Archives

All posts by Rachael Hill

Your buddies all have opinions. Your Dad has a take. It’s all anyone wants to talk about. The papers, blogs and talk radio have beaten this bye-week fueled controversy to death.

Who should start for the Browns once everybody is healthy?

First off, let’s make something clear; no ones job is on the line based on this decision. You have to think that this is a decision that will be made by Mike Holmgren and Eric Mangini together, so the whole-Mangini-is-just-playing-the-veteran-to-save-his-job take doesn’t cut it. This will be a joint decision.

Secondly, I’m not going to delve into the Jake Delhomme-Seneca Wallace debate. Let’s not debate if we should give credence to his good preseason play and a decent half of play (besides for the terrible almost-pick six, oh yeah and that touchdown throw to MoMass? Should have been picked, kudos to ex-Brown Sean Jones for that gift).

Let’s discuss Colt vs. The Field.

The two reasons one might suggest that Colt McCoy should start:

A) He gives us the best chance to win.

B) We have to see what we have before next year’s draft.

The counter-arguments:

A) The Browns have to play to win every game, they can’t just play for the future.

B) The plan was to sit him this year; that shouldn’t change just because of injuries.

Let’s take a closer look:

He gives us the best chance to win:

Not sure you can make that case at this point. Based on what we’ve seen, it’s hard to say the coaching staff feels the same way, looking at the game plans they prepared for him. Then again, the Browns actually were chucking it early against the Saints until they built a little lead and started going Republican.

That being said, I do think he has shown more than just poise, namely he’s not afraid to and can make throws in tight windows and he’s accurate. Was his performance blown out of perspective? Sure. Did he show something besides poise? Definitely.

We have to see what he has for the future vs. you have to play to win at all times:

The answer is somewhere in the middle. If your not sure he’s your guy and he’s not your best option I don’t think you can justify starting him the rest of the season on the premise that your 2-5 and your not making the playoffs anyway. You don’t treat the rest of the season like extended training camp and preseason.

You only use the regular season to “develop” your young QB if your certain he’s your future at the position.

On the other hand you have to look at the big picture and do what’s best for the Browns long term. I don’t think anybody disagrees with September call-ups in baseball and playing your young talent at the end of the season.

Are you really going to tell me that if the Browns think that he might be their franchise quarterback and that if they feel they can glean important information to that end by playing him the last four games of the season that they shouldn’t do it and should play a washed up Delhomme or a career backup Wallace instead?

Of course not.

The point is that just playing young talent when your out of playoff race early is not the best thing for

the Browns, whereas playing them at the end to assess the long term needs of the franchise is.(Once again assuming that Colt McCoy is not your best option right now).

The plan was to sit him; injuries shouldn’t change that:

This is not as clear cut as people think; it depends what their reasoning was behind making such a statement.

Let’s assume they felt that there was a very good chance he was the future and that the best way for him to maximize his potential was by sitting and learning while slowly getting acclimated to the “speed of the game” (Cliche of the Post brought to you by ESPN) then the reasoning behind the original plan is still in play.

But if the reason was that he was just viewed as a intriguing prospect and a long-term project that wouldn’t preclude the Browns from drafting a quarterback high in the near future and then suddenly he showed serious promise, that’s a whole other ballgame. Then it might make sense to see what McCoy is about before investing more capital into the position.

There are myriad other scenarios that could have effected the logic behind “The Plan”. I won’t bore you with all the back and forth; suffice it to say that  just because that was the plan doesn’t mean that train of thought still applies.

The bottom line is this; if the Browns feel Colt McCoy is close to being the man who gives us the best chance to win then obviously he should start the rest of the season. Even if they feel he’s not there is still a strong case to be made for him to get some serious playing time come December.

Throw in the fact that Holmgren surely will get a itch to see what the itch he got in middle of the third round of the draft is all about, and I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing plenty more of  Colt McCoy this season.

I know we really haven’t been to faithful to the blog since, gosh, the George Kokinis days(remember that?). Anyway it’s good to be back.

Let me throw this out there: There are plenty of blogs about your Cleveland Browns. Which blogs to you like the best? Who do you go to for info? For analysis? For wit? Where do you go just to get some easy reading? Who can’t you stand? Really curious what the general consensus is.

It will be interesting to see if the Browns will “BRING IT” (I hate Michael Reghi) tonight. Here are the different looks the Browns might give the Ravens:

Either……

A) Flatter than Helen Hunt. Always a distinct possibility with the Brownies, especially due to the hard practice conditions. Thank you Jamal Lewis for all your “leadership”.

B) Half-ass it like Braylon. “Yes Rex, we knew he drops passes that cost games. What? No, you can’t have your draft picks back. You want to speak to Kokinis? Sorry, he doesn’t work her anymore.”

C) Concerted effort but totally over matched like the Rams every week. Win or lose, “Spags” has them playing hard every week. Think the Giants don’t miss him? Ask Tom Coughlin.

D) Total domination like the Browns-Giants game from last season. Just threw in this option because I needed a D). Chances are not good. All we can do is pray.

Other things to watch tonight: if Daboll (re:Mangini) finally switches up his approach by throwing screens and using Cribbs, if there is any hope for Brady Quinn, how many times the announcers use the word “protest” and the patronizing/sympathizing line that the “Browns fans deserve a winner”, if any of Mangini’s faces can top the Peyton Manning interception faces from last night.

Here we are Browns fans. The season is upon us. We have the same chance as everyone else to be a playoff team (as a Browns fan Super Bowl team is not even in my vocabulary) but why not us? Why can’t this year be our year? I keep asking myself why we can’t get a couple lucky bounces- okay a lot of lucky bounces. Maybe play a couple teams that overlook us; who knows? If we can’t dream now when we are all even chances are we won’t be able to dream later.

Browns vs. Vikings week one you have a 39 year old quarterback who’s been known to throw picks for no other reason but to say hey, my name is Brett Favre, I’m a gunslinger, girls over forty love me. You have a coach Brad Childress when watching him coach actually makes you think that Romeo will get another job (girls over forty do not dig him). It’s a dream. It could happen any given Sunday. Look at the Dolphins from last year who went from 1-15 the previous season to 11-5. It could happen. Anything is possible.

So I woke up after the win against Favre’s Vikings and started thinking; how did an under average team such as the Dolphins manage to go 11-5 with a quarterback (Chad Pennington) who makes Brady Quinn’s arm look like Jake Cutler’s, with a best receiver in Ted Ginn who is five foot ten and can’t run routes, with one of their running backs (Ricky Williams)that is so high on weed he makes “The Dude” look like The Pope. A defensive line that lost its best player (Jason Taylor) etc… you get the point. They were not exactly the Cowboys of the nineties.

Then it dawned on me. The Dolphins didn’t go into any game saying, “Hey, we are better than them, we are going to beat them on both sides of the ball and dominate the game”. Rather Tony Sparano told his team, “We are going to do everything in our power to win this football game, to gain an extra yard and to gain any advantage possible”. Sparano created the wildcat not because it was the most technically sound way to play the game of football, but just because it gave him a chance for his team to get an edge. With out-of-the-box coaching and a mentality that we will do anything to win(and with the testicular fortitude to buck the status quo) they surprised and shocked the NFL.

So Eric, what do you think? Do you have it in you? Do you think you could throw out all your “there is a right and wrong way to play to the game philosophy”, to give the Browns a chance to win a football game? Do not get me wrong, I would love to see a Brown’s team that can beat teams up, win games on pure talent, and football smarts alone. Just this Browns team doesn’t have the personnel to win like that.

Now I know what you all are thinking. Don’t we want to build a team on technically sound football even if we have to wait a couple years to be good? Would you not rather see a technically sound 6-10 Browns team that looks like if we added a couple of fixer uppers we could (gulp?) make the playoffs, or (double gulp??) win a playoff game? The answer is yes, that’s the dream for the city of Cleveland. Let us start dreaming anew not like we are always building for the future Clevelanders, but like the winners we all deserve to be. Just because the rest of the NFL thinks we’re a bunch of losers doesn’t mean we have to play like one. On the contrary, it will show us and teach the players something that is surely needed, the “we will do anything to win and gain any advantage no matter how big or small” mentality. In my opinion there is nothing better to teach than that- to have an organization that runs on these principles. More often than not organizations that run on these principles (i.e.Patriots, Steelers), win now and our power houses for years to come by playing and doing anything to win a game. Take the Steelers win in the Super bowl against the Seahawks. The biggest play in the game was a trick play that saw WR Antoine Randle-El throw a touchdown pass to WR Hines Ward, so in a game in which they were outplayed they managed to win because they had a coach who did anything possible to get a victory. The coach all us Browns fans coveted; a guy by the name of Bill Cowher.

So dream with me Browns fans. Let us dream that this is the year we turn into a city of winners. Let us say NO to anyone who says the word building block, or that we are rebuilding (Mark Shapiro). We can dream of a team that plays and cares to win as much as we do. Here is my rage to anybody who believes that building for the future is more important than winning football games now. To anybody in the Browns organization who believes that winning is somewhere in the future, and tries to convince us that we have a grand master plan. So let us dream Browns fans. Let us dream that dreams is not all that we have left. GO BROWNS