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Random thoughts from the Panthers game

Way too many mistakes from a Romeo Crennel-coached team in last night’s 23-20 loss. Granted, a number of those came late in the game when a bunch of third-string hopefuls and longshots were on the field, but the Browns made some crucial mistakes early in the game to extend a couple Carolina drives. Special teams breakdowns were especially damaging, particularly Carolina’s 44-yard kickoff return right before halftime that led to a go-ahead touchdown.

Braylon Edwards was less than impressive, wasn’t he? A dropped pass, a couple pre-snap mistakes, he stepped out of bounds on a play near the goal line, which led to a penalty. Plus, he had a couple chances to make some plays one-on-one but finished with four catches for just 10 yards. He’ll be good (though he has been known to drop his fair share of gimmes), but he’s got a lot of work ahead of him.

Tell me William Green doesn’t look like Ricky Williams. It’s the beard, obviously, but I’m thinking when you’ve got your own history of drug problems with the NFL, Ricky Williams is the last guy you want to be reminding people of. That said, if Lee Suggs can’t go in week one (and right now, it looks like that’s the case), I think Green’s earned the start with his stellar preseason stats and, more important, his newfound dedication. Coaches have been raving about Green all summer and while Reuben Droughns will play a significant role with this team this season, Green deserves to start in week one, and I’d love to see him turn his career — and his life — around.

I love Charlie Frye, and I’m not alone, as all the people chanting “Char-LIE!” last night proved. He’s going to be a good one. He’s got poise, he’s smart, he’s athletic — bottom line, he knows how to play football. Romeo would prefer to have Frye sit the bench all year so maybe Doug Johnson gets the backup job by default, but Frye certainly looked like the better quarterback last night, and in a year or two, he’s going to be a lot of fun to watch. After sitting through Ty Detmer, Tim Couch, Spurgon Wynn, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia and Luke McCown, I’m definitely looking forward to the Charlie Frye era, though as the PD’s Bud Shaw points out, it’d be unwise to rush Frye.

Could Brian Brennan wedge his nose any farther up Jim Brown’s ass during the telecast last night? It was sickening. At one point, Bob Golic asked Brown if he had any dogs at home because if he didn’t, he could always take Brennan home with him. Of course, Golic’s terrible too, which is funny considering how well brother Mike Golic does on ESPN Radio. In fact, they were so bad last night that I actually began to appreciate the hacks that CBS sends out each week during the regular season to do the Cleveland games, which is really saying something.

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Broncos ready to cut losses with Clarett?

When it came time for Maurice Clarett to sign his rookie contract, he chose to forgo $410,000 in guaranteed money in favor of an incentive-laden deal that could?ve been worth as much as $7 million. At the time, the general consensus was that, while passing on the guaranteed cash showed just how confident Clarett was in his ability, it was a move that could come back to bite him in the ass. Now there’s talk that the Broncos are on the verge of cutting the underachieving Clarett, a move they probably wouldn’t consider had they owed the back a signing bonus.

Read more about this story at The Scores Report, the National Sports Blog.

Indians take series, 3-1, over the Devil Rays

Sweet revenge. The Indians pounded the Devil Rays 12-4 behind the pitching of Cliff Lee and a grand slam home run from Ronnie Belliard. The Tribe was able to take three of four from the hot Devils Rays to stay in a three-way tie for the Wild Card lead. The White Sox defeated the Twins, which means the Tribe didn’t pick up a game in the Central, though it pushed the Twins back in the Wild Card hunt. This weekend the Tribe will be in Toronto.

Couch to Dolphins?

ESPN Insider is reporting that the Dolphins have shown some interest in signing Tim Couch. Six NFL teams have expressed interest in Couch, with the Giants rumored to be the most interested.

This might be true, but until Couch demonstrates that his arm is healthy and that he can handle a demanding practice session, teams will be very careful about signing him. I hope he gets another chance, but he better choose carefully. He needs to avoid teams with the West Coast offense at all costs.

Crennel stresses accountability

Patrick McManamon has written a great article in the Beacon Journal explaining how Romeo Crennel has stressed accountability in training camp. If players perform they will play. Crennel was an important part of the regime in New England that won three Super Bowls, often utilizing unheralded players who earned important roles on the team. He appears to be doing the same with the Browns.He doesn’t coddle high draft picks like Braylon Edwards, and he’s not afraid to call out veterans like L.J. Shelton who screw up with stupid penalties. Yet he does this in a professional, matter-of-fact manner that gets his point across without unnecessary drama. What a breath of fresh air after years of listening to Butch Davis.

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