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Mangini Fills First Head Coaching Vacancy

Word came down today that Eric Mangini–the head coach who was fired just ten days ago from the New York Jets–will become the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.  The Browns were the first team to fire a head coach–the Raiders and Rams notwithstanding–and they are certainly the first team to fill a head coaching vacancy.

Eric Mangini

Eric Mangini

But how good will Mangini be?  Will he really be able to turn around a Cleveland Browns team that has only went to the playoffs once since returning to the league ten seasons ago?

Mangini comes with a bit of baggage, himself.  He was known as a guy who wasn’t good with the media, often excluding them from practices and being very limited in his answers in press conferences.  Mangini also is, of course, the man who ratted out the Patriots in 2007’s infamous “spygate.”

But Mangini has had some success, too.  In just three seasons with the Jets, he went to the playoffs once and was on the cusp of the playoffs this season.

The Future of Winslow and Edwards Uncertain

The Future of Winslow and Edwards Uncertain

Mangini will have his hands full this off-season.  Cleveland holds the No. 5 pick in the draft, and both Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow only have one year remaining on their contracts.  Edwards is coming off a horrendous 2008 season, capping it off with blaming the fans for his woes in the city.  And Winslow’s 2008 campaign was marred by invisibility on the field and injury off it.  Winslow reportedly had a staph infection late in the season, and lashed out at former General Manager Phil Savage for not caring about him, stating that Savage treated him like a “piece of meat.”

Whatever the case, the entry of Man-genius to Cleveland will be interesting to watch.  With reports out of Cleveland stating that Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is tapped by Mangini to be their defensive coordinator, we could be seeing a completely new attitidue in Cleveland this season.

January 7, 2009 Posted by | NFL | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Braylon Edwards Needs to Shut Up

By now, you’ve heard about the infamous comments made by disgruntled wide receiver Braylon Edwards.  Following a loss to the Eagles on Monday Night Football, Edwards had some choice words for his city and fan base.  According to Cleveland.com, Edwards made the following comments:

“I’m not Paul Warfield, Webster Slaughter or Jim Brown. I’ve given my all to this city for four years, and I realize it will never be enough. I went to the Pro Bowl last year and resurrected this team from the darkness, and nobody cared.”

“People in this town believe they are entitled to too much. They have been disrespectful to me and my family. I’ve gone out in public with my family and have had to deal with being called foul names. My parents have been called vulgar things at restaurants.”

“My biggest problem is that I actually give a damn. I’m always rushing back from surgeries and injuries, never missing games or practices. But through this, I’ve learned how to overcome adversity. I’m also proud of how my foundation has taken off. I’ve been doing all this community service in Cleveland … my charity efforts will only be in Detroit from now on.”

While it’s completely out of bounds for fans to attack a player’s family, it’s insane how Edwards feels the way he does. Is Braylon a Paul Warfield or Jim Brown? No. But who is? Those guys are hall of famers.

Edwards Drops Another Pass

Edwards Drops Another Pass

The issue with fans being upset that Edwards went to college at Michigan is equally absurd. Fans don’t care where you came from as long as your work your butt off for the team on the field. If you play well, they love you. If you play poorly, you will certainly hear the boo-birds. If Browns fans can accept Jamal Lewis–a player who not only played for the city that stole their football team in 1996 but who also gashed them for 500 rushing yards in just two games in 2003 (Lewis also went to prison in early 2005)—then Cleveland can certainly accept a Michigan Wolverine onto the Browns squad.

Edwards is always rushing back from injuries? Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? You get paid for playing on Sundays. If an injury forces you out of the lineup, it’s your duty to commit yourself to rehab and return to the field as soon as possible. That’s life in the NFL.

As for taking money out of charities in Cleveland—that’s simply a revolting comment, especially since the charities Edwards refers to revolve around child education in Cleveland. Here’s the truth, Braylon. In 2005, you were drafted with the third overall pick in the draft and given a fat contract. Your first season was decent enough and it unfortunately ended prematurely with an ACL tear. You bounced back a bit in your second year, but you showed that you lacked concentration on the field (dropped passes), and poise off it (attempting to fight Charlie Frye on the sideline).

Last season, you exploded. You set a franchise record for single season reception yardage (1,289), as well as the mark for touchdowns (16). You helped the team win ten games for the first time since 1994. You were voted into the Pro Bowl. Oh, and you were adored by the fans. No one cared what school you went to or what college colors you wore. What mattered is what you did on the field while wearing that burnt orange helmet.

The cure for Edwards is simple—catch the football. Braylon leads the entire league in dropped passes. Fans of Cleveland have been through a lot—no Championships since 1964, no Superbowl appearances, heartbreaking playoff losses, a move to Baltimore, a putrid resurrected franchise—all they want is their star player to display his talent on Sundays. You’re a wide receiver, Braylon. When the ball is sent your way, receive it!

Sigh…if only this was the real Braylon Edwards that consistently showed up every week.

Browns wide receiver Joe Jurevicius—who hasn’t played a down this season due to injury—put it best:

The way I see it, these fans would party on Saturday if Ohio State won the national championship, but the city would burn down if we won the Super Bowl.”

Hopefully Edwards receives this advice with open hands arms.

December 21, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NFL, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment