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Member Since 26 Oct 2008
Offline Last Active Feb 17 2011 07:58 AM

Topics I've Started

ESPN's James Walker's pre-season Browns ranking

05 January 2011 - 06:59 AM

"28 (25) Browns 5-11 The first year of the Mike Holmgren era could be rough. This team lacks talent across the board. (Walker)"

Absolutely dead on! Of course the rest of the ESPN list is pretty hilarious:

1 (1) Colts 14-2 Their fate might depend on what others have done to narrow the gap. (Kuharsky)

2 (5) Saints 13-3 The Saints should not expect another magical season because every team is different, but they still can contend for the Super Bowl. (Sando)

3 (3) Vikings 12-4 Brett Favre is waiting for a two-hour TV special to announce his return. (Walker)

4 (4) Cowboys 11-5 The Cowboys are loaded and will look to secure a Super Bowl "home game." (Clayton)

5 (11) Ravens 9-7 The defense-heavy Ravens finally believe they have a high-powered offense. Scary thought. (Walker)

6 (6) Packers 11-5 Improved pass protection for QB Aaron Rodgers could go a long way. (Walker)

7 (12) Jets 9-7 With 12 Pro Bowl position players, the Jets are loaded to challenge the Pats. (Clayton)

8 (15) Falcons 9-7 The fortunes are looking up again now that RB Michael Turner is healthy and apparently in great condition. (Sando)

9 (10) Patriots 10-6 Who keeps the Patriots ahead of every other AFC East team? Tom Brady. (Clayton)

10 (2) Chargers 13-3 I'd like the Chargers a lot more with WR Vincent Jackson than without him. (Kuharsky)

11 (9) Bengals 10-6 This is the deepest Bengals team of the Marvin Lewis era. But can it handle a first-place schedule? (Walker)

12 (19) 49ers 8-8 The defense is already strong, and the offense is finally in position to improve -- if QB Alex Smith is ready. (Sando)

13 (21) Dolphins 7-9 It's up to QB Chad Henne to see whether he can compete against the big boys in the AFC East. (Clayton)

14 (14) Texans 9-7 Pass defense might determine the Texans' fate more than anything else. (Kuharsky)

15 (8) Cardinals 10-6 Keep an eye on youngsters Beanie Wells (RB) and Early Doucet (WR) this season. Arizona needs them. (Sando)

16 (20) Giants 8-8 Tom Coughlin must sort out the defensive problems to keep the Giants in contention. (Clayton)

17 (7) Eagles 11-5 Even though the Eagles have tons of talent, their schedule pulls them down. (Clayton)

18 (16) Titans 8-8 The Titans are going to be an offensive football team. (Kuharsky)

19 (13) Steelers 9-7 The first four to six games without QB Ben Roethlisberger could make or break their season. (Walker)

20 (29) Redskins 4-12 New QB Donovan McNabb should add a touchdown per game to the Redskins' offense. (Clayton)

21 (22) Bears 7-9 Do people realize QB Jay Cutler is just 24-29 as a starter? (Walker)

22 (18) Panthers 8-8 Carolina has the NFL's youngest roster and a head coach entering the final year of his deal. (Sando)

23 (17) Broncos 8-8 I'm betting QB Tim Tebow scores a touchdown on opening day in Jacksonville. (Kuharsky)

24 (26) Raiders 5-11 Did the Raiders build a pretty good defense? (Kuharsky)

25 (27) Seahawks 5-11 Immediate expectations for QB Charlie Whitehurst subsided pretty quickly once Seattle hit the practice field. (Sando)

26 (23) Jaguars 7-9 If only the Jaguars resided in the AFC West ... or the NFC West.(Kuharsky)

27 (28) Chiefs 4-12 The Chiefs are hoping safety Eric Berry will provide immediate help. K.C.'s defense ranked 30th in 2009. (Kuharsky)

28 (25) Browns 5-11 The first year of the Mike Holmgren era could be rough. This team lacks talent across the board. (Walker)

29 (31) Lions 2-14 After the 2009 season, the Lions have nowhere to go but up. So does their pass defense, which ranked 32nd last season and allowed 266 yards per game. (Walker)

30 (30) Buccaneers 3-13 How well can a young head coach with a defensive background manage Josh Freeman, a franchise quarterback entering his first full season as an NFL starter? (Sando)

31 (24) Bills 6-10 The only thing the Bills can look forward to is the 2011 draft and a new quarterback. (Clayton)

32 (32) Rams 1-15 The big question heading into camp is whether rookie QB Sam Bradford can earn the starting job by Week 1. (Sando)

Crypt Keeper John Clayton ranks Delhomme #33 QB

31 August 2010 - 06:59 AM

Please note that Clayton is a Steelers fan and has Roethlisberger and LEFTWICH ranked ahead of Delhomme.


33. Jake Delhomme, Cleveland Browns

Analysis: Interceptions in the playoff loss to Arizona in 2008 led to a downward spiral for a quarterback who won a lot of games for John Fox and the Panthers. At 35, Delhomme has no chance of being a starter anywhere else if he doesn't cut it in Cleveland.
Chance of being elite: 0 percent

Mangini finally comes clean on Favre

27 August 2010 - 10:50 AM


Former New York Jets coach Eric Mangini is featured in a revealing piece by Seth Wickersham in the current issue of ESPN The Magazine. In the story, Mangini admits he initially wanted no part of Brett Favre in New York. The current Cleveland Browns coach isn't quoted directly, but considering he gave Wickersham five days of behind-the-scenes access, it's a safe bet that he got it from the Man-genius' mouth.

When Mangini was fired in January, 2009, after Favre's arm injury (we didn't know about it at the time) led to a late-season collapse, I reported that Mangini wasn't on board with the Favre trade. Publicly, none of the principles confirmed that. Mangini always has talked around it, using his Mangini-speak, but the following passage makes it pretty clear where he stood on Favre.

Here's a couple of graphs from Wickersham's story, describing how GM Mike Tannenbaum and owner Woody Johnson pushed for the trade:

"In August, 2008, the Packers were trying to trade Favre. Mangini didn't want him. He considered Favre a hired gun, and he wanted to develop Kellen Clemens and Brett Ratliff. (My two cents: No mention of Chad Pennington, who still was on the roster.) But Tannenbaum and Jets owner Woody Johnson expressed interest in Favre, while also vowing that Mangini's job was safe, no matter what. And with Favre on the verge of accepting a trade to Tampa, the coach's competitiveness took over.

"'I wanted to win,' he says. So he scheduled a five-minute phone call with Favre for the next morning, then went home and read Hello, He Lied, a book that talks about successfully pitching movies to studio execs in only a few minutes. Mangini developed his selling points: The Jets were better than the Bucs, and New Jersey's hunting and fishing scene was better than Tampa's. Favre, seduced, ended up chatting for an hour ..."

Wickerstam goes on to recount the Jets' collapse, adding, "The one thing Mangini couldn't do was bench a future Hall of Famer for whom he had mortgaged the season. The night he was fired, the coach sat on his couch, thinking, You sold yourself out."

What does this have to do with anything? Let's play what-if: If the Jets didn't make the trade, maybe Mangini doesn't get fired. (Expectations would've been lower.) If he doesn't get fired, the Jets might have missed out on Mark Sanchez in the 2009. Why? The only reason they were able to trade up for Sanchez was because of the sweetheart deal offered by Mangini, then with the Browns, who was willing to take Jets trash (Ratliff, Kenyon Coleman, Abe Elam) in a trade.

For what it's worth, my peeps in Cleveland say Mangini has lightened up a bit, especially in dealing with the media. New football czar Mike Holmgren apparently has had that effect on him; that, and self-preservation.