’t punch it in in 3 tries from 1st and Goal.

      And Shurmur. 142 penalties on Buster Skrine. But yeah. All Weeden.

  • Kamov
    • Believelander

      Crap, he’s been infected. Get the gun.

      • NeedsFoodBadly

        If he’s not being sarcastic, I am chagrined beyond belief. I’m not a fan of the idea of firing Shurmur midseason – a lot of people who are talk about him “rubbing off” on the players. I thought that was a stupid idea… but if more players start talking about progress and battling and flashes, it may already be too late.

  • Cranky M

    I had to listen to the game on the radio. Listening to it, i got the impression that Weeden played well. I take it that isn’t the case?

    Also, were those pass interference calls legit?

    • bupalos

      He didn’t play horribly, but he definitely didn’t play well. There was a stretch in the 2nd half where he had been trying to throw it to the cowboys 2 or 3 times in a row before finally fumbling, He had another inexplicable wide open, all day to throw 3rd down miss to Josh Cooper. His receivers baled him out on 3 or 4 inaccurate throws in the 1st half, and he never pulled the trigger on anything deep although I blame Shurmur for telling him the ONLY thing he needs to do for the rest of the season is not throw ints.

      • Cranky M

        Shucks. I honestly don’t even think it’s possible to judge him accurately as long as Shurmur is around. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but i get the impression that he would be playing exponentially better with better coaching and playcalling.
        I feel as if we have been close in every game due to talent, and lost every game due to coaching.

      • BIKI024

        yeah but he had a 58.5 QBR, 12th best in the NFL this week!

        • Believelander

          Wait, Total QBR or passer rating? Because as a Weeden fan boy, if the 58.5 is the Total QBR suggesting he had an above average week, I will still staunchly state that it doesn’t mean shit.

          • BIKI024

            Total QBR.. i think his passer rating was 93 something..

            off the top of my head i only remember 2 really bad whiffs, the Cooper overthrow and of course the 4th and Goal one.. speaking of Cooper, he missed that 1st down by a foot in the first quarter! UGH

          • Believelander

            Did you DVR the game? I wanted a closer look at the overthrow to Cooper. I’m getting the Rewind + All 22 pack but I lost my credit card so in the process of getting it replaced right now.

          • BIKI024

            watched at a friend’s but we rewinded it several times, he just clearly missed it, had all day and Coop was wide open. wasted possession.

            in that 1st quarter play to Coop, Weeds may have thrown it a bit to hard and outside, but a veteran with good footwork would’ve known better to do their damndest to get ahead of the marker before stepping out.. another wasted possession there.

            hopefully with experience Weeds and the receiving corps will reduce the amount of wasted possession which should hopefully result in more points. it seems that when healthy, our DLine can be dominant, add a stud LB via draft and a Safety and DB via FA this offseason and we finally have enough bullets in the chamber to compete for 60 minutes and win more than we lose.

          • Believelander

            Agreed. Right now our first down % on pass attempts is in the bottom of the league as well as yards per attempt. If Weeden raises his accuracy by about 5 points and the receivers and he get more on the same page, things could start to look dangerous.

            What I’m LOVING right now is at the beginning of the season:

            “ZOMG WE HAZ NO WIDE RCEVIERZ”

            Now:

            “We really don’t need to draft a wide receiver…”

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

      with the exception of one PI call, i though several of the calls against skrine were borderline. several could have been offensive PI imo.

      hochuli called 21 penalties. 12 on browns, 9 on boys. it’s not a perfect metric but i think when you’ve called over 20 penalties in an nfl game, you’re probably too enthralled with hearing your voice boom in large stadia.

    • Believelander

      The one major PI call on Sheldon Brown was horse shit because the receiver cleared him by grabbing his jersey and shoving him out of the way. The calls were all around awful, but some of the interference was highly unconvincing. The illegal contacts on Skrine were legit, but the PI call on him was on a pretty obviously uncatchable ball (and not uncatchable because of Skrine – uncatchable because the receiver broke back to the ball late and never had a shot in hell of getting to it).

    • Jpftribe

      The only calls I thought were highly suspect were the taunting call on the cowboys and the hit by Ward. Everything else had enough contact to be legit. The cowboys line held on virtually every play of the first half and Skrine could have been called for illegal contact at least three other plays,.

      • BIKI024

        they missed a blatant false start right before the Dez TD as well.. shoulda coulda woulda

        • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

          the demarcus ware offsides leading to a 3rd down sack.

          • BIKI024

            yups. and we def caught a break on the horsecollar on Cribbs at the end.. but we’ve been unlucky for 60 years, don’t mind if a call or 2 go our way for once..

          • Jpftribe

            yeah, ok, there were those as well……

        • Believelander

          This. Oh. My. God. That. Fucking. False. Start. Should. Be. Caught. 100%. Of. The. Time. It was SO OBVIOUS. Line judges catch false starts for guys twitching, the left guard took a full kick step before the ball snapped.

          • BIKI024

            yeah it seems like they may have been a bit flustered with the playclock going down the play before.. which also reminds me that it seems like Romo should’ve had another delay of game as well that they missed.. oy vey

      • bupalos

        That taunting one was interesting. Watching it again I think it might have been entirely verbal. He kind of walked over him and loitered a teensy bit but no big deal…but then he said something that actually made Weeden’s head snap around and that’s when the ref threw the flag pronto. Hard to imagine what it could have been.

    • alexb

      his receivers bailed him the f out on sunday. Some of his throws were eye openingly bad. On the radio you don’t see with your own eyes just how long this cat has to throw. The effort by the o line was amazing on pass protection. He missed simple pass and catch drill type throws. And two of em would have been for first downs already within dawson money range…so “at least” 6 points were lost, possibly more if you consider how well the O was playing in the first half. I think at least a touchdown was missed. That was the game right there, that left the door open for half time adjustments by the cowboys. It makes me sick.

  • Cranky M

    Near the end of the first half, the Browns had to take a timeout because the play clock was running down.
    Jim Donavan said “That’s the first time today they haven’t got the play in in time!”
    He sounded genuinely amazed, elated, and surprised.

    SHURMURBALL!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=517400620 Jason Hahn

      Ahahahaha, priceless.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    i didnt think shurmur sucked yesterday. or weeden. discuss.

    based on the progress the team is showing — i see progress — and the two year investment already spent in training a HC and putting in this offense, i could be ok riding it out a little longer. feels to me like we’re close to turning a corner. i WOULD like to see more Leadership from the coach and better psychic personnel development from the coach and the new CEO.

    • Believelander

      I saw some things I liked from Shurmur yesterday. I’ll grudgingly admit it. As a Mangini shill, I would be hypocritical to deny that the Browns are back to playing hard every week, even if they’re sloppy and the play calling is not good. How much of that is Shurms? Who knows, but his post-game after we won a game made me want to defibrillate myself.

      I can get on the play calling some, but I really don’t feel like it. I just want to be at peace right now. Overall, though, the play calling wasn’t great.

      • Believelander

        For the record, I deleted my above post as I have decided to loathe the Shurms, but Disqus, apparently a Shurmur shill, has reposted it as a Guest post. Pete: feel free to nuke that comment to oblivion

    • bupalos

      Yeah, I agree there have been two games that Shurmur didn’t drive me nuts and this was one. Too bad he seems to have gotten away from the downfield shots though. Weeden was very meh. There were a couple picks in there that he got away with, the overthrow of Cooper on 3rd down at around the 15 was maddening, and if his receivers didn’t suddenly turn into gold he would have had pretty stinky numbers. But he wasn’t horrible. Just generally not good enough to win most of the time.

      • alexb

        yes it was maddening, and you were correct….out of nowhere the browns receivers could all of a sudden snag balls that a couple weeks ago were popping up into the air for INT’s. What in the shit? Weedon would have had one of his worst games yet if it weren’t for the browns receivers waking up.

    • bupalos

      Whoa, I just now noticed you are suggesting not firing pat. I think that’s bonkers. This guy is clearly one of the very few coaches in the NFL that makes a significant difference. Not in a good way, obviously. If it were me he’d be gone yesterday. He could clean up the errors of inexperience and overload, but you’re always going to be fighting his simple innate foolishness and lazy, entitled defensiveness.

      BTW really sorry to dribble in the picks one by one this week, things just got away from me again and again. Oh. And hook me up with SF.

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

        meh, no problem. but we’ve have some double-backup technology that technivore built for us:

        http://bit.ly/T7SSfu

        if you want to submit on that form AND post as normal in the thread, that’d be a good thing so we can test it. there are concerns about security and automation and CHANGE, MAN, IS SCARY.

        as for not firing pat.. yeah i seem to be in a troll-y mood today. dont mind me.

  • Believelander

    Bombshell: Steelers backup Byron Leftwich broke ribs falling down in the end zone. Now that both their out of shape QBs are hurt, initial speculations suggest the Steelers may sign SENECA WALLACE to play the Browns.

    • bupalos

      If memory serves he’s been more effective in his past backup appearances for the stillers than Leftwich. Seems like the guy is a little long in the tooth by now though, how old is he?

      • Believelander

        37. The key to Charlie Batch, Effective Quarterback and Byron Leftwich, Effective Quarterback is the same as the key was to Ben Roethlisberger, Effective Rookie Quarterback – pound the football plus great defense. However, the Steelers’ #1 overall defense may be somewhat held together with smoke, mirrors, and chewing gum, and their offensive line AND running back situation are both by committee.

        Read: their offensive line is by committee. The Six Headed Shit Storm (Six Headed Hydra for the kids – either one flows nicely) of Rubin, Taylor, Sheard, Winn, Hughes, and Rucker have to be licking their ample collective chops wondering how a well-aged Stiller QB tastes.

        Of course, Shurmurball, so you won’t get me to predict with confidence a Browns win. No way Jose.

  • Believelander

    Pat Shurmur on snapping the ball before the 2 minute warning, THIS IS NOT FAKE PAT SHURMUR THIS IS FROM HIS FACE:

    “When you get down there, you never know how long it’s going to take you to score. It may take 5 or 6 plays, so we wanted to get another play in there.”

    IT’S FIRST AND F***ING GOAL. HOW IS IT GOING TO TAKE 5 OR 6 PLAYS?!?!!??!?!?!?

    I’m cancelled me laying off on Pat Shurmur. CANCELLED. This guy needs to GO.

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

      aw.. it sounds adorbz.

      someone should make a shurmur doll.

      • Believelander

        I would cut it in half with a $(*@ing sword.

    • Cranky M

      Even beyond the fact that it was first and goal, the general idea itself is stupid. That comment implies that scoring is based more upon quantity of plays than quality.
      Why bother to call a good play, when any old play will do? We’re almost at the numerical threshold for scoring!!!

  • BIKI024

    Steelers named Charlie Batch the starter against the Clownies, what a great Thanksgiving present for the Browns defense to feast on

    The Defensive Line got nice and healthy just in time for what will most likely be 40+ run plays for the Steelers.

    could this be the first time in 18+ years that the Browns were favored against the Steelers???

    • Believelander

      I hope not. How will Biki ever cover so he can talk to Browns fans about how he won money on their team losing?

      • BIKI024

        nah, i’m expecting everyone to be happy on Sunday, both ML and ATS victories. and then maybe i can win even more money as we have a good shot at 5 wins now, maybe even 6.. #foetheloveofmoney http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63kRUCWstCo

        • Believelander

          Anyway, since I’m a flaming hypocrite, I’ll recommend that RIGHT NOW, if you have a chance to get in on the under for a Cavs win total at this point before the line moves, it might be worth a serious look. Cavs just lost Kyrie Irving for probably a month with a broken finger.

          I’m assuming that they give re-valued bets on over/unders like this this early in the season.

          • BIKI024

            oh no, that’s too bad for KI.. i already am locked in on the Cavs under 32.. but i don’t beleve they set new over/unders for wins.. but man, it will be hard to win a single game with him out.. no clue who’s going to score for us consistently.. maybe this will be good for Waiters’ development..

          • Believelander

            You’re beyond locked in. With Irving out for roughly 20% of our remaining games, I’d say you’re lock stock and two smoking barrels.

          • BIKI024

            we could have the Zeller bros as our 2 headed frontcourt monster!

          • Believelander

            Is his brother supposed to be even better than he is?

          • jim

            Significantly better. Cody is a projected top three pick.

          • Believelander

            Well, it would be exciting to be able to sign another top echelon prospect, but we’d have to get into the lottery and get the third or better pick. We shall see.

          • jim

            Right. I would guess that if Chris Grant was being honest, his plan was to obtain three year’s worth of lottery picks. Kyrie, provided he can stay healthy, looks to be a top 10-15 player in the league. Waiters has shown flashes and the ability to get to the hoop. He just needs to convert now. One more high lottery pick would be great; most likely a forward. On top of that, the Cavs are going to have tens of millions of dollars to improve their bench, plus an additional seven(!) first round picks in the next four drafts. They obviously won’t use all of those picks, but nice trade bait. The Cavs are set up nicely for the future.

          • Believelander

            Since 2 draft picks per season is considered enough, they could try to draft 2 players per season by using all their 1st picks (use higher pick, package lower pick with 2nd rounder(s) for better position) as they did this year. But we know in this league you have to hit a home run in the draft or free agency with a superstar to win a title.

            And I can’t really knock Chris Grant for not bringing up his plan – I don’t think there’s any intent to lose if there’s games to be won, and you can’t exactly plan on lotto picks going your way or being high in the lottery.

          • Jim

            Cavaliers training staff messed up big time. I was at the game Saturday night, and saw him break his finger. You could tell just by the way he was shaking his hand repeatedly. Despite clearly favoring his left hand, the team allowed him to stay on the floor for another four minutes. A few minutes later he was taken to the locker room for x-rays, which were apparently negative, and then let him back in the game. They didn’t even do follow-up x-rays after the game. Hopefully playing last night didn’t exacerbate the issue.

    • zarathustra

      Oh please god, please let the Browns be favored on Sunday. I’ll never ask for anything again and I will sin no more. Just please allow me to take points with the Steelers on Sunday.

      • BIKI024

        my guess is that it will be a pick’em..

  • Jpftribe

    In the hope springs eternal category….

    Good column in the DFW press regarding Jimmy Johnson tearing up Jerry Jones. To paraphrase, Jimmy built his team as a team, balanced on pass, run, defense and special teams. He went on to say that they could have had Aikman throwing 300+ yards every game, but that would have exposed him to more mistakes and kept their defense on the field longer.

    I believe Aikman was 1-15 his rookie season.

    This team is looking a lot like the 49′ers a couple of years ago. Loaded with high draft picks on both lines, QB highly touted that isn’t cutting it and finding ways to lose every week.

    Can there be a Harbaughesque future for these Browns? A couple of big free agent signings this off season? Legit FB, LB, CB? When you think back to the last two drafts, this team was so full of holes, they could have picked at any position and been ok. Now, there are only a handful of really suspect positions.

  • alexb

    wow, jsut got done watching Colin f’ing Kaepernick make deep throws that caught his receivers in perfect stride. Just what the shit. A wildcat backup was slinging throws downfield, some on the run, which Weedon couldn’t make standing untouched in the pocket for 10 seconds. Just what the shit?

    • BIKI024

      he did look pretty good, but he’s in Year 2 in the system, so he may have a better feel for things.. plus it was only one game.. Matt Flynn and Kevin Kolb looked pretty good for a couple games as well.. Weeds has 6 more games, some against some hapless defenses that he should be able to pad his numbers a bit and hopefully continue to build confidence in himself and the powers that be so we don’t have to invest our #1 pick on a QB so we can address some other key deficiencies, mainly LB or the secondary.

      • Believelander

        Shaping up to be the owners of a top 5 selection, if they spend it on one of the incredibly middling, not even as good as prospect as Sam Bradford, QBs coming out of this draft, I will literally quit.

        Now if they want to snag a young, Colin Kaepernick / Brock Osweiller type prospect in the 2-4 round, I’ve got no beef with that. That gives the new regime:

        A) Time to train the youngster
        B) A backup plan if Weeden stinks
        C) A backup plan if Weeden’s good but his body doesn’t hold up
        D) A (hopefully) legitimate 3rd option if Weeden and McCoy both get injured.

        • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

          from this list*, i like nassib, murray, carr to fit the bill of 3rd/4th round qb prospect (we have no 2nd round pick [yet], …josh gordon).

          *pay no mind to their rankings.. im just using it as a list of qb’s who are probably coming out.

          • Believelander

            See and that’s my point. I agree with Mike Holmgren on the philosophy of bringing in a mid to late round QB prospect with all of the tools and coaching him up in your system, and doing so regularly. The Bears-49ers game last night was a stark contrast between the idea of signing a washed out/hard luck starter to be your backup and molding a raw prospect to be your potential QB of the future. Granted it’s one game, and people forget Alex Smith was 18/19 his last full start, but wow. Look out, NFL.

        • BIKI024

          we still have Colt soaking up stuff as well. It’ll be interesting to see if the new regime keeps Colt as well and how he will look in preseason in his 4th year. not saying there should be open competition, etc, but it would be nice to see how much the kid has progressed.

          but yeah, that Mike Glennon kid from NC State looks intriguing as a mid-rounder..

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            agree on glennon. shows flashes.

          • Believelander

            Just remember to subtract 2 inches from Mike Glennon’s listed height to find his ‘real’ height compared to a human being who doesn’t feature that neck.

            E.T. or Xenomorph?

      • alexb

        It’s just the way his ball looked in the air, he could have thrown a couple interceptions and I still would say that he’s a better thrower than Weedon. Yeah I get it the niners have a scheme that’s just amazing, maybe their play action is so good that a qb in SF doesn’t feel the need to put much air under the ball cause the LB’ers are always up at the line trying to stop that sick running game….maybe that’s why weedon’s high and behind on virtually every damn one of his throws. I dunno….but what is beyond discussion is that a couple of those throws absolutely cost us the game. Yeah weedon threw that final TD but ffs watson completely carved the LB’er, if you don’t hit your TE on that route you don’t belong in the NFL period. And that final fade route to the corner, who the shit was he throwing to? Cameron would have had to be 8 ft tall with a 40 vert to haul that one down.

        • Believelander

          Zomg rookie QB isn’t Tom Brady. Stop. The. Presses.

          Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many good and great QBs (like almost every single one ever) sucked their rookie year. But people want to run bro out of town because….I don’t even know why. Because we want Tom Brady and we want Tom Brady RIGHT NOW.

    • Believelander

      Kaepernick: 2nd year player drafted to sit behind Alex Smith and watch and learn the system that John Harbaugh was teaching.
      John Harbaugh: Former pro quarterback who trained Andrew Luck, a QB who came into the NFL with a one in a million ability to see defenses, make reads, go through progressions, look off defenders, call audibles, etc. I know his family groomed him to be a football player (Oliver Luck was president of the World League at one point), but who do you think he learned to be an NFL QB from before he ever stepped onto an NFL field?

      Who do you think Colin Kaepernick learned all that from, when that organization traded up into the 2nd round to acquire the raw talent? Who do you think John Harbaugh (who has completely turned around Alex Smith into not just a game manager, but an efficient QB) was sinking his time and effort into having replace Alex Smith?

      That’s what happens when you have a REAL ‘QB Guru’ engaged with your QB every step of the way.

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

        *cough* what current college head coach has been in the presence of this guru, sharing the experience, absorbing the wisdom, off-and-on, for about 20 years and is but 35 yrs old? *cough* *cough*

        • Believelander

          David Shaw?

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki
          • Believelander

            I didn’t think it was David Shaw. I mean, I suppose? After reading up on David Shaw, I kind of like the idea as a Harbaugh guy who has kept that program moving as a relevant program, is still young (40) has coached in the NFL with multiple franchises as an assistant. The NFL experience is important in my mind, because the NFL is a completely different animal from the college game. Of course, being an NFL head coach is different from being an NFL assistant/coordinator, but nobody can have that experience until they do it, and I think we agree we don’t want another re-tread.

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            meh. i like taggart you know i do, but he runs a vanilla offense. imo, his strength is game and team management. he gets his team thinking team-first, he shows confidence in them under pressure (no fear going for it on 4th downs), he gets the best out of his players.
            as for qb guru, does weeden need a guru or just someone who’s not up in his grill about making a mistake. because even joe montana threw a pick now and then, it’s part of the game and a realistic perspective on this from the HC would be a big help to weeden (as it wouldve been for colt too).
            one thing on shaw that bugs me is that he’s 100% west coast. it’s rare to find a west-coast guy who will move to cleveland and love it and stay. seems less of an issue with taggart.

          • Believelander

            I explained yesterday on my take on Weeden throwing picks. Tell him to go out there and make plays. When he throws a pick, sit him down. “Well we need to eliminate a lot of those, but it’s no big deal. Now here’s what we can learn by taking a look at this interception you threw: you read man-free when in reality they concealed a zone blitz. You need to remember to re-identify post-snap so you could dump this one off to the running back or the tight end that’s going to be coming free up the seam in the soft spot in that zone.”

            Then you practice and practice and practice and drill and drill and drill. Which is what Harbaugh does with Smith/Kaepernick. He has a ritual of standing out on the field with Smith during his warm ups before EVERY San Fransisco offensive drive. Assuming the same thing with the young blood now. He never stops coaching, and imparting everything he can into them to succeed. But while he puts them in a position to not throw picks, he doesn’t TELL them “don’t throw picks” then send them out there with an anchor for a lifesaver.

      • etc

        Well said.

        This makes me so sad. The 49ers look pretty respectable under Harbaugh and our gurus can’t even make hash over here.

        A couple weeks back Hey Tony Grossy was asked what role Hogrum plays now that he’s stepped down. Grossy gave a snarky ass answer and blew the question off. But reporters have seen him on the practice field a number of times now but no one ever said if he’s helping or just killing time. Seems to me it’s a legitimate question. Hogroom is getting paid, can’t he help coach? Maybe it wouldn’t be effective, too many cooks in the kitchen and all that. I dunno. So sad.

        The NY Times gives a good account of Tampa Bay and Freeman’s resurgence under Schiano that is even more depressing. They stuck with Freeman even though he looked pretty bad last year. Eli Manning had a terrible year or three, Rivers, who knows. But every team has stuck with their QB. Why can’t the Browns with Weeden? Is he indecisive because of Shurmie, or is he a moron? He doesn’t look like a moron. Is this a bad system for him, too complex and too much for a rookie?

        Gah. So silly.

        • BIKI024

          Alex Smith is in his 8th NFL season, it seems to me that his experience probably helps as much as anything.

          Freeman is in his 3rd NFL season..

          and of course we all know how inconsistent Eli has been for most of his career, even in his SB year where he only got hot in the last few games of the season.

          so yes, the prudent thing to do is to be patient with Weeden and stick with him. but as Believe suggested, we can draft another project in the middle rounds, and of course we have a certain Mr. McCoy (still only 26) who is soaking up things as well.

          • Believelander

            That’s his point about Weeden, Biki. All these teams stuck with their quarterbacks and it took them multiple seasons to start to pan out. Weeden Fan Club Card Carriers know Weeds doesn’t have 7 seasons to pan out, but you have to give him at least 2.

          • etc

            Yep, or at least one whole season. LaCanfora at cbs went through the predicted coaching changes and tossed Weeden out with Hogrum already. I don’t know my ass from a hole in the ground but I know better than that… I hope.

        • Believelander

          To answer your final question, probably some of all of those things you mentioned. It’s why even when Weeden has a bone headed game, I can just shrug because he hasn’t been put in a situation to succeed. This was the first week of the season there weren’t frequent problems with getting the play called in on time.

          Put him in a position to succeed then let him fail. Then you know.

        • Jpftribe

          Maybe a trade in the works, hogrum for Romo? The walrus is still under contract……

          • etc

            Hogromo!

            Or Hogrolm for Vickers?

      • bupalos

        >>>There’s just no comparison to be drawn.>>>

        I totally agree with all that, I think SF is the deepest and most talented football team in the NFL, and I don’t want to compare Weeden with anyone anyway, that’s always kind of a trap.

        But none of that means you can’t just look at aspects of Weeden’s performances on their own and find little to like and quite a bit to worry about. I mean, there is nothing Shurmur or anyone else is doing wrong when Weeds gets 5 seconds to throw and then airmails it 5 feet over the head of a wide open receiver on 3rd down. No coach or situation is fixing that. I’m fine waiting on a guy like Freeman who shows you something and then slumps. He’s shown you something. But I have to say that if Weeden just went along as he has through the rest of the year, I can’t really see a reason to consider him more than “one of our potential quarterbacks.” What has he shown beyond a physical ability to throw the ball hard? And if you had to wait on this guy like Alex Smith (who probably even now has been a net negative for SF) you’d be waiting him out of the league.

        • dubbythe1

          Weeden (no matter how old he is) is ajusting to the speed of NFL defenses, Our recievers get open but he hesitates because he is used to a bigger window to throw into, this ‘window familiarity’ is also the reason he is baited into some INTs.
          I truly think after this year he will either be crushed from his failures or really begin to realize and react to open recievers. This can happen in any offense and yes, a new HC can tailor a package that allows a slightly improved window, but even in shurmurs fossil of a playbook throwing a pass on time will do wonders for this offense.

        • alexb

          “Weeds gets 5 seconds to throw and then airmails it 5 feet over the head of a wide open receiver on 3rd down”
          ^^^This
          I’m not mad at weedon when he throws interceptions, i know that usually an INT is a combination of the qb and receiver not being on the same page and that’s coaching. But the simple pitch and catch stuff is unacceptable as an NFL qb to miss.

          • Believelander

            True or not true: rookie QBs every year, whether future good or future bad, have missed wide open throws while not under pressure.

        • Believelander

          I worry about plenty. But people are raging and trying to draw conclusions where there’s no conclusion to be drawn.

      • jpftribe

        I went to the 49 ers Giants game at Candlestick this year and kept asking the locals who number 7 was. Harbaugh kept inserting him into the game and pulling Smith on 2nd downs. I assumed it was to run the wildcat, which btw didn’t work well against the giants. Maybe there was some additional motives……

        • Believelander

          Always.

          Jim Harbaugh = Darth Vader
          John Harbaugh = Tarkin (still evil, but just kind of there)

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

      welp.. the pistol isnt the wildcat. and he was playing for the inventor of the pistol at nevada (chris ault). nonetheless, playing for an inventive offense-minded HC for four years is most definitely a positive for qb development.

      • alexb

        Did you watch the game or just armchair a bunch of stats ? If you watched the game you’d see a guy putting the ball in his receivers sweet spots. Did you see how much Kaepernick had to be mobile? The bears rush is one of the best in the NFL, yet the kid was still making throws on the run that landed perfectly in his receivers stride. Weedon can’t make those throws standing in the pocket for 45 seconds. That’s not scheming son, that’s just talent.

        • Believelander

          ‘Weedon can’t make those throws standing in the pocket for 45 seconds.

          Except when he can. Weeden has laid in some perfect passes in tight spots. Inconsistent to be sure. But you act like he can’t do things he can do, give him no credit, and act like he can never fix his mistakes, which is all not true. Maybe the dude is never any good. Actually, there’s a good chance he’ll never be any good. Good chance Kaepernick will suck too. But your decision to be absolutely blindly against Weeden has nothing substantial to stand on. This time next year, if he looks like he looks right now? Well then maybe he’s not going to be good. Still don’t know for sure, but you’re at a point where you tried, and it’s maybe time to look at something younger. Trying to crucify the rookie right now continues to be outright absurd.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    CHEDDAR LINE TONITE: Toledo -19 vs Akron

  • Believelander

    Good ol’ Josh Cribbs. Mouthing off or not, he provided the finest piece of analysis for this year’s Browns: a team that ‘almost always almost wins.’.

  • mo_by_dick

    The Toronto Blue Jays just re-hired a Manager who was fired by their former GM after the 2008 season. Just sayin’.

    • BIKI024

      not the first time they have done that.. but a rarity in the NFL, i think closest example is Gunther Cunningham with KC being DC, then HC, then fired, and then coming back as DC..

      • Believelander

        That’s not…precisely the same thing. I’m with you on Mangini in the sense that there’s a 0.000000000001% chance of him coaching the Browns.

        • alexb

          do we want mangini coming back and upending our defense? I’m sold on the hybrid 3-4′s like what pgh and SF run, but right now we’ve build a d-line that has “serious” elite level potential. If we went bak to a 3-4 some of those guys would have to go and it would be a damn shame. I wouldn’t mind the browns picking up one of those hybrid Sam backs so that in some cases we could give teams the 3-4 look, but if our ends play like they are now why take one of em out on a regular basis? I haven’t watched a Seattle game yet but I read they run that kin of a defense where on some downs it looks like a prototype 4-3 and others the hybrid 3-4′s. I dunno….just don’t want someone to come in and completely rebuild the defense, unless we’re talking about the secondary of course.

          • Believelander

            No, I don’t want Mangini coming back in and upending our defense. The current point in our franchise is the wrong time for a philosophical change. In 3-4 seasons with a plethora and variety of talent, it’s much easier for a franchise to sustain that sort of thing without shocking their growth.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    I certainly hope that I do not offend The Executive Committee and I am intending all due respect to all involved parties, but….

    May I please have:

    Toledo -19 tonight for my first Cheddar pick?

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

      bam.

  • BIKI024

    CHEDDAR BAY MACTION!

    ZIPPY +19 – Dalton Williams goes out with a bang and beats up the 120th ranked passing defense in the country. Toledo’s beast RB is a bit banged up too. While I don’t expect the game to be close, I’m praying for the passhappy Zips backdoor coverin’ as they extend to 5-1 ATS on the road.

    GO ZIPS!

    • Believelander

      Usually my Zips are for front door coverin.

  • FSOhioZjackson

    Cheddar point on Toledo, please

  • Believelander

    Kind of crazy how all of the Mangini era Browns, players and coaches – in a football business where these hirings and firings aren’t a personal thing – seem to take it really personally. Hearing Lawrence Vickers say it was personal between him and the Browns make me think back and really believe that Mangini may have been putting together something really special.

  • Trampled Under Nietzsche

    So does this mean Jason Garrett might soon be available???

    • Believelander

      He seems to like running the football. This is curious, this thing you say. Garrett is the pride of Shaker Heights, too.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    week 13 lines are posted. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11485578/ched_wk13.pdf

    there are several pro games without lines:
    browns/steelers
    vikes/bears
    niners/saints
    panthers/eagles

    keep an eye on the standings box where the cheddar book will post these lines as they become available.

    • Believelander

      Somehow it doesn’t surprise me that there’s no Browns/Steelers line. I wouldn’t bet that game with a 40 foot pole. That said, you should really make it the Total Chaos All-Play this week.

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

        oh i think we can rely on the exec committee to select the correct all-play this week.

        • Believelander

          OSU -3.5? Come on

          If OSU doesn’t beat that line I’d be embarrassed.

          This Browns/Steelers match up has got to be one of the least predictable and least handicappable late-season football games in recent memory. At least since the Bears/49ers game 2 days ago.

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