Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Andruzzi Gone...Thoughts

"Inneresting, very inneresting!" That's what my 95-year-old grandfather says when something comes up that doesn't make total sense, but for some reason, is OK. That's how I feel about the Andruzzi news. It would seem on paper that having an O-Lineman of Andruzzi's experience and leadership, at the fairly cheap price of 1.5m (this coming season) would be a good thing. Even if he doesn't start, having Joe come off the bench wouldn't be all that bad. That's why this move by the Browns doesn't seem to make much sense on the surface. But at that same time, it feels OK...

The Browns are getting younger, and there must be a reason why they don't want Andruzzi around any longer. Whether it's the fact that the Browns know he wouldn't like coming off the bench, or that they know his skills are declining so fast that staying on the bench is better for the team, (at least they'd know that rusher had no one blocking him) they believe they're better off without him.

After Saturday, I'm inclined to trust Savage. I've always felt the weak link in this management chain has been Crennel. I think that Savage has done a decent job of re-working the Browns roster, and he's given Crennel some decent talent. But, the most telling sign to me is the inconsistency with which the Browns play from game to game. As Savage said the other day, last year "we won some games we weren't supposed to win, and we lost some games we weren't supposed to lose." Of course every team in the NFL does this to some extent, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a team that does it as reliably as the Cleveland Browns. That's coaching. Period.

So maybe it's a good thing that the Browns released Joe Andruzzi. Maybe it means there's no place on our roster anymore for aging, over-the-hill linemen. Maybe we're at a point where the talent level has reached a critical mass, and we'll be able to compete with more consistency throughout the season. (Hey Teddy, you'd better pack a lunch...a big-ass lunch!) But I can't tell you that for for now it's just "inneresting, very inneresting."

Andruzzi Gone

This may mean that Romeo is losing juice in terms of personnel. Or it may mean that even Romeo realizes that Andruzzi now specializes in the lookout block. As in "look out, QB!"

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Grades are Coming in

The grades are flowing in from various news sites. To be honest, even my skewed view of things wouldn't give the Browns as high a grade as most are. CBS sportsline gave us an A+. To quote Tommy Boy, "That's not a grade they like to give out" Fox sports gave us an A-. Jesse Palmer, that's right, the bachelor himself called our draft the best of any team. Basically the Browns, Panthers, Falcons are the teams that are the consensus top draft teams. We played it agressively day one, and smart on day two filling needs with solid players who will come in and compete for spots and add depth.
In addition they have added some UFA's, including Miami running back Tyrone Moss. The last few Hurricane backs have made out pretty well in the NFL so maybe we just found a gem in free agency.

Go Cavs

Sunday, April 29, 2007

2007 Draft Day One Thoughts

Top Dawg here. After returning from a recruiting trip to the Big Easy (never too early to start working on the 2008 Draft Report), I wanted to share some thoughts on the Browns draft with you...Wow! This has the makings of the best day 1 of the NFL Draft for the Browns since 1978, when the Brownies nabbed The Wizard of Oz and Clay Matthews in Round 1. Let's break down the selections on Day 1.

Joe Thomas -- The fact that this guy went fishing rather than attending the draft will endear him to Browns fans. The only thing they would have liked better is if he had gone bowling at the Eastgate Coliseum. Let's face it...the Browns have needed help on the offensive line since anyone reading this blog has been a fan, and this was the most significant draft day move they've made to address it. Pencil Thomas in as a starter at LT for the next ten years.

Brady Quinn -- What a difference 20 picks makes. We here at MUTM were adamantly against taking Brady Quinn with the 3rd pick, but at 22, we love him! And don't worry about the sycophants in the media who will say the Browns gave up too much. G-d willing, we won't be picking in the top 5 next year, and that pick won't have near the value we got in Quinn. Some folks will let their hatred of Notre Dame color their perception of Brady, as they have with Braylon Edwards and Michigan. I urge you to remember, WE ARE BROWNS FANS FIRST! Get on board with these guys.

Eric Wright -- The bottom line with Eric Wright is that we got another first round talent at perhaps our biggest area of need. Of course, you'll read a lot about his character red flags over the next couple of days. But by all reports, he stayed out of trouble entirely after his single incident. This is NOT Butch Davis drafting Jeremiah Pharms. Guys are getting second chances. Brandon Merriweather stomped on a guy's face on national television and the "Holier than Thou" Patriots made him a first round choice. More than one general manager had Eric Wright listed as the top corner (character issues aside) on their board.

Final 2- Chase Pittman DE LSU, Syndrice Steptoe WR Arizona

Finally done. The Browns addressed need positions today. They added D line depth with a rotational D end guy like Pittman from LSU, and a small 5'8'' receiver and punt returner who looks like Dennis Northcutt's replacement. Now, the greatest time of the draft.... Free Agents. Hopefully the Browns can bring in some guys who could surprise us and contribute to the team.

The Browns go way West for round 6- Melila Purcell

Well, leave it to the Browns to draft the first guy that no one has heard of this year. Finding news about 6th round DE Melila Purcell is a difficult task. Here's what I know. He played in a 3-4 system at Hawaii. He is somewhere around 6-5 and 275 pounds. Had a very prolific sophomore and senior campaign. This year he had 60 tackles 16 Tackles for a loss, and 9.5 sacks. Pretty solid numbers for a 3-4 D end. Phil Savage must have done his homework for this pick. Hopefully, he will add needed depth at D end, and he immediately knows the system. I personally would have preferred Darius Walker, RB Notre Dame because he is the best pass catching RB in the draft and Brady Quinn knows how to find him. Maybe in round 7. BTW, we were looking to draft kicker Mason Crosby (Phil Dawson must be in the doghouse), but he was scooped a few picks before us so we traded down in the 6th to pick up a 7th so we now have two 7th round picks.

Browns Grab another DB

The Browns draft another DB in Brandon McDonald. They must like the versatility of McDonald who can play both Safety/Cornerback and may be Dennis Northcutt's replacement as a punt returner. I like that we are adding talent to the defensive backfield. With the return of last year's 5th round pick Demario Minter, and the drafting of Eric Wright and McDonald, along with young safeties Sean Jones and Brodney Pool, the Browns have developed a solid young core of DB's. Here is the bio.

The Cleveland Browns have selected Memphis cornerback Brandon McDonald in the fifth round (140th overall) with their third pick of the 2007 NFL Draft.
The 5-foot-11, 181-pound prospect played for two seasons at Memphis after transferring from Jones County Community College. In 24 games (23 starts) as a Tiger, he marked 133 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 7 interceptions.
At Jones, he earned played receiver in 2003 before moving to defensive back in '04. There, he was an honorable mention All-American, marking 25 tackles and 8 interceptions.
McDonald also has return skills and could be candidate to replace Dennis Northcutt as the Browns' punt returner. He returned 46 punts for 305 yards at Memphis and also returned punts at Jones.