Monday, October 10, 2005

This Year's Cleveland Browns - Four Games In

Some observations from enemy territory:

1. Crennel is the anti-Butch. He is such a straight-shooter so far. I just love reading the transcripts of some of his early pressers (yeah, I'm a football nerd). To wit:

"What's the theme that you have for the team as you go forward?'' he was asked.
"Win,'' Crennel replied.
"All right,'' went the follow-up. "What's the one thing you need to do that you haven't done?''
"Improve and play better,'' Crennel said.

'Nuff said.

2. They try to run the freakin' ball. Yes, people, this is Cleveland. If you can't figure out how to run the ball in October, you're screwed come Novemeber and December. Even though the numbers may not yet be there, their commitment to the run will pay off over time.

3. They have established some roles and are sticking with them. Ruben is the featured back. Yee-ha. We could argue over the pros and cons of Ruben vs. Suggs, but at least they've picked one and are plowing forward with their decision.

4. The attitude is Play To Win, NOT Play Not to Lose. Note Dilfer's aggressiveness throwing the ball with only minutes left on Sunday against the Bears. Result: it put the game away. People, this is how you're supposed to play at home in the NFL.

5. Two words: Trent Dilfer. He is a class act, a leader, and a smart football player. I watched him keep an sputtering offense together here in Bawlmer, one that eventually won the Super bowl. We're lucky to have him.

For more on Trent, I love this Patrick McManamon article from several weeks ago. It focuses on what Dilfer and his family went through when they lost their son, and how it impacted is attitude and career. It's must reading if you don't yet know much about him beyond his NFL resume.


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