Rants from the Dawg Pound

* “Jimmy”(my Browns insider) tells me that contrary to some media speculation, aside from some standard bumps and bruises(“only the kicker doesn’t have them”)Shaun Rodgers isn’t injured, and that Mangini and Rodgers’ relationship has not fizzled whatsoever. He referred to the report as “laughable” and “just the media grasping for straws”.

* Jimmy also told me that the apparent lack of pass rush  should be taken with a grain of salt. Eric “The General” Mangini would kill them if they deviate from their assignment or gap even if they did it to make a big play. So if making a play while freelancing won’t get you more playing time and reps why risk it? A lot of the stress on defense in training camp was on fundamentals such as tackling, positioning on the field and reading plays. In the games the coaches just wanted to see who can apply the fundamentals in a game setting, not who can beat up Matt Stafford and Aaron Rodgers.

* I asked Jimmy about the Quarterback situation. He would not utter a word and his face turned to stone. Phil Ivey’s poker face. In fact, he wouldn’t even say the names “Brady” or “Anderson” in any context. I asked him who played QB for the Pats and he said O’Connell, Walter and Gisele’s husband. I asked him what Neo’s last name is in the Matrix and he looked at me like I was crazy(OK, I didn’t know that lifetime football guys aren’t into Sci Fi). Tommy Lee’s wife’s last name? Nope. Pamela from Baywatch? His eyes lit up but he quickly looked away. It got uncomfortable. We had a shot. Few more beers. Nothing. This guy really has a Seinfeldian vault. I’m telling you he looked nervous and scared to talk about it. “The General” really has him by the Browns.

* On paper the cornerback situation looks pretty decent. But after going to the Lion’s game I’m a little concerned. Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald are decent ball hawks but there were a lot, I mean a lot of open receivers. The safeties have a knack of letting the receivers get behind them. I’m not sure how this is going to play out. If Matt Staff didn’t only look at one receiver per play it might have looked more like the Packers game.

*  I don’t think the Browns are ripping up Josh Cribb’s contract. Adjusting it, maybe, but rip it up? He has four years left and he has no real leverage. Yes, he is an important part of the team, especially if he comes on as a receiver, but he should have listened to former Brown’s WR Dennis Northcutt when he advised him not to sign his six-year $6.77 million dollar extension.The funniest part is that Cribbs is walking around saying, “Man, I should have listened to that Northcutt dude. He was one smart cat.” I promise no one has ever said that before.

* It’s very exciting to see some rookies, even some late round picks, making a impact. James Davis hopefully will take some of Jamal Lewis’ carries, Coye Francies (cool name) is looking very solid and David Veikune looks like he’s from the Teddy Bruschi/Mike Vrabel school of linebacking. Not to mention the receivers and “The Mack truck” (I know, I know, too easy, too easy). We should hold a parade for Kokinis just for that alone.

* One more tidbit from Jimmy. The most hated Smith in Browns land? Not Shaun Smith. Gene Smith(Jaguars G.M.). The front office is pissed and has vowed revenge. I love it. Yeah, I know that Gene Smith took a dump on Kokinis and the entire organization. Phil Savage wouldn’t even have realized.

* Mangini if you are reading this: Please keep Blake Costanzo and force Kokinis to trade first names with him. No fan would ever doubt a trade made by a guy named “Blake” and it would be awesome to have a player named George Costanzo.This definitely has a future. I’m sure a fun-loving guy like Mangini will go for this. Please. Please comment.

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7 Responses to “Rants from the Dawg Pound”

  1. clayton says:

    Ask “Jimmy” if Kokinis has left the country. I haven’t seen the guy in months. Maybe Randy sent him across the pond to run Aston Villa…

    • Dear Clayton,
      Who says you have to be around when your a G.M. of a football team? I was always on the road scouting the likes of Beau Bell and Travis Wilson. Are you insinuating that I was a bad G.M.? F*@% You!
      Phil Savage

  2. jerry says:

    This guy is great.I have been following his blog – BROWNSRANT.COM FOR SOME TIME NOW.

  3. Denolakes says:

    If the focus has been on fundamentals, then I see some real problems here, especially with tackling and penalties. Mike Furrey looks like a terrific addition to the receiver group. If Cribbs can establish himself as a every-down player, I see some potential for some pretty creative play calling with an O-line that can hold their blocks to make them work. This could help alleviate the lack of depth or talent at this position — and make it much more difficult for teams to defend. Combine this with a no-huddle offense during a game, and this team could possibly do some real damage at times. If they are going to use Cribbs in this manner,though, they have to renegotiate his contract. Quit playing head games and focus on the ones on the field.

  4. Denolakes,
    You make some really good points. There seems to be some left over slacking from the Romeo days and those habits die hard. Your also dead on about Cribbs’ impact on the play-calling. What was the last player the Browns had offensively that was that X-factor that teams had to game plan for?

  5. ButchGavlen says:

    So what you do is call him in and talk to him; tell him how it’s gonna be in a while, and make it up to him at the right time. You DO NOT open new contract talks now unless you want to open the biggest can of worms you’ve ever seen contract wise. You’ll have them lining up, holding out, and crying like a bunch of babies. You will create so much disention amongst the growing grooup of players whose agents convince them they are under paid and overlooked; do you thing the agents care on bit about the game, the fans or the team?

    • Dennis Thompson says:

      And if he gets injured while playing in this expanded role? These are professional athletes with relatively short playing careers. They can only command entertainer-type compensation for that 5-12 year period they are active, assuming they can stay healthy. And, as Cribbs ages, he will face the inevitable physical losses that accompany playing this very demanding game. Do you really think everyone will line up, considering the approach of this group of coaches and management? Based on what? This is, after all, what free agency is all about, isn’t it? This is a unique situation. You dance with them that brung ya — and Cribbs has definitely shown up to play when others — much higher paid others — did not. Pay him. Keep him. The guy bleeds orange and brown. You pay your people who are worthy and let them take care of you. The others can tell their story walkin’. Ask Shaun Smith.

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