Monday, February 14, 2005

The Weekend in Review

Browns Notes

  • Patriots Secondary Coach Eric Mangini has decided to stay in New England as the Defensive Coordinator. He took winning and learning under Bill Belichick over money - I'll salute him for that. With Mangini off the Browns' list, they most likely will turn to former Cleveland linebacker Pepper Johnson, most recently a position coach with the Patriots.

  • The Offensive Coordinator position goes to former Giants running back Maurice Carthon. Carthon, most recently an Offensive Coordinator for Bill Parcell's Cowboys, has coached with Romeo Crennel for 13 years.

  • Good news for the Cleveland fans who like him - and for the man himself - Terry Robiskie will stay with the Browns as their receivers coach. It would have been nice to see him as the OC, but you have to expect a demotion for a guy from a fired staff.

  • Other hirings: Jerry Rosburg, special teams (retains his current job); Jeff Davidson, O-Line; John Lott, strength and conditioning.

  • Well, I was hoping to break the news nationally when I heard it Sunday, but now I'm too late. Jeff Garcia will be cut by the Browns. I liked him for being a gamer, but he needed to keep his mouth shut and keep his opinions on coaching between him and the team. The new staff likes Kelly Holcomb from what they've seen. Holcomb has been outstanding in relief over the past few years, but no so good when a team has had a week or two to prepare for only him. If the offensive line can protect, and if he can learn not to stare down his intended targets, Cleveland will be OK. Luke McCown is still the QB of the future, and I'm still a fan of the guy (although he needs to get used to the weather). Bowling Green (not a state) productJosh Harris remains on the roster after a late season addition - who knows what his future is.

  • After the Davis era, Jeff Faine is becoming considered by the local media "just another first round bust." The fact that he has only played 22 out of a possible 32 games hasn't helped, especially when Courtney Brown and other top picks have had trouble staying healthy. At the same time, though, one of the knocks on Butch Davis is that he overworked his guys in the weight room, not giving them breaks and causing them injuries. But, the knock on Faine is that Melvin Fowler, drafted the year before, is a better center. Now, wait a minute. Story time. At the beginning of this year, the Packers released Tim Couch. They said that they had compared the tapes of Couch at Kentucky and what they were seeing now - it wasn't the same. The Browns staff had messed up his delivery, and the Packers didn't have the time or the motivation to correct it. Isn't it possible that the same thing happened to Faine? He's spent two years hearing about how the guards next to him are terrible, and as a result often tries to overcompensate. I wish I had stats to back my claim up, but for now there's nothing to combat Butch Davis's O-Line coach and a growingly feisty Cleveland media.

Transaction Wire

  • T-Wolves fire Flip Saunders and name Kevin McHale interim coach. Well, someone's got to get that talent to play well. Will it be McHale? We shall see. I can only speculate based on the recent performances of Isiah Thomas and Larry Bird, but I shouldn't jump to conclusions like that.

  • Nets trade second round picks in '05 and '07 to Golden State for Clifford Robinson. I had to look this up, because I had no idea. Robinson is 37 years old. Funny, I thought he was about 37 when I started watching basketball 15 years ago.

Miscellaneous Ramblings

  • Great quote from my grandpa the other day. The family was discussing anniversaries, and my grandma said that she and Grandpa had been married for 59 years. I jokingly mentioned that she had a bit of a sour face when she said that. She said that it was because Grandpa always claimed that one day he would "trade her in for the new model." Grandpa's response: "Yeah, I thought when she turned 40, I could trade her in for two 20's."

  • Utah paid $68 million for Carlos Boozer this offseason, and now they're starting to regret it. First of all, they're finally realizing that Boozer is not a $68 mil superstar - he's a role player that works well on a team with a star center and a star perimeter player. He's definitely not a #1 option, although he thinks he should be. And now, he's starting to mail it in on the court, especially on defense (where he wasn't that great to begin with). The Jazz have called him out on it, and it's all downhill from here. Meanwhile, Drew Gooden has taken over Boozer's double-double every night role in Cleveland.

  • Speaking of disgruntled Cavs, Darius Miles is not happy in Portland. Say what you want, but character guys and chemistry do make a difference, even in the pros.

  • Finally, in "you can't make this up" news, an Akron, OH man is being investigated by the FBI after allegedly sending threatening emails to Ray Lewis via his charity organization. Some reports say that the man is a relative of one of the two men killed by Lewis's posse in 2000. Wow, I can't even comment on this one - there's just too much going on.

Later this week: NL East Preview.