What a Star Should Do

There are no moral victories in professional sports. That is what makes Sunday’s loss against the Cincinnati Bengals so heartbreaking. The game was competitive. The Browns had a chance. The defense looked formidable and the team got huge boosts from Jerome Harrison and Mohammad Massaquoi who had career days. Any other year, production like that from younger players would be a reason to celebrate. This year, it leaves me frustrated because there is something missing.

The missing piece is the team’s star wide out. What happened to Braylon Edwards? On a day where the Browns had a chance to win their star player disappeared. That is the tragedy of yesterday’s loss. Everyone played as if they believed they could turn this season around. Rogers, Thomas and Pool gave their all, just to name a few. Everyone made a difference except Edwards. In this particular game his performance brings up more questions than answers.

I thought about that as I watched the last minute heroics displayed by Brandon Marshall in the Broncos victory over the Cowboys. On the ropes, in a game that meant a great deal to the team and their fans, with one chance left Marshall caught a pass from Orton and showed all his natural athletic gifts as he streaked for a touchdown to win the game. With that catch and the win all the pre-season drama streaked away with him. The only thing that mattered to him was winning a ball game.

But isn’t that what a teams best players are supposed to do? Aren’t they supposed to forget the personal stuff, fight the odds against them and rise above the situation by doing something special and amazing? That is what great NFL stories are made from. What did Braylon decide to do? He chose to let Massaquoi lead the team. He let the rookie WR from Georgia help bring the team to the brink of a win. He abdicated his responsibility which is unacceptable for a team leader.

That is the biggest problem with this team. The players that should be playing well are the guys that disappear. Understand I am being a realist here. There shouldn’t be anything that the Bengals can throw at Edwards that should prevent him from making an impact. The Patriots, yes, I could see them matching up with him and shutting him down. But, not the Bengals, regardless of the type of season they are carving out.

So, with the game tied up, whether in regulation or overtime, where was Edwards? How can a player that boasts his talent not come up with something to get their team over the hump? Like I said, Braylon’s disappearing act creates many more questions than answers but the bottom line is that we have to get better than average production from our stars. This is exactly what Braylon Edward’s wants to be. A star. Well, if that is the case, he needs to start acting like one.

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4 Responses to “What a Star Should Do”

  1. Denolakes says:

    The problems of this team are not because of Braylon, by any means. There is no question he has underperformed to date this season. Some of that, at least, has to be included in the underperforming QB equation, I would think. Braylon’s Y-T-D stats are not very good; Furrey is ranked ahead of him — and he’s ranked towards the bottom of the top 45 receivers in the league. Top ten receivers in the AFC have each gotten 20 or more catches so far — with the ranking leaders in the 26-34 catch range, or about 7-9 catches per game. With the average gain being about 16 yards per catch, that is a lot of offense being generated among the league leaders from one possession player combination. Massaquoi had one of those games last week with DA, so we cannot abandon the possibility that there is a QB on the roster that can, at least once in awhile, execute. More must be seen. Massaquoi and Furrey play. Robiskie hits the field in 4-receiver sets — as does Cribbs as the RB. Braylon plays, and make whatever changes need to be made knowing that: 1) this team is going nowhere; 2) Braylon may not be here next year; and 3) franchise tag — and its accompanying draft picks — might mean playing him for a longer period than his play would otherwise justify in the hopes he will pick it up. Let’s see how he plays over the weeks leading to the bye week. Every player this team can manage to salvage by making productive means one less position of urgency.

  2. The coach wasn’t disappointed in Edwards’ performance according to the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER. Apparently he did other less noticeable things very well than catching a pass. He helped open holes for our running game. Hopefully with some of the other guys catching passes, it will take some of the pressure off Edwards to where he will be open and be able to make some big catches. There are lots of games left so I wouldn’t give up on him just yet.

    I felt very bad though that the Browns played well and came so close to winning but still lost. I’m hoping they can beat Buffalo this week!

  3. ButchGavlen says:

    i’ve had enough of little boy spoiled. this guy is making how much for what? passes that hit him square in the chest and he can’t catch. this is the ultimate though. and he’s out of here at the end of the year anyway. why anyone is making excuses still or wanting to give him another chance is beyond reason. he’s a user and makes me sick.

  4. Jim Paroline says:

    You can argue back and forth as to why Braylon Edwards was let go. Mangini said hit the road, don’t look at the statistics, they can lie; don’t look at his off the field antics; don’t look at the newspaper for your answer. There is only one reason, and Butch, you hit the nail on the head. The man can not catch a football if his life depended on it.. Look at the receiver Braylon Edwards; who is he? Watch the replays; watch his dropped passes, watch his eyes; does he say to himself, “I am the best and I can catch this pass but I won’t, because I don’t need to”, He doesn’t even think that, he wants to catch the ball but he can’t; he has the fumble finger itis, for which there is no cure. Over and over there is a consistancy of the wrong kind; it started last year – pass after pass hitting him square on the numbers and Braylon Edwards drops the ball 97 out of a 100 times. It is not a quarterback issue, I repeat not a quarterback issue, it is not a Mangini issue, it is not bed wetting issue. Braylon couldn’t catch a football in a clutch situation if Otto Graham passed it to him 3ft away. Turn on the grill cook-up some brots and open a beer; the Browns are finally on their way to a team. Thank you Mangini! Browns 24, Buf 17.

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