Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ozzie in the house

Ozzie Newsome is in the press box as general manager of the Baltimore Ravens. Seeing him today in the wake of Terrelle Pryor and other Buckeyes selling their championship rings brought to mind a conversation with Newsome before the Browns played the Broncos in the second of three AFC championship games in the 1980s. This was before the 1987 conference championship in Denver.

I asked Newsome, the Browns great tight end, what would be the best part of winning a Super Bowl. Without hesitation, he said winning the ring.

"You could spend the money you win, but you'll always have the ring," he said.

I reminded Ozzie about that conversation before kickoff today. He was not judgmental of Pryor. He said the items were sold to support the families of the players. But as for himself, the ring is still the most important thing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Time out from the quarterback saga

There really is more to the Browns than the non-ending quarterback drama, which, by the way, might be settled with an announcement Thursday by Coach Eric Mangini. Colt McCoy is trying to prove his left ankle is fine and that he is healthy enough to start against the Bengals on Sunday.

McCoy moved well and stepped forward to throw the ball without a problem in the portion of practice open to the media Wednesday.

There is another story to tell, though, and it involves rookie safety T.J. Ward. Ward was fined $15,000 for a blow to the head of Bengals receiver Jordan Shipley in the game played ct. 3 in Cleveland.

The Bengals afterward called the hit a cheap shot. You might think they would have revenge on their minds, but they've been eaten alive by an 11-game losing streak that began in Cleveland. Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco said he forgot about the hit until a reporter asked him about it.

Ward says he might try talking with Shipley before the game to tell him he was not trying to injure the rookie receiver, who was forced to sit out the next game because of the concussion.

The Bengal fans aren't likely to forget what Ward did, even if the Bengals players say they have. Ward can't let them get him flustered.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hold off on Mangini decision

It is amazing how fans who wanted Eric Mangini's head last year now are supporting him. Would their opinion be the same if John Kasay's kick on the final play of the Carolina game was one foot to the right, in which case the kick would have been good and the Browns would have lost, 26-24?

The Browns are 5-7 and are much better than they were a year ago. Mangini has a lot to do with that. Players have bought into his philosophy of hard work and attention to detail.

I believe he does deserve another year, but let's see what happens in the last four games. A split to end up 7-9 shoiuld be enough to earn Mangini a third year on the job, but team president Mike Holmgren might want some changes.

The offense still struggles when Peyton Hillis does not dominate. Holmgren might tell Mangini to change offensive coordinators. That would not be easy for Mangini,because he is very loyal to his assistants. He is close to offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.