‘Shoulda, Woulda’, Coulda’!

By Michael Reghi

The inability of the Browns to build on, and then close out Tampa Bay Sunday can be attributed a couple areas that smack one right in the face, and a few others that are perplexing.

Let’s begin with learning how to win. This organization hasn’t shown they grasp that since they’ve returned in 1999, with only the Butch Davis 9-7 playoff year, and the Romeo Crennel 10-6 2007 season as contrary. Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert took the first steps in building that type of culture, one of winning, as they made moves to address in free agency, trade and the draft.

Won’t help if the on field performance, with a double-digit lead against an inferior opponent, gets in the way! The turnovers, while egregious Sunday, look to be correctable, as they involved decision-making, Jake’s Delhomme’s pair of picks, and the Peyton Hillis fumble in the red zone.

The Browns just aren’t talented enough to overcome those mistakes that take points off the board. They have to be eliminated if this team is to improve over the disaster of a 1-11 start in ’09.

Now to the coaching. Eric Mangini and Brian Daboll did not have a good afternoon in the 90-degree Florida heat. Let’s count the ways.

1. Why would you deviate from the run game against a Tampa Bay defense that ranked 32nd, dead last in the NFL, against the run a year ago? What were the 9 carries for Jerome Harrison predicated on? Did they yank Hillis after his second fumble, yes, a drive, and points killer, to send him a message, or because they no longer have confidence in him? Didn’t see him again.

Gentlemen, you’ve committed to the run as a strong staple of what you are…don’t deviate from that…WITH THE LEAD, against an inferior opponent!

2. Along that vein, just 3 showings the vaunted ‘cyclone/flash’, with Josh Cribbs and Seneca Wallace? Needed to see double that 6-8 snaps per game with those two in a variety of roles.

3. Speaking of Seneca Wallace. With Jake Delhomme laboring with an ankle that tightened, why not use Wallace, who would have given the Bucs a different look, and who might have provided a spark for an offense that dramatically stagnated in the second half.

4. And lastly, yet maybe most importantly, the non-usage of timeouts during the drive that would culminate with a John St. Clair false start on 4th and 3, as the Browns shunned the time out trying to line up, with Delhomme calling the play at the line of scrimmage. Use the timeout there Eric…you had 3, then used them all defensively after the Bucs regained the football, following the miss on 4th and 8. Bad coaching decisions hurt as much as the physical errors on the field.

Yeah, the Browns took victory over that inferior opponent, and served it on a platter for the Bucs, still one of the dregs of the NFL, to take. Tampa gladly accepted.

As always, when you lose in the NFL, it’s….Would, Could’ Should’.

***I’m reflecting on*** …3 teams, that’s right, just 3, that are legitimate National Championship hopefuls on the college side. the reigning champions from Alabama, the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Oklahoma Sooners.

I know, just two weeks in, and I’ve narrowed the field that drastically? Absolutely! Boise State? Won’t matter, because I feel very strongly after two weeks of viewing that two of my main 3 will go undefeated, rendering as a moot point should Boise State also go 12-0.

Consider this, Alabama has the most complete package, even without Mark Ingram. Their defense is devastating, swarming constantly to the football, and they get solid, if not spectacular QB play from veteran Greg McElroy, who already has been through the rigors of winning a championship, both SEC and national.

Ohio State is the closest to  ‘Bama defensively, as they confused Jacory Harris and his Miami offensive mates in the 36-24 win Saturday. Bucks still leave too many points on the field for my taste. Red zone performance must get better, or they’ll come up short against ‘Bama and Oklahoma, not to mention Iowa or Wisconsin.

Oklahoma can be ‘WOW’! offensively, as they showed in pummeling Florida State. The Sooner trio of qb Landry Jones, tb DeMarco Murray, and wideout Ryan Broyles is more explosive then any in the country. Knew Youngstown’s Bob Stoops would rebound with a vengence after a five loss ’09…and they are poised to run the table as well.

Others are very good…that trio stands out. I have an Alabama-Oklahoma national title game. Ohio State is capable of muscling their way in. They are equipped from a personnel standpoint. Does Jim Tressel clean up his special team troubles, and find more td’s, instead of fg’s, while the offense bogs down in the red zone? Watch closely those two areas!

***I’m reflecting on**** NFL touchdowns that are, they visually pass the test, and then are taken off the board by antiquated rules like. rule 8, section 1, article 3, item 1….that’s too long of a handle…in the NFL rules book, that negated a Calvin Johnson td catch in the end zone that would have given Detroit a road win in Chicago.

Get this..had complete control of the football with two hands, left and right feet down, butt on the ground, left hand on the ground, extends ball to the ground with his right hand, gets up…no td!! Huh? C’mon competition and rules committee…do the right thing, adjust this rule next offseason. That rule is a ‘fan killer’, too! How ’bout if that call goes against Indianapolis, New England, Minnesota, Green Bay, Baltimore, instead of the lowly Lions? Imagine the howling then!!!!

Talk to you today, 3-6pm on Afternoon R & R!

Best, Cleveland!



1 Comment

  1. Reghi is still crying in his milk that Mangini is still here….. he said 5000 times last year “there is not a snow ball chance in Hell Mangini keeps his job”

    Why no blame for Holmgren Reghi?! name another GM or coach that would take Delhomme…. He is what we thought he was…. a turnover machine!

    if he does not throw that pick before half we win….

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