The Browns Table: A Texas-Sized Letdown

Jeff SmirnoffSenior Writer INovember 26, 2008

Welcome to The Browns Table, a season-long look at the 2008 season for the Cleveland Browns from the point of view of the Browns fans here on Bleacher Report.


This discussion is not just meant for the contributing Browns fans. Please feel free to comment on any of the questions or any of our answers below.


We welcome any comments and an open discussion about the Browns below. If you would like a seat at the table leave me a note on my profile and we will try and get you in the rotation.


As always thanks to Browns fans Eric Lawhead and Michael Taylor for their contributions this week.


The guys lament another disappointing performance by the team and discuss where the Browns go from here. Let’s talk Browns football.



The Browns fell to the Houston Texans, 16-6, on Sunday. The performance was bad, to put it nicely.  What was the worst part of the Browns performance?


Eric Lawhead: Quarterback play. When your two quarterbacks combine to go 13-32 with 0 TD and three INT, it means bad day and worse result. The Texans only scored 16 points. The Browns with the offensive firepower they are capable of, they should be able to beat a team scoring 16 points. They got a whopping 95 yards rushing as well. Not good against a team with a pretty bad back up in Sage Rosenfels.


Jeff Smirnoff: It was the fact that the Browns could do nothing against a bad football team who was sporting one of the worst defenses in the NFL and a turnover prone offense.  It was a horrible performance in all phases of the game.


This team fails to learn anything from previous weeks and continues to spin its wheels. The Texans gave the Browns plenty of opportunities to stay in and ever take over the game, and the Browns just gave it right back to them each time.


Michael Taylor: I don't even know where to we begin by looking at how Sage Rosenfels looked like a Pro Bowler, how Kellen Winslow disappeared, how Braylon Edwards dropped a million passes, or how Brady was benched to see if Derek had a hot hand today?


To me, just the entire second half of the game was an embarrassment. There was no fire in the team. It was sloppy, and if the Texans could have "finished" the game, it would have been a route.



Brady Quinn did not play well and was replaced by Derek Anderson.  Should Quinn have been pulled despite is rough day?


Eric Lawhead: Quinn should have never started. He has a fracture in a pretty important finger in his throwing hand. A broken pinky kept Tony Romo out for three weeks! Why would you play a guy who is needed to manage the game and throw crisp precise passes to keep the defense away from the ball?


Anderson should have started and at least gave them a starting chance to throw the ball against a bad Texans pass defense.


Jeff Smirnoff: Absolutely not. Anderson should have been pulled against Cincinnati and Washington where he was performing much worse than Quinn did versus Houston. It just shows the lack of leadership on the team from the owner to the GM to the head coach and the double standards exist. Was Quinn having a bad game? Yes, and that’s being kind, but you have to see how he can develop and overcome adversity.


Michael Taylor: At first I was ok with the change, thinking that the broken finger had something to do with the change. Though, just seconds later, we saw BQ upset on the sideline that he was pulled, obviously his finger was not the issue.


Because of that, and his comments after the game, I don't understand the move. How is he supposed to learn to work through adversity in this league if his coach doesn't show any confidence in him? Talk about a slap in the face.


Derek makes mistakes for half a season, and a couple of passes in the third quarter for picks and Quinn is pulled. The change has been made, Quinn is the future. Let him learn and play.



Braylon Edwards continued to drop passes at an alarming rate. Kellen Winslow had his obligatory offensive pass interference penalty. Which of the two has been the bigger disappointment this year?


Eric Lawhead: Edwards is more disappointing this season. Everyone is going to say Winslow, because of his attitude and what not. But with what kind of number Edwards put up last season, it is painful to watch him not produce.


Now, to give him the benefit of the doubt, the offense, mainly the quarterback play has not helped him this season. Anderson is not the same Anderson that gave him the opportunity he had last season. It's just frustrating to watch him not produce when he's given any opportunity.


Jeff Smirnoff: On the field, Edwards.  Off the field, Winslow. Edwards seems to lose focus on a week to week basis. I still think many of his troubles are mental and not physical. The drops can be cured, the question is, does he have the mental toughness to overcome them. Winslow has been plagued by injuries this year but the return of his loose lips after a quiet 2007 make me wonder if he really wants to be here.


Michael Taylor: Braylon by far. I don't even know what to think of it anymore. As pointed out Sunday, he is running poor routes and is dropping passes at an alarming rate. He just looks lackadaisical out there. I just don't see the same guy that was a force last season.


I wasn't expecting 16 TDs again, but I figured 1,000 yards and  eight to 10 TDs would have been a lock. That can still happen, but it will be very tough.



The Browns are now 4-7. The playoffs are pretty much impossible to attain. What should the goal for the team for the rest of 2008?


Eric Lawhead: Develop Brady Quinn and fire Romeo Crennel now! Quinn is first and foremost. He needs to learn the system in the game. He needs to learn to make better decisions and learn what it takes to learn on the fly and be and NFL quarterback.


Romeo on the other hand will just bring down any sense of talent on this team for the rest of the season. Fire him now, so they can work out a deal with Cowher and then ride the season out and fire Phil Savage and give it all to the Steeler-man himself.


Jeff Smirnoff: Develop Brady Quinn to see if he is the franchise quarterback that this team sorely needs. See if some of the younger talent like Martin Rucker, Beau Bell, Jerome Harrison, etc. can be key pieces in building a foundation for next season.


See how some of the younger veterans (i. e. Edwards and Winslow) handle themselves the rest of the year to see if they should be retained or traded.


Michael Taylor: To me, I could care less how the remaining games go in the win-loss column. I just want to see this team go out, compete, and not make so many mistakes. I just want to see clean, competitive football.


Not this sloppy, penalty-ridden, poor tackling, frustrating brand of football that we have witnessed this season.


The Browns also need to just let Brady play and play through tough situations. Everything was and is not going to be easy for him. He has to learn on the job while the pressure is off of him in terms of having to win games right now.


Then, based on how he does, the Browns can then make a better decision in the offseason on what to do at the quarterback position.



E-mail Gate: Browns GM Phil Savage fired off a profane e-mail to a fan after the Buffalo game. What is your take on the situation as it came down?


Eric Lawhead: Two sides to my take. First, being the public figure Savage is, he should never write something like that. He should have just taken the e-mail and deleted it and forgot about it.


There is no need to fire back at a fan they are the ones paying the money to see your team suffer. Second being the real person Savage is. That was human nature to do what he did. Most all of us, if we got an e-mail or letter going after the way we do our job and the company we are employed by, would fire right back at them.


It's just the way most everyone is. We would defend our stance and our situation. The winning vote is the first, Savage is a public figure. He should have never done what he did. But it's over and he will not be employed by the Cleveland Browns for the 2009-2010 season.


Jeff Smirnoff: It was totally unprofessional and embarrassing, but it ultimately will not be the reason that he may lose his job at the end of the year. The fact that he even felt the urge to reply to that e-mail when he probably gets thousands of them every week is ridiculous. It’s just another blemish on the Browns' organization as a whole. We are one of the laughingstocks of the NFL and have been since they returned.


Michael Taylor: I think that this whole issue is just silly and simply a microcosm of what this season has become. Only the Browns could have such a ludicrous problem as this. While I do not appreciate what Savage did, as I believe a part of being in front office management is remaining professional in all facets of the job, I will not bash him for doing it.


I would just hope in the future that he would not be reading such garbage in his email inbox. Why was he reading these emails anyway?


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