100 Things to Do Before I Die (#6)

6. Take a plane ride…without luggage.

I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to take a number of plane rides to places all over the country. However, those visits would last weeks on end. I want to take a spur of the moment trip somewhere and not have to take any luggage. It doesn’t matter where. This bucket list entry leaves a lot to be desired in the humor category, but nonetheless, it makes my list.

1. Spend time in all 50 states…without a terrorist.

2. Attend a BCS Title Game Featuring UK…without “the” recruiting room.

3. Go on a cruise…without Stewie Griffin.

4. Play Slamball…without LeBron.

5. Learn to Scuba Dive…without BP.

6. Take a plane ride…without luggage.

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Discontinue the Ty Montgomery Rumors

The head coach of 4* WR and Stanford commit Ty Montgomery informed me that a staff member from the University of Kentucky has not graced his school’s hallways this year. Carry on.

*BigBlue247’s Chris Fisher followed up saying that Ty Montgomery’s mom says that he is solid to Stanford.

So You Choose Now to Grow a Pair?

On December 29th, 2005, Carson Palmer made a decision that would greatly affect his future. He was a hot topic coming off of a season in which he started all 16 games and threw for nearly 4,000 yards, 32 touchdowns while tallying only 12 interceptions. It was on that cold, dreary day in Cincinnati that he signed a six-year contract extension that would keep him a Cincinnati Bengal for life. While it provided him with stability for the future, it would mean little to his competitive spirit. The Bengals still hadn’t made the playoffs and owner Mike Brown had yet to show a willingness to invest in the team’s future. Palmer wasn’t the primary concern, it was the pieces around him. We have seen superstars grow irritated in similar situations, including the famed LeBron James. So he is upset now?

Mike Brown had shown nothing to make Carson Palmer believe that he would spend the money to make that team a winner prior to 2005. So why take the chance? He shouldn’t be surprised that nothing has changed since that freezing day in Cincinnati. So my question to you Carson is “why now?”. You’re 31 years old, tied for the most interceptions thrown in one season in your career (20) and had the second lowest QB rating for a full season in your career (rookie season was first). Not too mention, the Bengals performed an injustice to their fan base by using their ticket dollars to pay your second string brother. You think you are going to get that love anywhere else? Your brother wouldn’t make the roster of  over half of the teams in the National Football League. Some guys just don’t know how to get out of a relationship without breaking hearts.

You can try to follow the lead of your Pro Bowl wide receiver, Chad Ochocinco, and tuck your tail back to training camp only to beg for forgiveness. OR you can take the minuscule chance of the Bengals actually trading you to a team that won’t fair any better. At least the weather is better in San Francisco, Arizona, right? What really hurts though is, at this point, I don’t think Bengals fans care where you go.

My Introduction

Hi, I’m Drew Ramsey, one of Josh’s friends (and by friend I really mean evil nemesis). I’ll be showing up on here regularly to chime in on what’s happening with some of my favorite teams, including the Cincinnati Reds, Dallas Cowboys, and the Ohio State Buckeyes. I’ll also occasionally give some analysis on current events in the sports world. You can contact me at (drewrblogger@gmail.com).

State of the Cleveland Browns

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, the Cleveland Browns are starting anew heading into the offseason. They’ve scrapped the coaching staff and uncertainty lies ahead. Coaching changes bring about questions abound. Will this guy go? Will this guy stay? What scheme will we run? While all are valid concerns, don’t expect them to be answered any time soon. One issue that the new coaching staff will have to address is which free agents to let walk or retain. Here is the list of our free agents that I gathered from Rotoworld.com.

 

  • Titus Adams (exclusive)
  • Mike Bell
  • Marcus Benard (exclusive)
  • Titus Brown
  • Blake Castanzo
  • Phil Dawson
  • Abe Elam
  • D’Qwell Jackson
  • Jayme Mitchell
  • Evan Moore (exclusive)
  • Sabby Piscitelli
  • Derreck Robinson
  • Matt Roth
  • Brian Schaefering
  • Alex Smith
  • Robaire Smith
  • Nick Sorensen
  • Chansi Stuckey
  • Jason Trusnik
  • Steve Vallos
  • Lawrence Vickers
  • Seneca Wallace
  • Floyd Womack
  • Eric Wright

There are a lot of players on that list that were depended on during their time in a Cleveland Browns uniform. The biggest turnover is on the front seven. A unit that needs a healthy injection of youth and talent. Other questions circle around safety Abe Elam and kicker Phil Dawson. The Browns don’t currently have viable replacements for either individual. Dawson has been a rare consistency in the Cleveland Browns organization, but the stay of the final remaining expansion member appears to be coming to an end.

It is hard to say for sure what the team needs without first knowing the new defensive system that will be employed, but we have some guesses based on this past season’s performance. Second year receivers, Mohamed Massaquio and Brain Robiskie, both showed glimpses of the promise that the Browns front office saw before the duo was drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.  However, neither are the downfield threat that opens up the middle of the field for other wide receivers and tight ends. With that said, I think this team needs a #1 wide receiver and the only two options at #6 are AJ Green and Julio Jones. Green, however, will likely be taken before our pick. Those chances increased when Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck announced that he was returning to school for his senior season. I don’t think this offense is far off from doing great things. If they can get Montario Hardesty back and healthy (God help the opposing defenses soul), a #1 wide receiver and Colt McCoy continues to impress, then I think they have a well-oiled machine.

Staying on the offensive side of the ball, the Browns need to address the right side of their offensive line. The left side is one of the best in the league with All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas, left guard Eric Steinbach and center Alex Mack. On the right side, the Browns have tried to stop a leak with chewing gum the last few seasons by signing experienced veterans that some may consider on the downside of their career. It is a common practice of a number of teams, however they usually have a young gun waiting in the wings. I hope Shaun Lavao has what it takes to step in to the right guard position and never look back. There aren’t any options for an offensive tackle early in the first round, which is contrary to years past. This could be a position that the team looks to address in the second round or beyond.

Defensively, there are a lot more issues and question marks. It is hard to know where exactly the team needs to look without first knowing which system they employ. General thought, seems to be that they move back to a 4-3, which I am opposed to. However, I will support my Browns in whatever direction they choose to go. The game is won and lost in the trenches and that’s where Cleveland’s troubles begin defensively. They were able to get better production out of Ahtyba Rubin and Kenyon Coleman, but Coleman was only solid and their was no other production to speak of. This doesn’t exclude the fact that Robaire Smith, Brian Schaefering, Jayme Mitchell and Derreck Robinson are all free agents.

Behind the guys up front was Eric Mangini’s blue-collar linebackers. The group thrived in discipline and intelligence, but sorely lacked the athleticism to compete in this division. Like the defensive line, the linebackers are staring a large turnover in the face. Matt Roth, D’Qwell Jackson, Jason Trusnik, Titus Brown and Marcus Benard (exclusive) are all free agents. Jackson was injured and displeased this season. The bridges may have already been burnt with him. Trusnik and Roth were brought in by Mangini to stop the bleeding, but do either have a future on this football team? The linebacking corp had lacked a pass rush ability before Marcus Benard, but they need an equal threat opposite him and some inside linebackers that can crush the gaps. Overall, the front seven needs a severe facelift.

Heading into the season, cornerback was considered to be a rare strength on this football team and that was before Joe Haden emerged as the budding star that we know today. We started the season with Eric Wright opposite Sheldon Brown, but that tandem soon fell apart as both battled injuries and inconsistency. Wright got burnt more than toast early in the season and then fell victim to a knee injury that caused problems nearly the entire second half of the season. Brown dealt with a lingering shoulder injury that he suffered about midway through the season.  Eric Wright is a free agent and may not return. Even if he did, would the staff have enough confidence in him to not pursue other options?

Finally, safety is a concern should Abe Elam not return to Cleveland. He is a free agent and it should not be overlooked that he was brought in by Mangini. The new guy will be looking for guys to fit in his system and to work out those who have ties to the former regime. I like Abe and think he played well at the end of the season, but with no viable alternative; Cleveland will need to cover their bases.

 

My Personal Wishlist (in order, options at #6)

1. #1 WR (AJ Green, Julio Jones)

2. DE (Nick Fairley, Da’Quan Bowers, Marcel Dareus, Robert Quinn)

3. ILB

4. OLB

5. S (unless Elam re-signs)

6. RT

7. CB (Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara)

8. RG

 

Draft Picks :

1st Round (#6)

2nd Round (#38)

3rd Round (#70)

4th Round

5th Round

6th Round

6th Round (via DEN)

Questions, comments, concerns? Who would you like to see as OC and/or DC? Who do you want to see the Browns sign in free agency or draft? Lots of time to discuss Browns fans’ favorite time of the year.

100 Things to Do Before I Die (#5)

5. Learn to Scuba Dive…without BP.

I may as well have been born in water. I took to the water at a young age and it’s been a passion ever since. I went snorkling at Sosua Beach in the Dominican Republic, but haven’t taken up scuba diving yet. I am fascinated by what goes on beneath the surface, so getting the opportunity to have an extended look would be awesome. As for why I chose “without BP”, I would like to see when I am beneath the surface. It would be like looking into a continual ink discharge from an octopus.

1. Spend time in all 50 states…without a terrorist.

2. Attend a BCS Title Game Featuring UK…without “the” recruiting room.

3. Go on a cruise…without Stewie Griffin.

4. Play Slamball…without LeBron.

5. Learn to Scuba Dive…without BP.