It’s Steelers week, and I’ve got a feeling

Browns coming off a disappointing 20-10 loss to the Ravens this past Sunday in Cleveland. It was supposed to be Colt McCoy’s statement game against a tough divisional opponent. Ed Reed did what Ed Reed always does. It’s like you almost knew he was going his two interceptions and be on his merry way with a victory.

Colt McCoy struggled. And it was his first true nightmare game of his career. People including myself shouldn’t have thought that he was going to roll on forever without any trouble or without this game. This game comes for everybody. All the great ones. The Montanas. The Marinos. The Kosars. They all had poor games when they were young Quarterbacks against physical and experienced defenses. I really don’t think McCoy’s lack of arm strength was a huge factor in the poor game. I think his arm is strong enough in the intermediate passing game that it can cut through the winds on days like this past Sunday in the future. I think it’s good that he’s getting this game time logged and this experience. He’s going to be a good one.

Even though Toni Grossi sucks, he reminds us that it’s Steelers week. And I have a weird feeling that the Browns pull one off this Sunday. And it will be Eric Mangini’s swan song. But I just have this feeling that McCoy learns from this past Sunday in a big way and ends the season on a solid note.

It’s Sunday

Home from family Christmas in Cincinnati, it’s time to take a full day of NFL football in. My day starts with the gem that is the Cleveland Browns hosting the Baltimore Ravens. Spread is only 3 and 1/2 coming out of Las Vegas. I actually think it’s going to be a lot closer than people think.

Above, a look into an old December game in which the Browns lost in heartbreaking fashion. The 2001 Browns were unheralded and finished 7-9. This team in 2010 is unheralded, and they’re probably not going to finish 7-9. This is the last gear up game of the season.

In other action, the Giants/Packers game in Green Bay should make for good drama as well as all of the fantasy football championships going on today (I’m in them). Enjoy your Sunday everyone.

Christmas Eve post

I’ve always kind of liked Christmas Eve just as much as Christmas to be honest. I’m not sure if that is because you’re always at least guaranteed one more day off work or because the excitement is still building or what. The holidays have definitely dwindled over the years for me, because I’ve grown up and life got less fun and the loss of loved ones. But for a few hours on Christmas Eve you can always find it within yourself to find what is important about the holiday season and this holiday to begin with–at least I hope.

The gifts come in different forms. You stop getting actual presents as you get older and you find that the gifts come in other forms of life. If you’re a sports fan–maybe it comes in the form of a player. I liked Nate Ulrich’s post this morning in the ABJ about the Browns and their fans gift arriving in the form of Colt McCoy. I wasn’t a believer in this kid. But now that the season has almost past; there are hopes and dreams attached to this kid heading into next year. And just maybe, I’ll get his jersey underneath my tree. It’s the only thing I really asked for this year.

I also liked hearing that Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said that McCoy is ‘going to be a superstar in this league’. Very nice to hear as we once again play out the string at home against a couple of heavyweight contenders in Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

So today, I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas and take that extra second to tell the people who mean something you to that you’re thinking of them. Or that you love them. And I hope that you get the gift you want no matter what form it is in.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Odds and Ends two days before Christmas

The Cleveland Browns have posted their holiday message to the fans on their website today. It’s kind of a neat little 1:30 video of different players telling their favorite holiday memories. I like that Holmgren slipped in there. Last year I remember was a really nice surprise to find that on their website, and it was the first year that I remember seeing it. Make sure to head over to Clevelandbrowns.com and check it out.

-I miss the NFL on Saturdays more than probably anyone other than this guy.

-Rex Ryan, foot fetish. I’m not a foot guy. I’m told this is fairly normal. It is? Really? I had Rex pegged as a guy who makes a meal out of fortune cookies. Not a guy who eats the fuck out of some toes.

-Maybe Colt McCoy and I had the same flu. It sure sounds like it. If he has what I had, it goes through you at lightning speed and then you feel kind of iffy for days after. I think Colt caught it a day after I did.

Steelers and Panthers at Heinz Field tonight on NFL Network. Snow is falling. I had work out today. Holiday football really is the shit. I just hope I can catch this game on the big screen at my house and my fiance doesn’t bug me to let her watch the Santa Clause 2 on the television.

-I’m choosing Mafia II over Call of Duty Black Ops for Christmas. I hope I don’t regret it.

-Terrelle Pryor has been a massive disappointment here in Columbus. I think the suspensions will eventually be reduced by the time next year rolls around.

Battle of Ohio 2010 (Cincinnati Version)

[Game book]

My fiance and I met up with some family from Cincinnati and braved the harsh elements so I could watch a turd bowl of a game between a 5-8 team and a 2-10 team. She of course missed her Giants epic showdown (and later collapse against the Philadelphia Eagles. We were at the Starbucks near Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati when the Giants had their epic collapse.

Here’s that awesome formation, just before the 1st quarter touchdown throw from Colt McCoy to Robert Royal. This was one of McCoy’s best throws of the day, and it put the Brownies up 7-0 in the early going. It looked like it might be a big day, but the offense hit a lull.

This was one of the coldest games I ever remember being at. And I’ve been at some unbelievably cold ballgames. The club seats where we sat were fairly empty. Bengals fans seemed somewhat stunned from the blows they’ve absorbed this season. But somehow, from the opening coin toss on–I just knew that the Bengals were going to end their 10-game losing streak against the Browns. Lets be honest: doesn’t it seem like the Browns are always the franchise to let the team with a 10-game losing streak end it against them? They are. And they still are.

I don’t know what is wrong with Joshua Cribbs, but he is not the same player. He’s not even close. Actually, I do know what is wrong with him. It’s not brain surgery, he’s taken a lot of hits over the past few seasons and his brand of play is a very high level. That takes a lot out of a guy. What Browns fans don’t realize is that we have probably seen Josh Cribbs best days pass us right by. I think he’ll find a way to get in the end zone again on a return, but I don’t think we’ll ever see the guy who we saw from 2007 to 2009 again.

Just a shot before the opening kickoff. I’ll take from this Sunday before the Holidays the bitter cold, some time with my fiance and my family; and another really strong game from Colt McCoy. Let’s not forget, this was the game in which Brian Robiskie scored his first NFL touchdown.

My Source: Eric Mangini to be fired

I was just told by my source that the Browns players have all been informed that Eric Mangini will not be back as their head coach next season–and they’re playing these final three games for their jobs. When I asked my source if Eric Mangini would be more likely to quit at this point or go down guns blazing, he replied that he would be more likely to go down guns blazing.

My source also tells me that Mike Holmgren; and not someone he names as a replacement, will be the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns. He says that Holmgren like the 4-3 and Rob Ryan will be elsewhere and looking for a head coaching job. He says that Holmgren loves speed, and will need help installing a new defense here.

Colt McCoy will get first team reps this week, and he’ll start Sunday in Cincinnati if there is no set-backs with his ankle. Expect Eric Mangini to drag it out as long as he can as he usually does. Not that this makes a difference. Mangini needs to spend more time getting ready for Sundays and gameplans than these little bits of Tom-foolery with the injury report. It’s something he hasn’t figured out as a Head Coach in the NFL. Being in that position is based on what you do for three hours on Sunday. Not the shenanigans during the week to keep your opponent in the dark. Name your man, and then line up and beat someone’s ass.