PD explains Tony Grossi decision

Here’s the explanation from The Plain Dealer about why Tony Grossi was reassigned from the Browns beat.

Here’s one part that’s worth noting:

• The Browns had nothing to do with the decision. None of the editors involved talked with anyone connected with the team before making the call. In fact, the Browns’ first communication with the paper’s leadership was not until Wednesday, after the decision had been made, when Egger met with Browns President Mike Holmgren and Lerner.

• The Browns did not threaten to remove Grossi’s media credential, nor did such a consideration play any role in the decision, as a radio talk-show host alleged last week.

What a shock! A radio talk-show host speculated that the Browns had something to do with this . . .

I think it was a bad decision. If I were working in Berea, I would argue that the Browns should come out and accept Grossi’s apology. But that’s their decision.

I’m not a fan of Randy Lerner. In many ways, I think he’s clueless on how to manage people. That said, he does spend money, and he’s at least trying to bring in experts to run the show. I think Mike Holmgren is his best hire, and I believe that Holmgren is building an organization that can be successful for the long term.

I also think that Grossi has been doing a good job. Most of the loud voices on Twitter seem to disagree, but everyone will have their own opinion. Grossi screwed up, but this change seems like an overreaction.

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Tony Grossi and The Plain Dealer

This story is just bizarre. Tony Grossi accidentally sent out a Tweet that he intended as a private message, insulting Browns owner Randy Lerner with the following statement: “He is a pathetic figure, the most irrelevant billionaire in the world.” Grossi quickly realized his mistake and took down the Tweet, but some saw it and copied it.

I like Grossi’s work, though I also understand that other Browns fans don’t, and many think he’s biased against the Browns. I think in the past year he was one of the few rational voices discussing the Browns. Many on the radio sounded liked emotional buffoons when discussing topics like Mike Holmgren and Pat Shurmer.

Now The Plain Dealer is confirming they have removed Grossi from the Browns beat. This seems like overkill to me – a short suspension would have been more appropriate.

As Mike Florio suggests in the link above, the Browns should make it clear that they didn’t ask for this and encourage the PD to reinstate him.

Greg Little puts on a show

Greg Little has had some struggles in training camp with some drops, but Pat Shurmer keeps pushing him and Little put on a show for the fans on Sunday in the practice at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Tony Grossi was impressed:

Little, who may have the most inapt name of all the new Browns, plays taller than his listed height of 6-2 and stronger than his listed weight of 220 pounds. An announced crowd of 11,965 may have come away a little more convinced of the team’s argument against pursuing a No. 1 receiver in free agency.

In red-zone drills on plays starting inside the 20, Little displayed the talent that attracted him to the Browns in the second round of the draft. On one Colt McCoy throw to the left corner of the end zone, Little leaped above cornerback Dimitri Patterson and safety Usama Young to snare the touchdown. A few plays later, he cradled a pass from Seneca Wallace on a skinny route to the post.

It’s very early, so let’s not jump to any conclusions. That said, the reports on Little described him as a great athlete, and it’s always encouraging to hear stories in camp that the expectations match the hype. This kid had some off-the-field issues, but many described him as having first-round talent. The Browns might have a steal with with guy. They need someone to emerge as a #1 receiver, and Little just might fit the bill.

Too early to make a judgement on passing over Rey Maualuga

I really wanted to see the Browns draft Rey Maualuga last spring, and I was very surprised when they passed on him twice with their first round pick and then with their first pick in the second round. Maualuga went two picks after the Browns drafted Brian Robiskie.

Tony Grossi asks the obvious question – will the Browns be sorry they passed on him? The Browns have to face Maualuga twice per year, starting this weekend against the Bengals.

Maualuga has looked good so far. The kid can tackle and he puts pressure on the quarterback. The Browns obviously could use some play-makers on defense. Meanwhile Robiskie is not even active for most Browns games.

It is, however, way too early to make any sort of judgment on this trade. Robiskie clearly has talent, and the Browns may lose Braylon Edwards next season, so the two rookies taken this year in the second round could be the starters by next season. Also, Maualuga is not a three-down player yet, and that was one of the concerns when he entered the draft.

That said, it will really suck if Maualuga has a monster game this Sunday. The Browns are desperate for good news, and a big game by Maualuga would be another headache for a regime that has gotten off to a terrible start.

Same old Browns?

Yesterday’s loss was naturally disappointing, but hearing guys like Tony Grossi say that these are the “same old Browns” is just ridiculous.

First, it’s one game against a team that has Super Bowl talent. They got beat by the best running back in the NFL, and they held him in check in the first half. The Vikings made good adjustments and with the Browns offense folding in the second half the defense was put in a tough spot.

Next, the defense is completely new. The Browns got great pressure and they got four sacks. The vanilla defense from the Crennel years is gone. Kamerion Wimbley looks like a real player again, and Shaun Rogers was also a stud again. Also, we saw the cornerbacks playing the receivers very tightly. I thought I was looking at Dixon and Minnifield from the 1980’s. That was very refreshing.

The offense was a problem, and Brady Quinn looked terrible. We can’t draw too many conclusions after just one game, particularly against a tough Vikings defense. That said, he needs to bounce back and start looking like a pro quarterback very quickly. Hopefully he’ll get better with time, but if he doesn’t make real progress by week 4, they need to take a look at Anderson.

It was, however, refreshing to see them run the no-huddle offense. They also introduced a Wildcat formation with Josh Cribbs, though they made a mistake running it twice in the red zone, particularly on the one yard line. Why couldn’t they run a QB sneak with Quinn?

Things change dramatically from week to week on the NFL. The Browns have a new regime and a new starting quarterback, so drawing the Vikings in week one was a tough one. Next week they have the Broncos, we were lucky to beat the lowly Bengals yesterday, so the Browns have a chance to show what they can do next week.

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