Great Moments in Cleveland Browns History: “There was blood. Thick, rich, red-white-and-blue Patriot blood.”

by Cleveland Frowns on December 18, 2012

I’d been saving this for a rainy day and here we are, at least metaphorically speaking, so enjoy this gem from a few weeks back by Jonathan Knight at The Cleveland Fan, who took a look back at “the Browns’ finest performance of the expansion era … a victory over the best team they’d faced in more than 40 years.” That’s the Eric Mangini coached Browns’ 2010 drubbing of the New England Patriots in Colt McCoy’s third game as an injury-forced third round rookie starter. It was the precise opposite of Shurmurball and it was glorious.

As is Knight’s piece at TCF, which only has two significant factual inaccuracies in it which, for articles about Mangini’s Browns qualifies the writer for a Pulitzer, but nevertheless should be addressed:

Error #1. Knight says:

“By Week 9 of 2010, the Browns had already done a nice job of firmly establishing themselves as absolutely nothing for any opponent to worry about. They stood at 2-5 coming out of their bye week and loomed as anything but a threat to the Patriots, who strutted into town with a 6-1 mark  and had easily dispatched the Browns the previous four times they’d played since becoming the NFL’s elite franchise a decade earlier.”

But the truth is that by Week 9, the Browns were just coming off a 30-17 beating of of Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in the Super Dome where they got out to a 20-3 halftime lead and never let the Saints within 10 points. By Week 9, what the Browns had actually established themselves as was a team that, despite a D-grade roster and a rotating carousel of quarterbacks that wouldn’t crack a starting lineup in the Arena League, would nevertheless have routinely beaten other playoff teams (Chiefs, Ravens, Falcons) and 10-win teams (Bucs) if only Jake Delhomme and Peyton Hillis could have avoided making multiple red zone turnovers per game.

Error #2. Knight says:

“New England['s] offense [was] continually stymied by a suddenly resurgent Cleveland defense – using quirky alignments dreamed up by long-haired wild man Rob Ryan.”

Nobody doesn’t love Rob Ryan but there’s no basis to assume that Mangini didn’t have a significant hand in dreaming up these alignments, if he didn’t dream them up entirely himself.

Anyway, as much as it’s hard to say that Mike Holmgren wouldn’t have brought us Shurmurball even if that D-grade 2010 roster hadn’t been irretrievably ravaged by injury two weeks later, it’s still some look back.

—————

In other news, here’s Tony Grossi saying that Nick Saban wouldn’t come to Cleveland for $100 million dollars, and just a note that the comment thread to last week’s post comparing Brandon Weeden’s 2012 stats to Colt McCoy’s 2011 stats through 13 games is as live as ever. Who is Anne Dunn?

Alright, back tomorrow hopefully with X’s and O’s.

  • Wiseoldredbeard

    What about David Shaw? And, no, that isn’t the answer to “Who is Anne Dunn?” I stil l haven’t figured that one out…

    • nj0

      Wikipedia tells me that Superfan is arguing with the daughter of Canadian steel magnate Sir James Dunn.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_PCO2kuvVpU PML
      • Believelander

        Your profile pics never cease to amaze.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1kbBmlAvdI PML

          Thank you – this one I recycled from a few years ago. I’m hoping people check out my website, though.

    • AlvaroEspinoza10

      Anne Dunn = Brad McCoy

      • Wiseoldredbeard

        That’s was my running theory, until she denied it. Then I realized she was Colt.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          At least I have the courage to use my own name. I asked you guys who hide behind fake names who you are and got no answers at all. So I guess you are Brandon and his relatives like his wife and mother.

          I think the real problem is you guys are hung up on Weeden, but can’t find anything objective or measurable in the way of performance that says he is anything but the worst starting QB in the league and not even as good as many back ups.

          • BIKI024

            my name is Biki, and i’m a degenerate Clowns fan.

            i don’t know if Weeds is the answer, but i also appreciate the history of the game and historically it is very rare to predict future success based off first 14 starts, it’s just a fact that MANY qb’s have grossly outperformed their first 14 starts when given time to adjust to NFL.

            has the coaching curbed his growth? maybe, maybe not. but the real question is, what options do we have? fortunately we aren’t heavily invested in Weeds financially, so it could be an easy break for our new President to make should they choose to go that route. but what are we left with? Colt? going after a FA, or going with a rookie again? this is why they get paid the big bucks. but as someone that has heard time after time after time after time that Eli “didn’t have it” based on QBR, profootballfocus, etc to then see him win 2 SB’s to then not “having it” again, i’m not sold on all the stats. i’m more sold on continuity and giving the guy time to develop. of course just like Banner says, you need to make the right choice and then give him a leash. but it seems to me Weeds failures may have more to do with Shurmur, Whip and Chilly than his raw talent, which a lot of smart people in the league feel he has.

          • Believelander

            Some of his failures have to do with him. And he is responsible for moving past those failures. But I still find it kinda funny that anyone wants to hammer on Weeden’s performance when it’s been documented to death that he plays in the worst offensive system in football.

          • Believelander

            Dude, Biki, check out this Kabalarian anaylsis of your name. Creepy. Although I’m not sure you suffer from any sort of nervous or pooping disorder.

          • Believelander

            The equally real problem, Ms. Dunn, is that you’re just as hung up on Weeden from the predisposed place you’re in where he’s a bust after less than a single season. The reason I generally side from the Weeden supporters is that, while quite a few of them may say they think he’s going to be good, most of the Weeden haters seem to claim they KNOW he’s never going to be good. While this is an easy stance to take (most QBs drafted are busts), it’s patently ridiculous to assert (or constantly insinuate) that he’s already a bust.

            As far as objective, measurable performance related things that say he is anything but the worst starting quarterback in the league, the fact that there are other starting quarterbacks who are worse is a good place to start. The three-headed hydra of Skelton/Kolb/Lindley and the two-headed hydra of Quinn/Cassel appreciate your compliment, however. As does Mark Sanchize.

            As for who I am, I’m Hans Flaatrud Jr. Nobody’s ‘hiding’ behind a fake name (except Biki, of course). Handles and avatars are common internet culture.

        • Believelander

          She’s a LADY, not a MAN. She’s obv. Rachel McCoy.

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            THAT is an interesting theory.
            colt’s wife _was_ a reporter. the written word _should _ be her friend as they are for anne dunn.

          • Believelander

            Wait ‘was’? Did she die or something?

    • Beeej

      Ask John Galt. He knows.

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

        John Galt auto-delete engaged.

        • Beeej

          No worries. The movie was horrendous. The book wasn’t bad…from an entertainment perspective. After I finished it, I chased it with the “Communist Manifesto,” to get the Faux-taste out of my brain. Both books had their points, but neither managed to take human nature into account of their “utopias.”

  • BIKI024

    Best team they faced in 40 years??? good grief

    • nj0

      Yeah, considering the Steelers were the AFC champions that year and we, you know, played that team twice.

      • BIKI024

        steelers? i believe he was talking about the win against the Patriots buddy

        • nj0

          I’m saying that if the Pats were the best team we’ve faced then they were probably SB champs that year, right? But they weren’t. They didn’t even win the AFC. The Steelers did. Thus the Steelers were better and since we played those guys twice, that makes the Pats maybe the third best team we played that year which is far from the best in 40 years.

          • BIKI024

            gotcha. agreed. i mean heck, the Pats lost to the freakin J-E-T-S that year for pete’s sake, TWICE!

            although they did go 14-3 on the season, with 7 pro bowler, and scored a ton of points that year, so they weren’t too shabby.

          • Steve

            Most talented team?

            The Patriots did go 14-3 that year (which, after quickly glancing seems to be the highest win pct in the league that year), to the Steelers 14-5, and in the only matchup between the two teams, the Patriots won by 12.

          • nj0

            Best team they’ve faced in over 40 years?

            Burden of proof isn’t on me.

          • Steve

            We agree that the hyperbole machine is in full force, and of course the burden of proof isn’t on you, I haven’t suggested otherwise. But you will be hard pressed to find more talented teams.

          • bupalos

            One could also suggest that Romeo’s win against the Giants who were in the middle of like an 18 game stretch where they only lost 1 game (that one) deserves mention.

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

      Tomayto, tomahto. The point is they whooped a team that finished 14-3 with 7 Pro Bowlers.

      • BIKI024

        yep, great win. it happens, it’s the NFL, any team can win on any given Sunday. wasn’t the first time a great team lost to a far inferior one on paper, won’t be the last. but if you want to crown em, go right ahead. but we were who we thought we were, the oldest team in the NFL.

      • Believelander

        That team was really good, but not even close to the best team we’ve faced in 40 years. Not even the best team we faced in 10 years. But our roster was definitely the worst roster we’d had since 2009, which was the worst roster we’d had since 1999-2000. So, Manginius!

    • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

      Unfortunately, we’ve made a lot of teams LOOK LIKE the best team we’ve ever faced. At least this year (and during Mangini’s time – Frowns, I know you’d be pointing that out within .5 seconds of me posting), we generally made a game of the contest just about every week. Really, the second half last week and the second half against the Giants were the only times the Browns flat got dominated.
      I’m going to take a step back, take a deep breath, and realize that I at least got partially what I asked for before the season began – namely, a team that was more watchable and scored more points. (Yes, a lot of the coaching moves were unwatchable, but the talent is finally getting back to NFL-caliber at most positions). Now we hopefully bring in better coaches and continue to improve.
      Although, I’m looking askance at the Banner-Lombardi-McDaniels trio, especially the middle name in that group.

  • Randy

    Doesn’t losing to the Browns automatically disqualify a team from any “best ever” distinction, especially over a 40 year period?

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

      Not Mangini’s Browns.

      • bossman09

        You would think that given Mangini’s magical capabilities, he would have been able to beat more teams in 32 games. Granted, he had a couple of notable wins – 2 really. but the browns regularly underperformed and yet you give him a pass. it’s not a sound argument to say that he lost 22 games because of a lack of talent but he won 10 because he was fantastically brilliant. It just doesn’t add up. it really doesn’t.

        • alexb

          He was here for 2 years, we were absolutely building something under him. That’s why i’m ok with giving Shurm 1 more year cause 2 isn’t enough and we have shown some progress. The talent that’s been brought in you have to give Shurm some credit for. I hate tearing everything up every two years. You can’t build a franchise that way.

  • alexb

    Forgot Hillis ran for 184 against them, fuck i miss that guy. Can we please bring him back so that he and Trent can utterly defecate on the AFC North for the foreseeable future? Can we tell JT to shut it and be happy with his contract without begrudging other guys their dues? And can we also bring in a power FB again that steamrolls ahead for Trent and Peyton? Are all those things too dang much to ask? Gah!! In any case we need to bring in a power donwhill back, not just to sub for Trent but to actually start games…..freaking sit Trent for a number of games a year so that he runs harder when he does play and we have him healthy for a playoff run. And keep Montario as the change of pace back, give him 5-10 carries every game and give the starter 20-25, no more than that. We would have a running game that defense’s have no choice but to stack for and that opens up our passing game. Hell keep Weedon in that case cause he does throw the long ball real well.

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

      It’s funny how many different scrubs ended up running for almost 200-yards or more for Mangini’s Browns … what if he ever had a quarterback … or more than half an offensive line … or a WR …
      I think that’s a more important idea than the one that Hillis was really anything special.

      • alexb

        Hillis did have Vickers running infront of him too, but FB’s are unimportant right? lols No Hillis had something here with our style of running, he’s perfect for the AFC North. He doesn’t fit with the way KC blocks, they’re built around Charles. Here in the North you need a back that gets the ball and accelerates “immediately”. All you need out of your workhorse back is 3-4 yd average with the occasional break out into the 2nd level that is inevitable when you grind teams down with a power running game. No I’d gladly take him back to spell Trent a couple games throughout the season.

    • bossman09

      ‘Cause hillis is lighting the NFL on fire in KC.

      • alexb

        no he’s not, that team is built around Jamaal Charles…completely different runner. That and they’ve given him the ball a grand total of 65 times this whole season. That’s like two games for Trent. Think the lack of touches has something to do with it? Cause when I’ve watched KC games and he comes in, he’s still running the same way he was when he was here..he hasn’t lost anything. I don’t want him to come back and start over Trent, but I do want him to start at least 30% of the season. Trent will never willingly sit and one of these years we are going to make it to the playoffs and Trent will be run down from carrying the ball 30 times a game for 16 games. And as much as I like Montario he is “NOT” an every down back in the NFL.

        • BIKI024

          no way is Hillis ever welcomed back in Cleveland by the fans and especially by the locker room, as long as Joe Thomas is around.

  • BIKI024
  • nj0

    Banner-Lombardi-McDaniels?

    Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

    -Mark 4:25

    • BIKI024

      I’d be all for bringing McDaniels here, as long as he keeps his hands off the draft. but the dude can definitely coach, he’s got coaching 2 of the most prolific offenses in NFL history on his resume. come back home to NEO Joshy Mac!

      • Believelander

        You’re like a reverse sociopath. Instead of not loving anything, you inexplicably love the most unlovable things, like Josh McDaniels.

        • BIKI024

          i have a personal connection to him, so please forgive me if i’m rooting for the guy. the dude can definitely coach offense, i think that’s well established. can he wear two hats of HC and GM like he tried to do in Denver? no, and it doesn’t seem many coaches have the bandwidth to do so. (see Eric Mangini’s 2009 offseason moves)

          • Believelander

            Reverse sociopath + adept socialite. Crazay.

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

      Is that for real a bible verse?

      • Steve

        Yes, but the context isn’t remotely comparable.

        • nj0

          Yes it is and no it isn’t.

          Context removed, I think it’s the single verse in the Bible that is representative of the world I live in.

      • bupalos

        Yes of course. But the context is on making use of your god-given skills. To rewrite it in frownsian terms: If thou art like unto Mangini, thou shall have all the points and more will be given: If thou art like *anyone else* thou shalt have no points and thy offense even shall produce safeties.

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

          I still don’t get it.

  • p_forever

    it’s disappointing when otherwise well-written pieces end with real clunkers like this: “But just like Neil Armstrong, once the Browns walked on the moon, they never went back.”

    i think nick saban would do pretty much anything for $100 million dollars, and also that he would love to add to his already thick biography that he turned around the hapless browns (of course he thinks we’re hapless) and brought a championship to cleveland etc etc etc. i also i think he’d actually suck at the job, and he would be a dick while doing so, so i’m hoping he doesn’t get it.

    • Steve

      “of course he thinks we’re hapless”

      Why wouldn’t he? We are, and even more so if we hire Lombardi.

      • p_forever

        yeah, but saban has to think we’re super uber hapless – the most hapless team ever, so that it’s an even bigger feat when he makes us great again.
        frownie might think we’re the most hapless team ever, but i’m not quite there. maybe he missed last night’s game. J-E-T-S yikes yikes yikes.

        • Steve

          And this Browns team let a pretty awful Bills sleepwalk the entire second half if we’re going to hold teams to their worst game. I think you have to look at more than this year, and I have to agree that “super uber hapless”. Maybe there has been a tick up recently, but we had that under Mangini as well, and we still managed to quickly revert that back to super uber hapless.

  • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

    Food for thought also, while we’re reminiscing about what was, and considering what might have been: what if Haden doesn’t pull an all-nighter in Vegas? His presence, I think, might have added one win out of the four he missed. What if he had actually brought two wins? Then last weeks game would have brought us to 7-7 on the season if everything else played out the same. How would that have felt? Sigh.

  • Deputy Glitters

    So, what does this Alex Scheiner move mean?

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

      It means that Jimmy Haslam loves the Dallas Cowboys kind of “success” …

      • atdietz80

        Winning at business. *Note: Winning football games are a nice bonus, but not required.

        • alexb

          exactly, but they pull off an 8-8 season and they’re gonna sit back and expect us to fellate them. You raise some cash and bring in some free agents that couldn’t really give a crap about playing in Cleveland and you might make a .500 season, but they won’t go any higher than that. That’s Dallas’s problem, they don’t have a whole lot of players that give a crap about being Dallas Cowboys. This is why I like Trent, he’s come here and said I’m a f’ing cleveland brown and i’ll put the team on my back if necessary. Kid is already the lockerroom leader, hey if a whole bunch of statistics can help you find guys like that so be it, but I doubt it. The dynasties are built by guys that take pride in playing for their team and city.

      • Believelander

        Dallas Cowboys success: fire Jimmie Johnson. Bonus: fire Bill Parcells.

    • atdietz80

      Another layer to the front office. Joe Banner is collecting “yes men” to his power base. The team will hire a “weak” GM and a first time coach.

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

      Here’s all you need to know about the kind of “success” that Haslam and Banner care about … http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/2012/11/browns-effed-in-big-d/

      • Bryan

        The Sports Guy tweeted the following about Scheiner today:

        “So happy for Alec Scheiner – a Sloan Conference staple and one of the smartest people I’ve met in sports. Just as happy for Browns fans.”

        While Sports Guy can be annoying, he typically doesn’t suffer fools in the front office. My take is that Scheiner is part of the young, more data-drive front office movement. Seems like a great hire.

        http://www.sloansportsconference.com/?p=88

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

          I want to believe this, but you’re talking about the same Bill Simmons who treats Mike Lombardi like he’s Vince. Also, Bill Simmons. Anyway, if Schiener’s been to the Sloan conference he’s probably met Mangini in which case we have the only litmus test we need. Fingers crossed.

          • Bryan

            Agree about Simmons and Lombardi. It is weird how much Simmons likes him. But the fact that Schiener attends the Sloan Conference at least means he is operating at a level above the Shurmurs and Holmgrens of the world – i.e. he is analytical and wants to learn.

    • jpftribe

      It means Fed Nance is out, which IMHO is a good thing.

      • jpftribe

        LOL, Freudian slip. Fred Nance.

    • alexb

      he’s an ivy league doosh who comes replete with binders full of multiple regressions and bell curve statistics. SHoot me.

  • atdietz80

    Who is John Galt?

  • AlvaroEspinoza10

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Browns/comments/151915/did_weeden_call_the_play_on_the_benjamin_td/

    somewhat interesting on the surface. would be more interesting to know if that route to benjamin was called at any other time in the game, by shurmdress.

    man, weeden has looked awful recently. but i can’t give up on him completely, based completely on shurmur’s awfulness. grossi’s article had an interesting stat links to bradford, mccoy, and weeden as qb’s in shurmur’s system– all having similar numbers numbers. he did not include qbr, but i looked, just for you frowns: bradford had a 41.5 in 2010 (#26 in nfl). mccoy had 40.1 in 2011 (#25). weeden is of course at 26.1, good for #35.

    i dont care what the browns do at QB as long as we stop wasting 1st round picks on them. sign a legit FA, or keep weeden in there and keep drafting low round projects. call me crazy but i cant look at any loss this year (aside from week 1 maybe) and put the blame square on weeden. lets try to be good despite our QB, seems the only possible scenario for the new browns

    • jpftribe

      That is an interesting link. Weeden has looked awful this year and is not progressing. Shurmurball has definitely clouded the picture.

      The Washington game I think is a real tell. Fourth round rookie QB looks better than our No 1 who has played all year. As bad as Weeden was, Cousins did his job and we were thoroughly outschemed by the coaching staff. Even Martz was calling for more rollouts and bootlegs and shurmurball just doesn’t allow for it.

    • bossman09

      Weeden is getting worse really. Weeks 2-6 he looked promising with a low 90s rating 60%+ comp and some good passes. Ever since the second Baltimore game, it’s been a slow slide into the “captain checkdown” role. Every game he looks more and more like McCoy did last year.

  • bossman09

    I can’t stand Rob Ryan and I really don’t understand why some people love him. He did a great job of taking low average talent and producing low average results. He did it with the browns and he’s doing it at dallas. Except of course, that he has more talent in Dallas and is still producing mixed and inconsistent results. The best comment from last weeks Dallas games – (paraphrase) “A few well timed defensive curveballs proved critical to the Dallas game plan. Unfortunately, Rob Ryan usually can’t stop himself and ends up confusing his squad more than his opponent”. He’s a gambler with an uncontrollable addiction. What I really find interesting is Frowns unmasked mockery of our current “think less, play faster” defense which has consistently outperformed Rob Ryan’s. Compare 2009-2010 to 2011-2012.

    If today’s defense is “think less, play faster” then Ryans wasn “think more, play slower”.

  • Believelander

    In an entirely non Dan Gilbert/LeBron James related linking, I was curious if the Cleveland Frowns legal community could provide some clarity as to how bad this Miami Heat minority owner getting a court injunction against people blogging about his unsafe property ownership practices is.

    With my obvious anti-rich bias and lack of legal knowledge, I’m very curious to know if this seems as much like corrupt elbow-rubbing atop the trampled First Amendment to you guys as it does to me? And to tie this in, how does it affect chances that other rich guys like, say, Dan Gilbert, might go after bloggers that they find contentious, like, say, Cleveland Frowns? Worrisome. Very worrisome.

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