So, what's the deal with Jeff Faine?
The Browns center continues to be the subject of news stories which focus on
the importance of the his upcoming season.
After seeing every Browns first-round draft pick from 1999 through 2004
underperform (or not even appear) on the field, it seems there's a sense of
waiting for the team's 2003 selection to fail. The center's size and comments
from outgoing offensive line coach Larry Zierlein late in the 2004 season didn't
The Akron Beacon-Journal's Pat McManamon
keeps the focus on Faine today, as the center responds to Zierlein's
comments and discusses the upcoming season. It's a nice overview for folks
who want to follow what may be a continuing story in 2005. The Canton
Repository's Steve Doerschuck
talks about Faine, bringing up the fact that Faine (in his third year), is
now snapping to his fifth starting quarterback.
I'm fine with all this, except that McManamon mentions in his article on
Faine that Butch Davis' offensive coaches preferred Eric Steinbach over Faine
during the 2003 draft. This dredges up bad memories.
Drafting Jeff Faine is one of those decisions in the Davis era that I still
brood about sometimes. It's not a real problem, like the federal deficit or
determining the chemical composition of a Shamrock Shake, but it still rankles
me a bit.
The gang here was pretty confident from what we heard inside the organization
- and, well, our own common sense - that OT/OG Steinbach was going be the
choice. After all, the Browns had drafted a center the year before.
Butch Davis, it seemed to me, continually kept trying to out-wit everyone
including his own coaching staff. The Browns wound up selecting a player from
Notre Dame who the team barely seemed to scout before the draft. It was a
Phil Savage, on the other hand, is someone we've referred to as a "Football
101" guy. He seems to listen to his scouting staff and make decisions that click
with well-informed fans. For example, our article the other night covered why
the team's go-slow approach on Peter Boulware makes sense.
Given that not many expect a basketful of wins this season, maybe the team's
marketing angle for 2005 should be "We Don't Require Brain Injuries to Make
Sense of What We Do" or "Cleveland Browns: Now 60% More Comprehendible!".
SOME RANDOM TIDBITS FROM WIRELAND: The Dayton Daily News has been doing a
very nice job of covering mini-camp. Sean McClelland offers
a look at a player who isn't on most fans' radars: DB Charles Byrd. Sean
McClelland covers Byrd's background, the reasons behind the team's interest, and
the difficult adjustment from Morehead State to mini-camp at the pro level. Also
from McClelland today: a look at
Crennel's response to dire forecasts from early NFL pre-season guides.
OUTLAWING NITWITTIAN BEHAVIOR: In
a risky political move which may result in backlash from the
poorly-behaved-drunk constituency, the Ohio legislature is taking on goofballs
who think it's cool to get on TV cameras and, well, act like goofballs. The bill
proposes making "criminal trespass on a place of public amusement", i.e.,
running around on the field like an idiot, a first-degree misdemeanor instead of
a fourth-degree misdemeanor.
We well-behaved drunks have never been fond of the poorly-behaved drunks, who
chose to cause public chaos rather than simply going home and updating their
websites. We don't find any excuse, however, for public servants mocking a bunch
local sports teams, as they do in this article. They should just be mocking the
Bengals, like the rest of us do.
LAST, LEAST, AND DESERVEDLY SO: As we enter this desolate stretch for
re-assured by CBS Sportsline that John Madden will be taking his act to
another network this year. The coach-turned-color-commentator will be calling
games for NBC when it takes over the Sunday night telecasts. Fortunately, it
looks like Monday night games will be handled by ESPN's Ratbird-lovin' gang of
doofuses who irritated so many Browns fans with their call of the Browns-Ratbird
game last season. Gee, um, that will be great. Yeah.