Tag Archives: Cleveland Browns

Rehab for Johnny Football

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plains Dealer reports that Johnny Manziel has entered rehab

Johnny Manziel enters rehab

Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, who’s been photographed partying from coast to coast since the day he was drafted, entered a treatment facility Wednesday and is getting the help he needs, according to a family friend and advisor.

“Brad Beckworth, a friend and advisor to Manziel and his family, has confirmed that Johnny entered treatment on Wednesday,” a statement from Manziel’s publicist read. “Johnny knows there are areas in which he needs to improve in order to be a better family member, friend and teammate, and he thought the offseason was the right time to take this step. 

“On behalf of Johnny and his family, we’re asking for privacy until he rejoins the team in Cleveland.”

The Browns also released the following statement from general manager Ray Farmer:

“We respect Johnny’s initiative in this decision and will fully support him throughout this process. Our players’ health and well-being will always be of the utmost importance to the Cleveland Browns. We continually strive to create a supportive environment and provide the appropriate resources, with our foremost focus being on the individual and not just the football player.

“Johnny’s privacy will be respected by us during this very important period and we hope that others will do the same.”

Manziel’s partying was chronicled over the last year, from floating on swans to rolling up a bill in the bar of a bathroom, which the Browns found most “disturbing,” sources told Northeast Ohio Media Group.

I am not a big fan of Johnny Manziel as a football player.  I think he is better as a CFL than a NFL qb but I am happy for Manziel as a human being.  His season was a train wreck last year in most part of his partying and alcohol consumption.

I also think that the jump from the SEC (or any team in the NCAA) is so big that only a few can make it.  The talent is one reason but also you are no longer big man on campus.  Coaches like Mack Brown, Kevin Sumlin, or Jimbo Fisher aren’t covering for you.  The school president isn’t there to make excuses for you and there are no more professors who just want to be part of the “team”.   Vince Young never made the transition from college star to professional.  Even Tim Tebow never seemed to get it (especially after he had some success in Denver).  Hopefully Manziel finds some answers in rehab.  Not about football but about life.

This should be Rob Chudzinski’s press conference tomorrow

By the way, firing Rob Chudzinski is a joke move by the Cleveland Browns.  The entire season was supposed to be about the future (trading Trent Richardson) and he had the worst quarterback situation in the league.  No one can win in that situation.  Their franchise player, Joe Thomas was right when he said, “successful franchises don’t fire their coach after one season”.  Well no one is confusing the Cleveland Browns with a successful franchise.

Brady Quinn

B_1 The Denver Broncos acquire Brady Quinn.

The Broncos acquired the former first-round draft pick from the Cleveland Browns for fullback Peyton Hillis, a 2011 sixth-round draft pick and a conditional pick in 2012.

Not a good sign if you are Kyle Orton and want a new contract and as for Chris Simms, well it’s been nice to know you.  It will be interesting to see if Josh McDaniels opens up the starting QB job in training camp.  While Kyle Orton did a serviceable job in 2009, he didn’t exactly cause teams to fear his arm and rarely threw the ball downfield.  While Quinn was horrible in Cleveland, he didn’t have a lot to work with, didn’t have the support of the head coach but is familiar with the New England offense from his days at Notre Dame.  It should be interesting.

Contextless Sports Thoughts

The Woods Family Picture :: Tiger, Elin and the kids

  • Interesting article on how IMG is handling the Tiger Woods debacle :: "Specifically," Posner writes, "sources at two of Woods’s corporate sponsors told The Daily Beast that Steinberg has been working furiously to get them to issue public statements demonstrating that they ‘had full faith in Tiger and backed him completely.’" And according to Posner, while Nike is on board with the plan, Gillette and Gatorade are not, and Accenture is wavering. :: I personally think Woods is done as a marketing pitchman and his ability to pitch will be very limited from here on in.  Like Wendy said after reading a news report that said that Tag Heuer was dropping Tiger from it’s latest ad campaign, how do I show her a pamphlet with Tiger Woods on the front and say, “You can give me one of those for Christmas”.  Also, he just didn’t have an affair, he had affairs with women whose lifestyle is not exactly what most Tag Heuer owners ascribe to.  That and the Tiger Woods Tag Heuer watch is one ugly watch.
  • Jay Cutler Dan Pompei has a story on how Jay Cutler needs to grow up and stop being a baby.  He’s another QB that needs to grow up quick or risk having a career trajectory similar to Jeff George.   Mike Shanahan couldn’t get him to grow up, his immaturity lead to him being traded from the Broncos to the Bears (burning bridges as he went) and it ended the honeymoon pretty quickly in Chicago.  We could start a pool on where he ends up next.  Oakland anyone?
  • Pretty big news out of Notre Dame today.  Brian Kelly has been named coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  Let’s hope the Brian Kelly era is nicer to us fans than the heartbreaking Charlie Weis era.  Someone does need to Tweet Charlie Weis and get him to update his Twitter profiles though.  You can follow Coach Kelly on Twitter here.

The end of the Charlie Weis era

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Well Charlie Weis is out at Notre Dame.  Notre Dame had an incredible aerial attack but couldn’t run the ball out on close games and had a horrific defense for most of Weis’ tenure.  In the end Weis didn’t beat better teams than Notre Dame and often were beat by inferior teams.

Despite that, I felt really down when they announced his firing.  From all accounts, Charlie Weis is a really good man who recruited athletes that the University of Notre Dame should be proud of.  He was also a great offensive coach but couldn’t hire effective defensive coaches or could not recruit good enough athletes on the defensive side of the ball.  Notre Dame’s front seven constantly lost the war in the trenches and you aren’t going to win too many games if you can’t stop the run.  You also won’t hold many leads if you can’t run out a game and Notre Dame could not.

Former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis So what do you do now?  Michael Ventre of MSNBC asks the question, “Would even half of the Florida Gators be able to qualify to enroll at Notre Dame?”  He suggests that Notre Dame needs to lower academic standards to allow better players to qualify.  Dan Wetzel sees it differently, “When Notre Dame gets a good coach again, it will be good again. This isn’t rocket science. Had the Irish snapped up current Florida coach Urban Meyer, a former star assistant, when they could have, there would be no debate, Notre Dame would be Notre Dame.”   Weis signed plenty of players that USC and Florida and others wanted. He had a team that was good enough for nine or 10 wins. He just couldn’t coach them into a viable unit.

Now if I was Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner and for some reason, I was still committed to Eric Mangini as my coach, I would hire Charlie Weiss as my team’s offensive coordinator and see what he can get out of Brady Quinn.  Remember, Brady Quinn is from Cleveland if he can make him into a franchise quarterback or even a QB that can get the Browns into the playoffs on a regular basis, it would energize the Cleveland fan base.  While it isn’t as common now as it was in the 90s, there can still be a role for the superstar offensive coordinator.

Contextless Football Thoughts

Denver Broncos logo Well the Denver Broncos are 5-0 after beating the New England Patriots in OT on Sunday.  You have no idea how much this messes with me.  Emotionally I was prepared for a 5-11 record and now they are 5-0.  I am not sure how to handle this.  Do I start to believe that Denver could contend for a for a playoff spot or do I stand firm with my 7-9 best case scenario.  Say whatever you want about Josh McDaniels but he ability to bring disgruntled receiver, Brandon Marshall back into the fold has had a big impact on this season.  Could you see Eric Mangini patching up a relationship like this? 

While we have seen the Patriots replace coordinator after coordinator and not miss a beat, has the loss of Josh McDaniels hurt Tom Brady?

Cleveland Browns logoHow much fun can it be to be a Cleveland Browns fan.  First they hired the most socially dysfunctional coach this side of Mike Keenan because he was an offensive genius and then they start 0-4, change their QB’s and then still stink.  Finally they win a game but they win the game 6-3.  Their QB, Derek Anderson was 2-17 or 23 yards which is slightly worse than what Napoleon Dynamite’s, Uncle Rico could do if given the chance.  For the record, this is far worse than what Brady Quinn ever did.

San_Francisco_49ers_helmet_rightfaceThis is painful for me to stay as I really like Mike Singletary as a player and as a coach but until he gets his temper and intensity under control he will continue to hurt his team.  Of course Dre’ Bly hurt the team in his own way when celebrating while making an interception.  Of course his team was down 25 points at the time.  In his defence, Bry decide to speak in third person.  “Dre’s going to be Dre’,” Bly said. “When I make plays, and I’ve made a lot, I express myself.”  He made so many places in Denver they cut him.  What an idiot.

University of Saskatchewan Huskies A little closer to home, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies walked all over the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.  If I am UBC, I may put off my move to the NCAA until I can be competitive consistently in the CIS.  The University of Saskatchewan Huskies’ offence woke up scoring five touchdowns en route to a 44-7 victory over the UBC Thunderbirds.  Questioned for their lack of offence in first few weeks of the season, the Huskies entered the game with just three touchdowns and 55 points in their first four games of the season.

Other quick hits… I can’t believe that the Tennessee Titans are 0-5…I am glad to see that the Cinncinnati Bengals are doing well.  Part of me wonders if they are more stable because of Chad Ochocinco finding a community on Twitter…

Contextless Football Thoughts

I was up at the lake this weekend and the little bit of football news I got was through Twitter.  It’s always nerve wracking to come home and wonder if your team or teams won.

Okay, let’s just admit that Notre Dame will probably be 10-2 heading into a BCS bowl game and we still won’t know very much about them.  Their schedule is really, really soft and they still can barely beat teams.  Yeah they beat Purdue but we know Purdue isn’t that great.  They beat Michigan State which is nice but Michigan State lost to a directional Michigan team and won’t be contending for the Big-Ten title this year.  We really don’t know much more about Notre Dame than we did before. 

The Saskatchewan Roughriders won ugly but it’s a win and they move to the top of the Western Conference standings with a win over the Edmonton Eskimos.  What was amazing about this game was the attendance in Edmonton, over 62,000 people in Commonwealth Stadium.

The University of Alberta Golden Bears stunned a ranked team for the second week in a row with a 27-7 victory Friday night over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Friday night in Edmonton’s Foote Field.  I can’t say the loss was unexpected.  The Huskies were 2-0 heading in to the game but hadn’t played well at all.

The University of Miami Hurricanes Growing up, I hated the University of Miami Hurricanes, they represented everything that was bad about college football and on top of that, they gave the world Vinny Testaverde and no college should ever be forgiven for that.  Over the last couple of years I have warmed to the Hurricane’s and this year I had switched my allegiance from the Florida State Seminoles to the Hurricanes.  In that context, I was saddened to see them get blown out by Virginia Tech today.

Of course the good news today is that Denver is now 3-0 with Mr. Neckbeard having a QB rating of 92.1 while JaMarcus Russell’s problems continued with a QB rating of 22.6.  I have heard the stories for a couple of years about his work ethic and if they are true, this is just a case of defenses learning more about him than he knows about them which is not a recipe for success in the NFL.  While there is no doubt in my mind that Denver will not make the playoffs this year and will finish somewhere around 7-9, it’s nice to get the season started and stop hearing about Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall everyday.  It’s also nice to see that this Josh McDaniel kid can really coach. 

medium_Brady-quinn While I don’t really like Mangenius as a coach, I am fan of Brady Quinn but he looked horrible against the Baltimore Ravens defense today.  Then again, Derek Anderson didn’t look that great either.  That being said, I have a feeling that Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers in their prime would have struggled against this defense.  Quinn went 6 for 8 for 34 yards and an interception. Anderson, who lost his starting job to Quinn last year, was 11 for 19 for 92 yards and three interceptions.

Stay Classy Coach

Michael Silver has a great column on the lack of social skills shown by many in the Bill Belichick coaching tree.

It’s the latest testament to Mangini’s apparent lack of tact and people skills, personality traits he honed under his estranged mentor, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Like two other Belichick disciples, new Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and neophyte Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, Mangini has marked his arrival at a new organization this offseason by alienating established leaders while projecting a self-assuredness that borders on arrogance.

With three Super Bowl titles as a head coach and a prior record of success as a brainy defensive coordinator, Belichick, a future Hall of Famer, can get away with his power trip. Whether Mangini, Pioli and McDaniels are able to pull it off will depend upon how many football games their respective teams win, something that often depends upon the men in uniform buying into the program.

In the meantime, in Cleveland, Kansas City and Denver, the new guys in charge seem to be consumed with winning mind games, a strategy I’m not so sure will serve them well over the long haul.

In Denver, McDaniels’ sloppy handling of his interactions with Jay Cutler after an unsuccessful attempt to trade him at the start of free agency led to the loss of a franchise quarterback, largely because the 33-year-old coach was obsessed with demonstrating his unquestioned authority.

In K.C., Pioli’s arrival as the all-powerful general manager after years as Belichick’s right-hand personnel man was soon followed by a less-publicized incident involving a star player. According to Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock, perennial Pro Bowl guard and locker-room leader Brian Waters  asked to be traded or released after becoming offended by the arrogant attitudes of Pioli and his newly hired coach, Todd Haley.

Waters, a source told Whitlock, flew to Kansas City in February specifically to meet with the new GM and coach in an effort to become familiar with their leadership plans. The source said Pioli told Waters he had no interest in meeting and that Haley began a hallway conversation with the player by proclaiming that 22 guys off the street could win two games, as the Chiefs had in ’08.

Mangini, fresh off a 1-4 finish with the Jets that got him fired after three seasons – he had a 23-26 overall record (including a playoff loss) in New York – arrived in Cleveland with a similar swagger. One of his first moves was to orchestrate the firing of director of pro personnel T.J. McCreight, the highest-ranking personnel man remaining after Lerner’s dismissal of general manager Phil Savage, and one of the people who’d interviewed to replace Savage. (Mangini, hired while the GM job was still open, successfully lobbied Lerner to choose Ravens personnel executive George Kokinis.)

McCreight, a source said, was called into the office of team president Mike Keenan, who pulled out cell-phone records showing that McCreight had engaged in conversations with reporters – an act frowned upon by the paranoid Mangini. McCreight explained that speaking with the media was among the duties with which he’d been entrusted by Savage, but he was nonetheless terminated; he has since been hired as the Cardinals’ director of pro personnel.

I hate defending Bill Belichick but he has always treated players well.  Before he learned how to do this, he flamed out in Cleveland and left there with not many Christmas cards from the organization or the players.   It may work in the short term but players play for a coach they respect and who they think respects them.  Witness the success that Mike Smith had in Atlanta doing the exact opposite that the Belichick coaching tree is trying to do.  He respected the veterans, listened to their input, and when the going got tough, they believed in their coach.

Looking outside football, contrast this with how Rick Hendrick of Hendrick Motorsports treats people

In 25 years of racing in NASCAR’s top series, Hendrick has built a powerhouse organization of 500-plus employees who have a fierce loyalty to their boss. They love working for “Mr. H.” and put 100-percent effort into job performance. If the grass is possibly greener elsewhere, few ever bother finding out.

Steve Letarte started as a high schooler stocking the parts room and grew up to be Jeff Gordon’s crew chief. Gustafson came aboard in the chassis shop when he was 24 and was Busch’s crew chief six years later. Chad Knaus started as a tire changer on Gordon’s original “Rainbow Warriors” pit crew, left briefly for a bigger job elsewhere, then returned to build Jimmie Johnson’s three-time championship-winning team from scratch.

Even Tony Eury Jr. has come full cycle. He spent childhood summers sweeping floors and polishing cars at Hendrick with his grandfather, Robert Gee. When Earnhardt chose HMS in 2007 over every other team in the industry, Earnhardt used this example to demonstrate his affection for Hendrick: When Gee, one of the first employees at All-Star Racing (now Hendrick Motorsports) had aged well past his ability to perform as a fabricator, Hendrick let him continue to work.

He treats his employees as family – firing Casey Mears, a close friend of Hendrick’s late son, Ricky, was a gut-wrenching business decision – and goes out of his way to offer a helping hand.

Sidelined several weeks with a fast-spreading sinus infection that kept him away from the track, Hendrick returned for last week’s All-Star race on a scaled-back schedule. Thursday, he was still making his rounds at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, site of Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, reconnecting with people he had not seen in several weeks. When an industry veteran updated Hendrick on an ailing family member, Hendrick said to him, “Tell me if there’s anything I can do to help.”

That kind of attention is what separates Hendrick from the other car owners. Of course Joe Gibbs and Richard Childress and Jack Roush have good employee relationships, but none have established the kind of companywide adoration that Hendrick receives from his race team, his automotive organization and virtually everyone inside the Cup garage, including his competition.

Who would you rather work for?

Torn

Cleveland Brown's QB Brady QuinnI am a die hard Denver Bronco fan but I am also a Brady Quinn fan and while I am excited that he is starting, I really wish his first start didn’t come against my struggling Denver Broncos.

Of course Cleveland isn’t doing much better and while Derek Anderson isn’t playing great, what is really killing the Browns is that they are dropping all sorts of passes tossed their way.  I am not sure that putting in Brady Quinn changes that.

All I know is that for the first time since I became a Denver Broncos fan in 1988, I will have some mixed emotions as they get beat by the Cleveland Browns.