Roda Ramblings

Kenny Roda from WKNR SportsTalk 850 will be writing a weekly blog on Cleveland Scores covering the sports world both locally and nationally. Check back often for his updates!

Center of disaster

The Browns better get some help at the center position or this could be a very long and painful season for both inexperienced QB Charlie Frye and Browns fans everywhere. The season-ending injury to LeCharles Bentley was devastating enough, but to have his backup Bob Hallen retire on top of that just before the team’s first pre-season game was brutal. It really doesn’t matter if Hallen was hurt or if he was having a Butch Davis-like panic attack. His calling it quits puts Frye and the offense way behind. Sources tell the Roadman don’t be surprised if GM Phil Savage waits until the final week of cutdowns to get his starting center from another team or if the Browns swing a deal involving one of their running backs for a more experienced center than any they have on the roster. If not, then the Browns must choose from what’s behind door # 1…Alonzo Ephraim, door # 2…Mike Mabry or door #3…Ross Tucker. And let’s be honest, none of those choices is a prize that Charlie Frye will be happy with.

Rook rises to the occasion

I loved what I saw out of #1 pick Kamerion Wimbley against Philly. For a guy learning a new position he played very well, registering 5 tackles, one for a 3-yard loss on the goal line, and forced a holding call early in the game. Wimbley’s got a great first step, is athletic and seems to have a high football IQ. That’s a great combination to have for a young linebacker/defensive end in this league.

Channel 212 rules

Thank God for the NFL Network, or channel 212 on DirecTV. Saturday night I got to watch the debuts of Reggie Bush, Vince Young and A.J. Hawk. All three did well in their first NFLgame.

Bush, who is wearing #25 for the Saints, carried the ball 6 times for 59 yards and caught 2 passes for 10 yards. His longest run of the game was typical R-E-G-G-I-E! A play that was designed to go left was all clogged up so Bush cut back to his right and turned in a highlight run of 44 yards in the first half of New Orleans’ game with Tennessee. Deuce McAllister better get healthy in a hurry or he may quickly lose his starting job.

Vince Young wasn’t as effective as Bush but he showed signs of what he can do, both good and bad. He finished 4-for-11 for 56 yards passing and rushed 4 times for 28 yards. The good…his scrambling ability bought him time to throw the ball and he picked up yards on the ground. The bad…his scrambling ability led to him spraining his left ankle and exiting the contest in the 4th quarter. But with Billy Volek there as the starter, Young will have time to heal and learn, much like Carson Palmer and Steve McNair did.

Former Buckeye A.J. Hawk is wearing #50 for the Packers and was all over the field Saturday night in Green Bay’s game against San Diego. He was always around the ball, either making tackles or breaking up pass plays. A solid start for Hawk in his debut. Also, in that same game, another former Ohio State linebacker made his presence felt. The last time we saw Matt Wilhelm causing havoc was in the National Championship game against Miami in 2003. That’s when he was knocking out current Browns backup QB Ken Dorsey and leading the Buckeyes to the title. Well, four years later, Wilhelm is ready to make an impact for the San Diego Chargers, much like he did at OSU. Wearing number #57 for Marty Schottenheimer, Wilhelm had 1 sack of Brett Favre and, like Hawk, was running sideline to sideline making plays.

One other player who looked very good in that Chargers-Packers game was Chargers’ quarterback Phillip Rivers. The former #1 pick, taking over for Drew Brees, completed 15-of-21 passes for 169 yards and 1 touchdown in the first half. Granted, it’s just an exhibition game, but Rivers looked very comfortable out there and is someone to watch this season.

The only bad thing about channel 212 is former Browns head coach Paul “Butch” Davis. Why he is their analyst is beyond me. Who is the talent evaluator of the network? Didn’t they look at his drafts when he was with the Browns? Aren’t they concerned he might have a panic attack just moments before he goes on the air with co-host Rich Eisen? FrankenButch was still going to bat for, can you believe this…KELLY HOLCOMB! He picked Kelly to win the quarterback job in Buffalo over J.P. Losman. So, what did Holcomb do after getting that resounding vote of confidence from his former head coach? KELLLLLLLY went out with the Bills’ first-team offense in the 1st quarter of their first exhibition game and went
2-for-4 for 16 yards and 1 interception, which was returned for a touchdown, and was sacked once in limited time. Butch and Kelly, it’s nice to see some things never change! Here’s hoping the NFL Network will wise up and can Butch now before he embarasses them, like he did the Browns.

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