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steelymcmatt
04-06-2008, 05:55 PM
http://www.ohio.com/sports/browns/17325079.html?page=4&c=y

Pat's Beside the Point
Browns not there yet

By Patrick McManamon
Beacon Journal sports columnist

POSTED: 06:45 p.m. EDT, Apr 05, 2008

PALM BEACH, FLA.:Have the Browns finally ''arrived''?

Does a 10-win season give them the right to think in terms of a team that belongs, that does not have to scramble and claw just to be competitive?

After all, the Browns have spent much of the time since 1999 building and rebuilding.

A 10-win season might give the Browns a feeling they can fill in parts as opposed to build a whole.

It might give the team its sea legs, so to speak.

Except it doesn't.

At least that's what the main folks responsible for building and maintaining the team say.

The Browns continue to be a team not quite yet there, they said.

''I think we're still a team in transition,'' Browns coach Romeo Crennel said. ''We haven't arrived by any stretch of the imagination.''

Because?

''Because I think that we really scrambled, fought and clawed to a bunch of those wins,'' Browns owner Randy Lerner said. ''And that's not exactly the most comforting way to get ahead in this business and it has not left me with any sense that I can 'kick back' a little.

''It's nice to win 10 games. That's a very, very nice feeling. But I think that we have got to continue to get better and get more confident.''

General Manager Phil Savage said he thinks the playing field might have leveled, but he's not any more secure this year than he was a year ago.

''I was telling someone the other day, this time a year ago we didn't have Brady Quinn, no one knew who Derek Anderson was, we didn't have Joe Thomas. Yet I still feel the same way,'' Savage said. ''You always have some uneasiness about it. It's a new season. New variables. Different schedule. Different expectations.''

When will the Browns feel they have ''arrived''?

''If we can win the division, if we can get to the playoffs, then I might have some stability,'' Crennel said.

Division talk

If the Browns are to believe their rivals in the AFC North, they should feel pretty good about themselves.

Then again, get to the bottom of things and they were merely damned with faint praise.

Ed Bouchette, the esteemed and distinguished reporter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, interrupted Crennel's breakfast with the media to say that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin had dubbed the Browns the team to beat in the North.

''Of course that's what Mike would say,'' Crennel said. ''I don't begrudge him saying that. If I were in his position, I would say that also.''

Turns out Tomlin was just having some fun.

''Since you guys back us into a corner and I've got to pick a division favorite, I'll pick Cleveland,'' he said.

New Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh picked the Browns when he saw a Cleveland reporter asking the question.

Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis had positive things to say about the Browns' moves, but Tomlin put things in perspective.

''It will be determined inside white lines on football fields this fall and winter,'' he said. ''I find some of this stuff comical. Truth be known, I'm not into prognosticating who the favorite is.

''I could care less.''

Crennel on bottom line

Crennel was at his straightforward, bottom-line best during his breakfast.

Consider his response when asked what it meant to receive a contract extension.

''It means that I've got to win this year,'' he said.

Which, of course, is no different from last year.

''That's exactly right,'' he said.

The question was posed another way: Doesn't it give you a little more feeling of stability?

''Not really,'' he said.

Because?

''Because it's the same as it was in 2005,'' he said. ''I've got to win. I've got a contract extension, but I still have to win, and if you don't win, they can still fire you. We don't want to get fired, so let's win. It's as simple as that really.''

The dismissal of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham also was brought up. Crennel was asked about stories that Grantham was undermining Crennel's authority.

His response: ''After the season, we decided to make a change, and I made the change. So we're moving on.''

Is that all you're going to say, he was asked?

''Yep.''

How long, how long?

Crennel is now signed through the 2011 season.

If he coaches through the end of the contract, he would be 63.

How long does he want to coach?

''Until we can get to a Super Bowl,'' he said. ''Let's go to a Super Bowl and see, and at that time we can re-evaluate.''

Was he saying he would retire if he reached a Super Bowl? ''I said we'd re-evaluate,'' he said.

Trade talk

Detroit Lions coach Rod Marinelli said the Browns had their offer of Leigh Bodden and a third-round draft pick for defensive lineman Shaun Rogers on the table for a long time.

To hear Marinelli, the Browns acquired a future superstar.

''He probably had a career year for us,'' Marinelli said before going on to rave about Rogers' play in 2007.

Marinelli then was asked about Rogers' reputation for being inconsistent and struggling with his weight.

''I'm just going to say that he was a very good player for us,'' Marinelli said.

The Browns apparently got another superstar when they acquired defensive lineman Corey Williams from the Green Bay Packers.

''You've got a very talented football player,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. ''I really like the way Corey works. Practiced every day. Didn't get injured. He was very productive for us.''

The obvious question: Why trade them if they're so good?

In Williams' case, the Packers had invested a lot of money in the defensive line and did not want to give Williams the big deal he wanted. A trade for a second-round pick made sense ? for both teams.

In Rogers' case, Marinelli was taking the high road, not kicking a guy on the way out. Rogers had his issues in Detroit ? among them inconsistency and weight.

As for Bodden, a cornerback, Marinelli said: ''He is talented now. He is really talented. And it's something we really needed, too.''

No ordinary Joe

Tomlin was asked if there was a player who got away last year he would like to have.

''I'll take the left tackle in Cleveland,'' he said, referring to the Browns' Joe Thomas.

Tomlin also mentioned Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

Brownies . . .

? Brandon McDonald and Daven Holly will get the first chance to compete to replace Bodden at cornerback. Crennel said whomever does not start would be the nickel back.

? Center LeCharles Bentley continues to work out in Phoenix, but the Browns have signed two veteran free-agent offensive linemen, Rex Hadnot and Seth McKinney. Their presence seems to indicate the Browns are not expecting Bentley to return.

? Ryan Tucker will remain at guard and will open training camp as the starter.

? Crennel refused to second-guess the decision to throw the ball so much on a windy day in Cincinnati in the 15th game of the season. ''How we got to where we were, we got there by throwing the ball ? basically,'' he said.

? The Bengals are taking a hard line with wide receiver Chad Johnson, who has threatened not to play for them if he's not traded. Lewis said he would welcome Johnson back, and he added Johnson is signed through 2011.

? What is Johnson's beef? ''Every time somebody gets a new contract, you're not the highest paid,'' Lewis said. ''He himself has to figure out what it's about. I don't sit around trying to figure it out. He has a contract (through 2010, and the Bengals hold an option on 2011), as we know, for a long time. He is being paid a lot of money.''

? Vikings coach Brad Childress said they talked about making an offer to Anderson had he become a restricted free agent. They didn't. ''When you give some draft picks up to somebody, you just want to feel like you're jumping in and are elated about what you're doing,'' Childress said.

? Tomlin sounded relieved he did not have to face the ''hair issue'' with Troy Polamalu. The Kansas City Chiefs proposed hair not be allowed outside the helmet. The issue was tabled after it garnered much negative attention, and after the players union objected. Polamalu was one of the first to wear his flowing locks outside his helmet, and Tomlin didn't know if he could have tucked it inside ? which the proposal required. ''He probably hasn't had a haircut in five years,'' Tomlin said.

? The league asked for a show of hands to see how many supported the idea of re-seeding playoff teams, and few were raised. The notion, to many, seems to devalue a division title and division rivalries. The Competition Committee might recommend the division winner with the worst record and the two wild-card teams be seeded four-five-six, but that might not pass.

Edman
04-06-2008, 06:05 PM
The NFL should adopt an 8-team playoff like in the NBA and NHL. No Bye Weeks for the top seeds.

Either that or keep it the way it is.

millwalldavey
04-06-2008, 06:08 PM
Top 8 OVERALL regardless of confrence!

Galax Steeler
04-07-2008, 08:56 AM
Did I read that right where they shot down the hair rule.

TackleMeBen
04-07-2008, 09:07 AM
Did I read that right where they shot down the hair rule.
it will be back on the table at the next meeting. they wanted to get the players input before deciding.

Counselor
04-07-2008, 10:10 AM
it will be back on the table at the next meeting. they wanted to get the players input before deciding.

As I understand it, they tabled it, but its doubtful it will actually even be brought up at the next meeting, because so many teams/players were against it. And there were a lot of religious/cultural implications as well---which are always best left untouched.

CB1977
04-07-2008, 12:33 PM
The Browns continue to be a team not quite yet there, they said.
''I think we're still a team in transition,'' Browns coach Romeo Crennel said. ''We haven't arrived by any stretch of the imagination.''
Because?
''Because I think that we really scrambled, fought and clawed to a bunch of those wins,'' Browns owner Randy Lerner said. ''And that's not exactly the most comforting way to get ahead in this business and it has not left me with any sense that I can 'kick back' a little.


As a Browns fan, I have to agree with the above. There's nothing more I'd like to see than the Brownies winning their division and a super bowl but I don't think it's gonna happen this year...

I think we're going to have a good record this year but, unfortunately, it won't be enough. I love my Browns and I think we've come a long way but, we're not quite there yet.

Good article! Thanks for sharing.

TackleMeBen
04-07-2008, 03:46 PM
As I understand it, they tabled it, but its doubtful it will actually even be brought up at the next meeting, because so many teams/players were against it. And there were a lot of religious/cultural implications as well---which are always best left untouched.
exactly. you dont want to get into the religious and cultural situation of the matter. and i personally dont see it as a big deal if you cant read the name of the back of the jersey.. look up their number and find out who it is on the roster:wink02:

millwalldavey
04-07-2008, 03:57 PM
I always liked the days of no names on the backs of the jerseys anyway!

19ward86
04-07-2008, 04:56 PM
Of course Cory Williams is a SUPERSTAR and not just a good player...I just think those types of things are funny.

MasterOfPuppets
04-07-2008, 05:23 PM
The Browns continue to be a team not quite yet there, they said.
''I think we're still a team in transition,'' Browns coach Romeo Crennel said. ''We haven't arrived by any stretch of the imagination.''
Because?
''Because I think that we really scrambled, fought and clawed to a bunch of those wins,'' Browns owner Randy Lerner said. ''And that's not exactly the most comforting way to get ahead in this business and it has not left me with any sense that I can 'kick back' a little.


As a Browns fan, I have to agree with the above. There's nothing more I'd like to see than the Brownies winning their division and a super bowl but I don't think it's gonna happen this year...

I think we're going to have a good record this year but, unfortunately, it won't be enough. I love my Browns and I think we've come a long way but, we're not quite there yet.

Good article! Thanks for sharing.:offtopic: .......can't you see this discussion is about the hair rule ???

TackleMeBen
04-07-2008, 07:04 PM
i am telling you. if the browns get their defense working, they will be a team to watch out for. they are already good on offense.

lilyoder6
04-07-2008, 08:22 PM
thats what i'm saying they have the peices on off.. it's just that they really don't have a def except 4 a player or two and they have no secondary w/ them either being traded, cut or being arrested

Galax Steeler
04-08-2008, 03:46 AM
It will take more than this years draft to patch there woes on deffense.

CB1977
04-08-2008, 07:47 AM
:offtopic: .......can't you see this discussion is about the hair rule ???

Yeah, right, whatever you say...:yawn:

Dino 6 Rings
04-08-2008, 11:46 AM
SNORE

Browns...when they are expected to do well, like next season, they choke. Everytime. Next year the expectations will be too high, and they will grumble. They won't catch anyone off guard next season and will be pummelled when they play good teams.

I expect the Ravens to bounce back hard next season and attempt to get a wild card spot and for the Bengals and Browns to fight for a high Draft Pick in 2009.

CB1977
04-08-2008, 12:02 PM
SNORE

Browns...when they are expected to do well, like next season, they choke. Everytime. Next year the expectations will be too high, and they will grumble. They won't catch anyone off guard next season and will be pummelled when they play good teams.

I expect the Ravens to bounce back hard next season and attempt to get a wild card spot and for the Bengals and Browns to fight for a high Draft Pick in 2009.

I doubt that the Ravens will bounce back this year. As I said earlier, the Browns will be good, but not good enough.

As for the Bengals? They'll be keeping the basement occupied again this year.

Counselor
04-08-2008, 12:55 PM
I doubt that the Ravens will bounce back this year. As I said earlier, the Browns will be good, but not good enough.

As for the Bengals? They'll be keeping the basement occupied again this year.

I agree with you, I don't see any of the AFC North teams burning it up----we play both the AFC South and the NFC East, arguably the two toughest divisions in football.

Whichever team does the best within the dvision will be the team to make the playoffs. It'll be tough for this division to get a wildcard.

Dino 6 Rings
04-08-2008, 04:55 PM
Ravens will step up because they aren't expected to. Lewis is heading toward the end of his carreer and that defense will keep them in games. And without the complete hatred in the locker room between the head coach and leader on defense, the team will unite and come together. The Ravens will be back. They'll focus on their running game, run a solid offense and win games 20-13 and do enough to compete for the AFC North Title. Too bad they will get beat buy us, but still, they will thump both the Browns and the Bengals twice.