Monday, September 17, 2007

Random Thoughts from the Weekend

1. Not me. I'm not nearly as confident in the Buckeyes as some people.

2. For one thing, Ohio State was lucky to just be down 7-3 at halftime. The Huskies dropped a few INTs and made some bone head plays at the end of long drives. I'm not saying Ohio State didn't deserve to win, but the final score (33-14) wasn't indicative of how close the game was (even if you don't include Brandon Saine's last TD run as time expired, it was closer than 27-14).

3. I do not trust Todd Boeckman at all. He got away with a lot of mistakes (seriously, how many dropped INT's were there?).

4. That being said, he put up a great second half. He made the throws when he had to, but I still hold my breath whenever he lets loose. I'd like to see the team play well for an entire game.

5. [Insert "Locker has room for improvement" pun here] I think Huskies redshirt-freshman QB James Locker is going to be really damn good. I was scared to death of him the entire game; I really think the Buckeyes won this game due to Locker's inexperience (he made some dumb throws after driving Washington down the field).

6. Or was it that 'bend but don't break' defense. I'm not a big fan of the bending defense- eventually, if you face someone good enough, it is gonna break. That being said, James Laurinaitis just makes plays.

7. I miss Mike Nugent. Just sayin'....

8. Better game from Beanie Wells. 135 yards and a TD. Not bad. But they still don't convert short yardage situations as well as they should. But hopefully this performance will calm him down and he'll find a groove.

9. Still worried. Anyone feel comfortable about those night road games at Minnesota, Purdue and Penn State yet?

10. More derision please. The pundits and the media told us that Charlie Weiss was the greatest offensive mind ever and now, instead of mocking him as inept, they just shrug and go 'isn't it weird to see a Charlie Weiss team with no offensive TDs in three games'. The guy sucks and he can't rely on Ty Willingham's players anymore (good call ND alumni!).

11. Michigan still sucks. 1-2 in three games at home. Well done boys.

12. I'm still alive (but barely). So how many 'survival leagues' did the Browns fuck up yesterday? Two guys got knocked out in my league (one of 'em picked against the Browns both weeks. Suck it). I had Denver... I am lucky.

13. Derek Anderson, WTF. 5 TDs, 328 yards. Damn, what can I say. I've never been an Anderson guy (and if anyone of you expected this, please raise your hand...) but wow. Hats off and more please.

14. Can I really nitpick after a 5 TD performance? Fuck yes, I'm from Cleveland. I don't want to sound like a hater (cause Anderson played great), but there were more than a few plays where the receivers saved his ass, especially Winslow and Edwards- they stepped up big time. He made the throws when he had too, don't get me wrong, but he missed a lot too (and the Bengals dropped more than one INT).

15. Jamal Lewis is a beast. 216 yards, 1 TD. He can thank Joe Thomas for that 65 yard TD (amazing what drafting talented linemen will do, huh?). I wish the Browns had gotten Lewis another TD at the end.

16. That's my only coaching complaint (while I don't agree with another 4th-and Vickers play, I can somewhat understand it)- not getting Lewis another TD. With 5:52 to go in the game and 3 and goal at the 1-yard line and leading 48-38, the Browns didn't simply pound Jamal Lewis two more times. Lewis had ran over the Bengal defense that entire drive (51 yards in three plays) and I didn't like the Browns throwing the ball on 3 and 1. Reward your work horse and pound Lewis twice; if he doesn't get in, you've wasted more time and Cincinnati is pinned back at it's own 1. Either way, Cincinnati needed two TD's to win (though the 3 points took away a the chance at OT) and if Lewis gets in, they need 3 scores and are basically done.

17. Seriously, what the hell has happened: MMQB:

Offensive Player of the Week

Cleveland QB Derek Anderson and Cleveland RB Jamal Lewis. "Romeo was great last night,'' Anderson said via cell phone after the game, speaking of coach Romeo Crennel. "Calm, reassuring. I think he thought we'd go out and play really well today.''

But this well? In the long NFL history of the Browns, which dates to 1950, they'd never had a game in which a back ran for 100 yards, a quarterback threw for more than 300, and two receivers exceeded 100 yards. In the 51-45 win over Cincinnati -- which could well have its worst defense in recent years -- Anderson was 20 of 33 for 328 yards. Lewis, who has so much dirt shoveled on him that I think if you watered him he'd sprout buds, had the best running day of the season: 28 carries, 215 yards. For one Sunday, there was joy in Mudville.

18. How is this happening? Chaos theory.

19. That sure was fun, right? Terry Pluto says that the Browns fans deserved the win. I'll say.

20. I love Josh Cribbs. Kent State baby (if the Browns were any good, he'd be right up there with Devin Hester)

21. With Pluto leaving for the PD, Patrick McManamon gets more column space (and I like it). I particularly enjoyed this:

The Browns announce a starter one week, trade him two days later. One game into the season, the backup is promoted and the guy who was cut is re-signed.

These are fantasy-type moves, but they've not been limited to this year.

Trent Dilfer and Reuben Droughns were signed to contract extensions, then dealt a year later. Jeff Faine was jettisoned against the wishes of the offensive coaches. Kevin Shaffer signed a huge deal, then was discussed in a trade after the drafting of Joe Thomas.

The quarterback position has been a complete yo-yo, with an environment that makes it next to impossible for anyone to succeed.

Consider offensive coordinator.

Maurice Carthon was kept too long, then Jeff Davidson tried to make it work with Carthon's offense the rest of last season. When Davidson was very blunt with Savage about his assessment of the team's talent ` hint: he wasn't real positive ` he was removed from consideration to keep the job. Davidson got the same job with the Carolina Panthers and looked pretty smart in the team's opening game.

21. I'm sick of spygate. I hate the overblown coverage of any controversy in sports; I'll tell ya right now ESPN, whenever something that involves TO, Barry Bonds or some similar shit goes down, I stay away from your station. I can't stand it.

22. More spygate (sorry). Surprisingly, Bill Simmons is whining (I like Simmons, I really do, but this God damned Boston victimization really pisses me off):
That reminds me, everyone's talking about the other teams and implying they were the victims. What about Pats fans? How did we deserve this? Our favorite team cheated, we lost a No. 1 pick, our coach pulled the football version of the Watergate break-in, our entire mini-dynasty has been tainted according to the outside world. ... Seriously, what did we ever do other than support a perpetually crappy franchise with a bad stadium for years and years and years? Do you think we wanted any of this to happen? All week, I almost felt like I did something wrong just because I rooted for these guys. Well, no more. Call them cheaters, call them villains, call them the evil empire, but it's still my team. You can't disown your team just because it does something sleazy, just like you can't disown a close family member for doing something sleazy. Your team is your team. I hate what happened, I think it has been terribly overblown, we paid the price, and we're moving on. At least until Belichick's version of the 17-minute missing Nixon tape is released.
What about Pats fans? Seriously, your team cheats and you're complaining? Really? Imagine if Joe Torre and the Yankees got caught cheating, what the hell would Simmons be saying? He'd be laying it on. For the past five years we've been bombarded with stories and quotes about how the Patriots are a model franchise and that they're just "a team of football players", they do everything the right way blah blah fucking blah. Look, the Patriots are far and away the best team in the NFL, the Red Sox have a sick rotation and will be World Series favorites and the Celtics just got KG and Ray Allen- I'm sorry if no one is considering the feelings of Patriots' fans during spygate. Take your medicine and shut the fuck up.

22. Big series begins tonight. Tribe vs Tigers. Byrd goes tonight against Kenny Rogers (who the Tribe never seems to hit hard). Hopefully that changes tonight.

23. Maybe some fans will show up. And maybe the local sports media will give 'em half the coverage the Browns get. Who am I kidding...

24. Is it weird to say that this team reminds me of the 90's Yankees? They hit well, they pitch well, they make opposing pitchers work and though they hit for power, they don't have any big mashers (though they have a bunch of guys in the mid 20s). I think this is good. (Also, I didn't notice this before but: is Grady our Jeter?)

25. Though, they are missing a few things. They don't have a closer anywhere near as lights out as Mariano Rivera, they don't anyone near as ugly as the horse faced Scott Brosius and they don't have anyone who is nearly as big of a douche bag as Paul O'Neil.

26. Not a bad way to do it (and thank God that it wasn't against Cleveland). Good for Jim Thome. Always like him and I never really got mad that he left (same with Manny).

27. I am confused. I saw Colbert and Stewart announce Ricky Gervais but then they said that since "Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight. Instead we're going to give this to our friend, Steve Carell" Carell then ran on stage and jumped around with Colbert and Stewart (which was awesome). Gervais won. Colbert and Stewart's bit where they made fun of award shows was good too.

28. Really? How the hell did James freaking Spader beat out both Tony Soprano and Tommy Gavin. Come on (but hey, at least 30 Rock won something)

29. Thank God it's back. I freaking love It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The first two this year were pretty solid, but not great. Some parts where brilliant (the ali baba sword? Green man? Awesome). Check out the videos on their website, I enjoyed 'em.

30. That didn't go as planned. So last Tuesday I was planning on attending a concert and seeing the Coral and the Arctic Monkeys. Now, I like both bands, but I wouldn't have made the trip to Columbus on a weeknight just to see the Arctic Monkeys- I love the Coral. Anyways, we get there and there are no t-shirts for the Coral. Not good. Turns out they dropped out of the tour and got replaced by Voxtrot. This blew chunks for multiple reasons: A) I didn't get to hear any acid pirate rock B) I didn't get to buy a Coral t-shirt (and I really wanted on) and C) Voxtrot sucks ass (check out the comments in the link). On the plus side, the Arctic Monkeys were better than I was expecting (to the point where I'd go out of my way to see 'em again). But seriously, Voxtrot was awful; whiny, skinny indie kids playing boring music while acting like they were rocking out. I was not a fan (and neither were other people, the beer line was long as hell when Voxtrot was up).


The Other Ben said...

Ben, I was at the game last night and it was absolutely electric. It felt the games of our stretch run between 95-2001. This team still needs to get back to basics (IE base running, knowing when to do a hit and run, Peralta's inexplicable bad fielding) but I cant complain too much. 5.5 up, magic number of 7, they win a game in which Kenny Rodgers pitched. What I am wondering though is HOW DOES LEYELAND TAKE OUT RODGERS IN THE 8TH?!?!?! I mean, WTF. Hes got a low 90's pitch count and is baffling Indians hitters. I mean, wow. I agree with what some guy on the radio said last night: When Leyland took out Rodgers in the 8th, he was effectively writing checks that his team couldnt cash. How about Blake? As much as we rip on him, he has stepped it up lately. I would hate to think of anyone else in our org playing 3rd base. I still dont like his hitting with guys on base, but if he keeps doing what hes doing, we are going to be in great shape. Not much I can say about Byrd. He got ZERO help from his D last night. The 5 runs are not indicitive of how he pitched. The guy has been an absolutely beast as the 5th guy in our rotation. Nothing like Fall Ball :)

Erik said...

Leyland likely took Rogers out because he's on the wrong side of 40 and has been injured most of the year, and if the Tigers want to stay in the playoff chase, they're going to need a couple more effective starts out of Rogers.

It's part of the pitfalls of starting a 40-something in a critical game, particularly when your bullpen isn't so hot.

I wonder if Tigers management feels a twinge of regret for giving away Mike Maroth earlier this year. Maroth used to baffle the Indians, too, and he's much younger.

Ben said...

Wait, does this mean I have to stop making fun of Casey Blake? I dunno man... old habits die hard.

Though, truth be told, I'm a big fan of Casey's lumberjack beard.