The Browns look like a real team again

GREEN BAY - AUGUST 14: Jake Delhomme  of the Cleveland Browns calls out a play during the NFL preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field August 14, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

It’s only one preseason game, but watching the Cleveland Browns last night against the Green Bay Packers, a Super Bowl favorite, had to make Browns fans feel better for a change.

What we saw was a team that belonged on the field with their opponent. We also saw a team that had two NFL quarterbacks. Jake Delhomme looked like a solid veteran, and Seneca Wallace looked like a potential weapon at that position. We don’t have to hold our breath any more and hope that Brady Quinn can hit a wide open receiver or that Derek Anderson can stop throwing the ball right in the hands of defensive backs.

We still don’t know how good this offense can be, but we do know that they probably won’t looked like a bunch of over-matched amateurs when trying to throw the ball. Mike Holmgren realized that a change needed to be made, and I suspect that Eric Mangini was all for a change as well.

The running game also didn’t miss a beat. It was a joy to watch the Browns pound in that first touchdown from the four yard line. Lawrence Vickers is a beast at fullback, and Jerome Harrison showed again that he can gain tough yardage. With a solid running game, Delhomme should be able to have a solid season. Also, we didn’t even see the Wildcat last night and Josh Cribbs didn’t touch the ball!

Peyton Hillis showed that we now have several weapons coming out of the backfield. This kid is a great receiver, and I loved seeing the screen pass. We haven’t even seen Montario Hardesty yet.

The defense could stop one of the best offenses in the league, so let’s hope they play better against more typical NFL offenses. That said, the young DBs looked pretty good. T.J. Ward looks like a real player, even with some of the mistakes. Joe Haden looked solid, and we saw a glimpse of his athletic ability and speed on the kickoff return.

Bottom line – the Browns looked like a team that can play with the better teams in this league. Let’s see how they do next week at home against the St. Louis Rams, a team that seems to be starting over.

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Josh Cribbs and his agents need to chill out

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Josh Cribbs is a great player, and he deserves to be paid, but he and his agents seem to be clueless about how to handle his situation.

First, let’s remember that Josh Cribbs is under contract. He signed a six-year deal and he’s asking the Browns to renegotiate. Most people understand that Cribbs has earned a new contract, so Cribbs and his agents have a strong argument in light of his performance, but they’re undermining his argument by going public at this time.

Going back to training camp, Cribbs and his agents made plenty of threats, but in the end Cribbs never followed through on any threats he or his agents made. Now, one day after the Browns hired Mike Holmgren as the new team president, the agents go public with statements that Cribbs was “insulted” by a recent offer from the Browns. Keep in mind that Holmgren is in the process of hiring a new general manager and then making a decision on the head coach. Why are they pushing this now? Why are they making idle threats again? Their timing sucks.

It probably relates to the way they’ve been treated by the Eric Mangini regime. Mangini was certainly running the show during the past season and he’s been stringing Cribbs along.

Pushing the issue now, however, is ridiculous. The agents have little credibility, and they sound foolish by pressing the issue now. One of his agents was just on WKNR and he sounded like an amateur. Also, Tony Rizzo pointed out that Cribbs was on a local news channel last night and seemed confident that something would be worked out. So, what’s the real message? The agent is trying to sound like a hard-ass, but Cribbs has already shown in the past that he doesn’t have the stomach for a fight.

They need to chill out and wait for Holmgren to put together his organization. Until the GM is in place and the coaching situation has been settled, nothing will be decided regarding Josh Cribbs.

Hail Josh Cribbs

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Josh Cribbs has broken the all-time NFL record for kickoff returns for a touchdown by running back two kicks today against the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s now establishing himself as one of the best return men in NFL history, and he’s just getting started.

Browns abandon the Wildcat

The Cleveland Browns had another pitiful performance today against the Green Bay Packers. The offense was terrible, as Derek Anderson had another forgettable day. It doesn’t really matter who plays quarterback. The offense stinks.

Who’s at fault? Take your pick. Quinn and Anderson both stink. The offensive line has been bad, and we’re playing mostly with rookie receivers. Brain Daboll certainly hasn’t figured out how to use the players he has. It’s hard to blame him, but the play-calling has been terrible as well, particularly in the red zone.

All of this begs the question – why aren’t the Browns using the Wildcat more? Josh Cribbs is their best player. Let him run the damn ball!

Instead, the Browns tried one running play with Cribbs and kept trotting out Anderson all day. What a mess.

Josh Cribbs rumors heat up

I was listening to Greg Brinda tonight on WKNR and was rather surprised to hear him discussing rumors of a possible trade of Josh Cribbs to the Dolphins for Ted Ginn, Jr. Now, I’m a huge fan of Ginn, but Cribbs is the best player on the Browns, and Ginn has been a disappointment so far.

Why is this even being discussed? Well, everyone is aware of Josh’s contract situation, and the Browns have shown a willingness to make deals, so nobody should be surprised that teams are calling to inquire about Cribbs. The Browns of course will listen when anyone calls, but I’d be surprised if they’re seriously considering any of this.

Naturally, that would change if a team starts talking about high draft picks. At that point you always have to listen. Would you trade Cribbs to Miami for Ted Ginn and a second round pick? You’d have to think about it. Can you imagine Cribbs becoming a part of Miami’s Wildcat package? I can’t blame them for thinking about this.

I’d rather see the Browns put all this aside and sign Cribbs to an extension. Then, start working Cribbs into our own Wildcat offense. They tried it in week one and then gave up, but I’m hoping they’ve been saving some of this for Pittsburgh. Cribbs was a quarterback in college, so he could be lethal in the single wing offense.

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