|08-01-2006, 10:52 PM||#1|
Draft Defense Early&Often
Join Date: Oct 2004
The Cleveland curse
I thought I would put this in here and hide it from everyone.
Column: Cursed Browns still in doghouse
By Gary Ogle, The (Bucyrus, Ohio) Telegraph-Forum
Just when Browns fans everywhere thought it was safe to bark again, the Curse of Cleveland strikes once more.
When the Browns finally get it right, committing to rebuilding the franchise by making the foundation of a revamped offense an offensive line, the cornerstone collapses in a heap.
Not in the first game of the regular season. Not in the first preseason game. Not even in the first scrimmage against another team.
No, the Browns lost LeCharles Bentley on the first play of 11-on-11 drills on the first day of practice.
If any doubts continued to linger that the Cleveland Browns are indeed cursed, they were dispelled by the news this week that tackle Ryan Tucker and defensive back Daylon McCutcheon underwent knee surgery and will miss most of the preseason.
The Indians have fared better since moving downtown off Lake Erie's shore. Maybe the new football digs should have been built somewhere other than the site of old Municipal Stadium, where the old Browns were born in glory in 1946 and laid to rest in protest 50 years later.
Could the ghosts of Lou Groza, Otto Graham, Dante Lavelli and Marion Motley be haunting the 21st century Browns?
Then again, it might not be simply coincidence the stadium is built over a landfill on the lakefront. Garbage in, garbage out.
To be fair, the front office is responsible for much of the misfortune since the team rejoined the NFL in 1999. Drafting extremely high in the first round, including two first overall picks, the club dug itself a huge hole with its first five first-rounders instead of getting the building blocks for a championship run.
Among that quintet, only William Green from 2002 remains with the team — in a back-up role.
— Tim Couch is no longer in the NFL and will be remembered most for his tear-filled tantrum in the locker room after his injury was cheered by the Dawg Pound.
— Courtney Brown and Gerard Warren were more productive in one year with the Denver Broncos than in all their years combined with the Browns.
— The recently departed Jeff Faine spent more time complaining about the guards beside him than he did blocking the guy across from him. Even with backup guard Bob Hallen playing center, the Browns are better off at that position than they were in 2005.
Cleveland first-rounders since the "Forlorn 5" haven't fared much better. Kellen Winslow II has played less than two full games in two seasons thanks to his much-publicized Evil Knievel impersonation. The 2005 selection, Braylon Edwards, couldn't complete his rookie campaign after injuring his knee.
Have Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel considered protective custody for 2006 first pick Kamerion Wimbley? Maybe by moving him from his defensive end position in college to outside linebacker they can confuse the evil spirits lining Lou Groza Boulevard in Berea.
Then again, Savage could petition the new NFL commissioner to make a clove of garlic around the neck an official part of the Browns' uniforms.