Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland Browns’

NFL Preseason Mash Ups: AFC North Personas

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

by WingFan

Wingfan

 

 

 

 

Teams have personality. Between the owner, the coach, the players, and the fans, a team develops certain behaviors. As we approach the official beginning of the NFL season, WingFan would like to continue the countdown to kickoff by walking you through each AFC North team and our assessment of their persona. Let’s take a look at what each team brings to the table:

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Persona: Robert DeNiro

DeNiroThere can only be one Godfather and the Pittsburgh Steelers take that title.  They have six Super Bowl wins (’74, ’75, ’78, ’79, ’05, ’07) – the most in NFL history.  The 1970’s Steelers dynasty was nicknamed “The Steel Curtain” and the way they played was brutal, hard-nosed, and downright gangster.  Robert DeNiro is as gangster as they get:  young Vito Corleone in Godfather II, Al Capone in The Untouchables, Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas, Lorenzo in Bronx Tale, and Sam Rothstein in Casino.  The Steelers weren’t just a great team but their defenses are full of legendary athletes who toe the line between genius and psycho – “Mean” Joe Green, Jack Hamm, Jack Lambert, Melvin Blount, Kevin Green, and Jerome Harrison.  DeNiro’s got a psycho side too:  Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, Max Cady in Cape Fear, and Gil Renard in The Fan.

JL

You can’t become a legendary actor by being a “one trick pony” and DeNiro is more than capable of being versatile.  You can’t become the most decorated team in the Super Bowl era without having a versatile offense either.  The Steelers believe in running with power, passing with grace, and digging down deep when it counts. DeNiro believes in method acting, physically pushing his body’s limits to pull off the role, and digging deep
within himself to find his character’s true being.  Players like Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, Jerome Bettis, Hines Ward, and Ben Roethlisberger are great Steelers because they do more than one thing.  They are receivers who make blocks down field.  They are quarterbacks that shake off a big hit and throw the winning pass.  They are running backs who run for the touchdown even if they have to make a hole for themselves.

Franco Harris after the "Immaculate Reception".

Franco Harris after the “Immaculate Reception”.

The Steelers have a “miracle” play called the “Immaculate Reception”.  One of the best “miracle” roles DeNiro ever had was as Lenard Lowe in Awakenings.  The late Robin Williams played a doctor in a mental hospital that discovers a “miracle drug” which brings Lenard Lowe back from his catatonic state.  Quarterback Terry Bradshaw made a desperation throw in the closing seconds of a 1972 playoff game against the Oakland Raiders.  The receiver was immediately hit by a defender and the ball popped high up in the air. Just as the ball was falling to the turf to assure a Raiders’ victory, good ole Franco scoops the ball up just before it touches the ground.  The crowd went bananas as Franco raced to the end zone for the game winning touchdown. Roles like Lenard Lowe and plays like the “Immaculate Reception” are the reason that fans fall over themselves whenever the steel curtain calls.

 

Team:  Baltimore Ravens
Persona:  Mike Tyson

MTMike Tyson definitely deserves a place on football’s “The Grid Iron” and Baltimore is an historic iron city that perfectly fits “Iron” Mike.  Iron Mike had a signature way of entering the ring where he never wore a traditional boxing robe; instead he wore a towel shirt. He basically used to cut through the center of a regular white towel so he could fit his head through, and then he draped it over his shoulders.  The Ravens had a signature way of entering their stadium too.  The team captain and inspirational leader, linebacker Ray Lewis, would do a little dance nicknamed the “Squirrel Dance” (see pic below).  Just like a towel shirt, Lewis’ dance was unlike anything you’d ever seen before.

Ray Lewis & The Squirrel Dance

Ray Lewis & The Squirrel Dance

Baltimore won two Super Bowls with that Squirrel Dance, and Mike won multiple championship titles with that towel shirt because these guys are not only ballers – they’re brawlers.  Sometimes the Ravens’ games look like street fights and sometimes the score ends up looking as ugly as Mitch Green after a street fight with Tyson (see pic).  Take the Ravens first Super Bowl victory in 2001, for example, when they pulverized the New York Giants 34-7 – that’s one ugly score!  The Ravens and Tyson also had a mean knockout punch.  While Tyson literally punched his opponents’ lights out, the Ravens turned out the lights in the 2013 Super Bowl in another way.  After the Ravens ran back the 2nd half kickoff to take a dominating 28-6 lead over the 49ers, the Super Dome experienced a power outage and the lights went out for about a half hour.  Commentators used the outage as an opportunity to say that the Ravens just knocked the 49ers lights out.

Mitch Green

Mitch Green

While Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were the defensive leaders known for packing a Tyson-like punch, running back Ray Rice might be the hardest hitting player on the team.  The Ravens star ran into some trouble with his lady when cameras caught him knocking her lights out in a Las Vegas casino (see “The Dark Side” post for details).  Tyson had some trouble with the ladies, too.  Tyson’s issues with domestic disputes with his ex-wife Robin Givens are well documented, and of course, there was that whole beauty pageant episode that sent Tyson to jail for a couple of years.  The seriousness of these issues should not be discounted but Rice’s fiancee still decided to marry him after he knocked her out.  Deciding to marry Rice after such an incident might be as crazy as Robin Givens deciding to marry Tyson in the first place – I guess the NFL’s version of “Iron Mike” found his “Iron wife”.

 

Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Persona:  Charlie Sheen

CSCharlie Sheen’s Hollywood shuffle is kind of like the Bengals Ickey Woods Shuffle – success that eventually turns into a spectacle.  Back in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s Woods was a popular running back who created a touchdown dance called “The Ickey Shuffle.”  After every successful touchdown you could count on Ickey to take the ball and hop a little left and hop a little right – the dance was pretty funny and slightly endearing.  Sheen had a feature role in the movie Wall Street and the Bengals were featured in two Super Bowls. (’82 &’87) but they never won either game.  Ever since then, the Bengals and Sheen have mostly followed up their big time appearances with comedic performances like a bunch of Hot Shots.

Ickey Woods & The Ickey Shuffle

Ickey Woods & The Ickey Shuffle

It’s not that the Bengals don’t have talent, they just seem to underachieve instead of succeed.  In the early 2000’s the team got another chance like Charlie got “Two and a Half Men”.   They picked Heisman Trophy winning, Carson Palmer.  Palmer’s performance in his first couple of seasons was about as impressive as Sheen’s first couple seasons on Two and a Half Men – but then the shuffle showed up.  Sheen’s success brought about an ego that destroyed the show’s chemistry and the Bengals success brought about Chad Ocho Cinco, who basically destroyed the team’s chemistry.  In both cases, the executives didn’t know how to corral the wild personalities so a spectacle ensued.  Sheen, like Ocho Cinco, found other ways to express himself – mostly on YouTube.  Every time Ocho Cinco scored a touchdown, he did the River Dance or acted like Tiger Woods putting the football with a pile-on, it was sophomoric at best.

Tiger Ocho

Tiger Ocho

After a couple of good seasons, the whole show blew up.  The next thing you know, Charlie and Ocho Cinco are on TV with their “goddesses” trying to see who can go broke faster – Ocho Cinco won.  By 2012, the Bengals fired the Ocho show and CBS fired Sheen.  In 2013, TMZ reported that Ocho Cinco was losing approximately $46,000 per month and starting to look desperate.  Here’s the moral of the story kids:  instead of being a respectable team that shows appreciation for the resources given to them, the Bengals seem to go “Charlie Sheen” every year and shuffle their way into obscurity.

 

Team: Cleveland Browns
Persona:  Kathy Griffin

KGSure Kathy’s burnt orange hair matches The Cleveland Browns uniforms perfectly, but their lives on the D-List are what make this combination really click.  While Griffin made the D-List popular, it’s rumored that the Browns were her true inspiration.  The Cleveland Browns have only made the playoffs once in the past twenty years and they have not won a championship in the Super Bowl era.  To their credit and the credit of Kathy, they do have four NFL championships from the 1950’s and early 1960’s.  Those are valid wins, but it’s like Kathy getting a Grammy for her reality show – we’re quietly clapping.

Kathy Griffin worked hard to achieve her D-List status.  Cleveland is the kind of hardworking middle-American city that appreciates effort and no one epitomizes effort like Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown.  At the time of his retirement, Brown had the NFL record for most rushing yards with 12,312 total yards.  Kathy Griffin actually holds the record for most stand-up specials produced for one network (Bravo), with 16 specials. Kathy also speaks out for causes she believes in like Jim.  Jim was very outspoken about Civil Rights in the early 60’s and Kathy goes out of her way to speak out for LGBT-related causes.  She hosts New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper, she makes cameos in movies, and she puts out stand-up routines like it’s breakfast – she’s a hard worker and so was Jim Brown.

Manziel & The Money Team

Manziel & The Money Team

The hardworking nature of the Browns is why this year might be a very interesting social experiment in Cleveland.  In this year’s draft, The Browns chose quarterback Johnny “Football” Manziel.  His celebrity preceded him to the NFL.  His college games were ultra exciting.  He’s friends with Justin Bieber (pop icon), Floyd Mayweather (boxing icon), and Tyrese (YouTube Video Ranter).  The question is: Will Manziel’s A-List celebrity status fit-in with the Cleveland D-List persona?  Johnny Football better hope so because unlike “The View” kicking Kathy Griffin off their show, The Browns run this show and they just named Brian Hoyer the starting quarterback.  Looks like Manziel might find it hard to get face time in the near future – except on Tyrese’s next YouTube video.

 

WingFan, for War Room Sports

The Power of Weed

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

by Joe Davis

Joe davis

 

 

 

 

Browns WR Josh Gordon (Image via eurweb.com)

Browns WR Josh Gordon
(Image via eurweb.com)

I don’t smoke weed.  I have only tried it once in my life so maybe I’m lost.  But can someone please explain to me why people are defending Josh Gordon?  He is a repeat violator of the NFL drug policy.  A policy that many former and current players have said that it’s very easy to pass. Josh Gordon has top 5 wide receiver talent.  He has bottom 5 sense.  He has been suspended from the NFL already.  He was kicked out of Baylor University for testing positive for marijuana in July of 2011, after being suspended for marijuana use during the 2010 season.  He transferred to Utah and sat out before entering the NFL thru the supplemental draft (some reports even say that he failed drug tests at Utah).  In 2013 he was suspended for the first two games of the season because he failed the drug test.  And now he is possibly gonna miss the entire season because he failed the drug test AGAIN! REALLY?!?!?!

(Image via HelpingHandsDispensary)

(Image via HelpingHandsDispensary)

I am not gonna argue about whether weed is or isn’t a drug.  I’m not even gonna debate the people that will talk about how marijuana is being decriminalized by many states in our great country.  Here is my point. If your job says don’t use a substance then don’t do it. ESPECIALLY if they test for it.  There are hundreds of thousands of people that also are subject to random drug tests; and they aren’t making $825,604 this year.  THAT IS $51,600.25 PER GAME. I make a little more than that in a year, but if my job said stop drinking coffee (something I drink 6 days a week), I would quit that shit in a heartbeat.  So I don’t get how someone would blow this opportunity to set themselves and their family up for a lifetime.  And to defend this man seems to be the problem.  He’s under contract.  He’s got a talent that many would kill for.  He has been given a 2nd, 3rd and now 4th chance.

In a famous skit on Chappelle Show, Rick James said “Cocaine is a helluva drug!”  But how powerful is weed?  Let’s not defend bad behavior.  Josh Gordon needs a wake-up call before he’s on the list of “could have been” or “should have been” players.  Josh Gordon needs one of his buddies to tell him that he can still be his boy but leave the “wacky tobaccy” alone.  Josh even needs to get away if his friends are smoking, since he said that his last positive test comes from second-hand smoke. I guess the power of weed is stronger than many will give it credit for.

 

Joe Davis of Sideline to Sideline, for War Room Sports

Philadelphia Eagles Acquire LB Emmanuel Acho, Say Good-bye to RB Dion Lewis in Trade with Cleveland Browns

Monday, April 15th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell

 

 

 

 

New Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho

The Philadelphia Eagles had a  busy Thursday making changes to their roster, making one player-for-player trade and cutting four others.

Running back Dion Lewis, acquired in the 2011 draft by Philadelphia, was traded to the Cleveland Browns.  In exchange, the Birds acquired linebacker Emmanuel Acho in another move to prepare for the widely expected shift to a 3-4 scheme by Philadelphia.

Lewis’ loss is one the team could easily afford, as the former Pitt RB did not see much playing time in 2012.  He made a total of just 13 carries for 69 yards and 1 touchdown.

The Eagles elected to acquire Acho (6-1, 240) based on his collegiate achievements, as he saw no playing time last season after being drafted by the Browns and suffering a knee injury that placed him on Injured Reserve.  During his career at the University of Texas, the 22-year old linebacker appeared in 48 games, where he recorded 280 tackles, eight sacks, seven forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.  Among his achievements, Acho started 13 games as a senior in 2011, garnering All-Big 12 first-team honors after leading the Longhorns with 131 tackles, while adding three sacks, one interception, and one forced fumble.

The following players weren’t so lucky as to find themselves traded to another team and instead were cut by the Eagles: LB Ryan Rau, LB Marcus Dowtin, WR Ron Johnson, and CB Chris Hawkins.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.

 

Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

Chip Kelly to Stay at Oregon: Who’s the Next Target for the Philadelphia Eagles?

Monday, January 7th, 2013

by Brandyn Campbell

 

 

 

 

It was an eventful weekend in the NFL’s coaching carousel that ultimately left the Philadelphia Eagles exactly where they started – still in need of a head coach.

On Friday, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly was said to be close to a deal with the Cleveland Browns, but everything changed when he met with the Eagles brain trust for a lengthy nine-hour meeting on Saturday.

(Image via SportsGrid.com)

Was Jeffrey Lurie about to steal the #1 choice of his once close friend and former business partner Joe Banner and the Browns?  It seemed like it could happen.  But Kelly never hid his lack of enthusiasm for joining the NFL, and ultimately the trio of Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski knew that any decision would have to  outweigh Kelly’s love of coaching at Oregon.

For the second year in a row, that did not happen.  On Sunday, Kelly decided that he would stay in the college ranks.

So what now?  The Birds were all-in on Kelly.  Who do they turn to now?

The Eagles had requested an interview with Syracuse coach Doug Marrone, but that won’t be happening as he was signed on to coach the Buffalo Bills.

After the lengthy meeting with Kelly on Saturday, the Birds held a three-hour interview with Mike McCoy, the Broncos’ offensive coordinator on Sunday.  Philadelphia will also speak with Bruce Arians, offensive coordinator of the Colts as well as Gus Bradley, the Seahawks defensive coordinator this week.  The Eagles have also requested permission to speak with Jay Gruden, the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals.

While rumors about interest in Kelly by the Eagles swirled for months preceding Andy Reid’s firing, I was surprised that the team truly had so much interest in a candidate with  no experience in the NFL.  Mike McCoy and his demonstrated ability to effectively adjust his offense to the abilities (or lack thereof) of a given quarterback would be quite an asset to a team like the Eagles with more questions than answers surrounding the QB position.  Will he now move to the top of Philadelphia’s list?

As we move into the second week of the search process, one thing is for sure – there is never a dull moment.

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.

 

Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

 

Philadelphia Eagles Sign TE Evan Moore

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

by Brandyn Campbell

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Philadelphia Eagles Tight End Evan Moore

The Philadelphia Eagles filled the roster spot left vacant by Clay Harbor’s trip to IR by signing tight end Evan Moore on Thursday.

 

Moore (6-6, 250) was with the Seattle Seahawks for most of the 2012 season, playing in 14 games before being released on December 19 after an unimpressive season – Moore had just 1 catch for 6 yards this year.

 

Prior to that, Moore spent 4 years with the Cleveland Browns (2009-2011), where he set career highs in catches (34), yards (324) and touchdowns (4) with the Browns in 2011.  In total over his career in the NFL, he has played in 47 games and has made nine starts, recording 63 receptions for 810 yards and five touchdowns.

 

In coming to Philadelphia, Moore reunites with one of his Stanford University teammates, quarterback Trent Edwards.

 

Moore entered the NFL in 2008 as a rookie free agent signed to the New Orleans Saints.  He spent training camp and preseason with the Green Bay Packers before suffering a knee injury that forced him to miss his entire rookie year.  Moore was released by the Packers as part of their final roster cuts in 2009 and signed to the Browns practice squad midway through the season before being promoted to the active roster on December 5 of that year.

 

Moore will wear number 86 with the Birds.

 

Want more Philly Sports Muse? You can find me on Twitter at @sports_muse and on Facebook.

 

Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

 

2012 NFL Rookie QB’s: A Class to Remember?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

by Ron Glover

 

 

 

 

From left to right: Russell Wilson (Seahawks), Robert Griffin III (Redskins), Andrew Luck (Colts), Brandon Weeden (Browns), and Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins).
(Photo courtesy of NBCSports.com)

What will we be saying about the 2012 Rookie quarterback class in 5-7 years? (Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Brandon Weeden, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson, and Nick Foles)?

(Photo courtesy of Philly.com)

 

Ron Glover of The Starting Five, for War Room Sports

A Browns Fan’s Reaction To Today’s Game Against Houston

Monday, November 7th, 2011