Tag:Cleveland Browns
Posted on: April 12, 2011 2:03 pm

Hot Routes 4.12.11: Brady weeps ... over 'Idol'

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Tom Brady, as you will see about 5,000* times over the next few hours, is going to cry on television soon. A certain four-letter sports network got him to weep on camera about his sixth-round selection back in 2000 and, well, it's a heart-wrenching story about how tough his life's been. Or maybe he just likes to cry a lot? After all, the gents over at Tauntr.com did happen to catch a montage of him sobbing over the recent booting of Pia from "American Idol."
  • According to Tim Leiweke, the CEO of AEG and therefore a primary investor in the downtown L.A. stadium effort, the NFL will "double" its rights fees in the next television contract negotiations. Yowza.
Posted on: March 25, 2011 1:55 am

Browns PSL holder sues team over lockout

Posted by Will Brinson

Though he almost surely won't be the last, Ken Lanci appears to be the first PSL holder to sue the NFL and his favorite team over the current lockout.

Lanci, a Cleveland-area businessman, filed a suit against the Browns and the NFL and the other 31 teams in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, asking the court to prohibit the lockout, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

"What tipped the scale for me is the labor issue between millionaires and billionaires and the fact they can't settle it when the country is in a recession," Lanci said. "Worse yet, they have to rub this in our faces."

And now you why both the NFL and the NFLPA are constantly waging a PR war: fans are going to get sick of the bickering over $9 billion sooner rather than later.

And when they do, one side would prefer to have the leverage. What's interesting here, though, is that Lanci, as a PSL holder, can't really do much damage to the NFLPA. And by himself, there's not a whole lot he can do to the NFL, or the Browns for that matter.

But if word starts getting out to other fans, and they all start banding together and filing class-action lawsuits against the various NFL teams, well, things could escalate pretty quickly.

Because that's a battle that even the best PR team on the planet couldn't win.

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Posted on: March 24, 2011 11:05 am

Report: Cowboys one of the five teams fined

Posted by Andy BenoitR. Ryan (US Presswire)

We learned earlier this week that the Miami Dolphins were one of the five teams reprimanded by the NFL for illegal contact with players this offseason (the illegal contact drew a fine rather than the usual five yards and automatic first down).

Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Cowboys were one of the other teams. (It is believed that the Browns and 49ers were also in the group of five.)

Improper Contact

Dallas’ violation came not during the lockout but beforehand. Remember how several Cowboy players were talking about getting together with new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and learning his scheme? Those meetings took place before the start of the new league year, i.e. during the NFL’s dead period. Coaches are not supposed to conduct structured activities with players during that time.

This is a rule that has long been fudged if not disregarded. But needless to say, circumstances are different this year.

It’s not known how much the Cowboys were fined. But given the complexity of Ryan’s system, a chance to meet with players and lay some groundwork before what could turn out to be a lost offseason . . . it was probably worth it.

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Posted on: March 22, 2011 6:45 pm

Cribbs shaking his head at new kickoff rule

J. Cribbs was not happy to see the NFL change the kickoff rules (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Browns KR/WR Josh Cribbs is not a huge fan of the new NFL rule that will place the kickoff spot at the 35-yard line (instead of the 30-yard line). Not a huge fan at all.

Though the original proposal made by the NFL rules committee, which would have given a team the ball at the 25-yard line instead of the 20 for a touchback and would have eliminated the two-man wedge, was tweaked, Cribbs still wasn’t happy.

From his Twitter account, he wrote: “NFL rule changes are BS... U not making the game safer u messing a great sport, trynna hide behind safety just to add 2 games...smh”

The reasoning behind the rule change – which was passed today at the NFL owners meetings in New Orleans – was for safety reasons. Kickoffs theoretically will be less dangerous now (though leaving in the two-man wedge lessens the original intent), because there will be fewer returns and more touchbacks. But Cribbs makes the claim that players will actually be harmed by the new rule.

“Essentially taking returners out of the game...injuries will still take place, then what move it up again, or eliminate it all together..” Cribbs tweeted. “Not just speaking for myself, but it affects the blue collar NFL players which are the majority who don't have big names, it extends careers.”

Added Bears record-holding returner Devin Hester on his Twitter account : “Hey hey fans don't get mad about the new rule, my run back just going 2 be over a 100 yards now. I hate them 90 something yards anyway!!!!!!”

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Posted on: March 21, 2011 6:12 pm

Jaclyn Fujita presents another side to story

S. Fujita and his wife, Jaclyn, after the New Orleans Super Bowl win (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Browns linebacker Scott Fujita has been one of the most outspoken supports of the players during labor negotiations (hint: that’s probably because he’s a union executive member). Now, his wife, Jaclyn, has something she wants to say.

She’s written a letter, as posted on thenation.com, and in it, she pleads for the owners to give the players adequate lifelong health care so that when the players’ bodies begin to break down as they enter middle age, they won’t have to bankrupt themselves in order to manage their pain and symptoms.

Here’s some of the letter:

Honestly, though, I don't know that we were fully aware of the ultimate reality of the National Football League. We learned the hard way that he would work his ass into the ground, playing every defensive down and special teams, and would be the lowest paid man on the roster. That he would experience multiple concussions, but remain on the field. That he would suffer full ligament tears and shouldn't have been walking, but team doctors would tell him it was a "minor sprain" and should still play. That even though you have given your heart and soul to a team, they can easily replace you with a rookie who has never played in the NFL before. …

Now I know many don't want to hear our complaints: we made our bed and now we have to lie in it. But what about the pro football players of tomorrow who have no idea what they are stepping into?  Boys who are playing football because they love it and have found something they are really good at? They see the pride on their family's faces every time they strap on that helmet, but these young men have no idea of the pain they will endure or the true uncertainty of their career choice. They have no idea how long they will work or when their bodies will say "no" to the abuse. What these men need to know is that as they step on the field and risk major injury—while generating billions of dollars for this industry—the billionaires who write the checks are not looking out for them. They need to know that they are going to be lied to. They need to know that when they suffer an injury they will be told they should buck up and play. ..

And here they are, simply asking the men who profit from their work, to PLEASE look after their health, as they should have done throughout their career. They ask this so that someday, the young boy who chooses this path knows he will be protected the way he deserves. So his mother, wife, or child will know that even though that hit looks awful, there is someone on the sideline with his best interests at heart. So future NFL wives who watch their husbands unable to get out of a chair on a Tuesday, yet still strap it come Sunday, will be taken care of. So the man who is sacrificing his body and mind for the thrill of the game can be confident that his work will not go unnoticed. He will not be forgotten. He will not go unprotected. He will have earned the right to be taken care of for life. He will be kept safe from his damaged body and mind. For it was those bodies and minds of 53 men on 32 teams who every year generate billions of dollars for this industry. They deserve to be cared about.”

That’s only three paragraphs (albeit, three looonnnng grafs), but make sure to click the above link because Jaclyn Fujita has written a very compelling letter

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Posted on: March 19, 2011 9:08 pm

Potential in the Browns' backfield

Posted by Andy Benoit

If the Cleveland Browns play football in 2011, they could be featuring a potent one-two punch in the backfield. Last year, it just a potent one-punch, as battering ram tailback Peyton Hillis, with his ultra pure downhill style, rushed for over 1,100 yards.

When training camp opened up, Hillis wasn’t supposed to be The Guy. Recall that the Browns invested a second round draft pick in Montario Hardesty. The 225-pounder tore up his knee in late summer (injuries were a concern with Hardesty coming out of Tennessee).
Browns president Mike Holmgren is already fantasizing about aligning Hardesty and Hillis in the same backfield together.

"I could get real excited about that," Holmgren said via ESPN. "That's a good combination for this reason: I think they both have excellent ball skills, catching the ball and running skills. So you don't have to have one guy as the runner, one guy as the catcher, one guy as the blocker, you don't have to do that."

Obviously, lining up in the same backfield means one guy sacrificing and being the fullback. (Hillis has some fullbacking experience from his days in Denver.)

"They both have to be willing to do all those things for each other," Holmgren said. "If those are the two in the game at the same time, they have to block for each other and they have to do everything. I think they are capable of doing that. I hope I get a chance to see that."

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Posted on: March 14, 2011 10:58 pm

Holmgren on Delhomme returning: 'Absolutely'

Posted by Will Brinson

Logic stands to reason -- now that Seneca Wallace is already back with Cleveland -- that Jake Delhomme won't be coming back to the Browns.

But Mike Holmgren didn't rule out the possibility that Jake could come back when asked about it Monday.

"Absolutely," Holmgren said. "Again we aren’t going to talk too much specifics on the guys other than the things you already know until this thing gets ironed out. I wouldn’t say no to that possibility."

So he obviously didn't say "I'm bringing Jake back!" But he certainly left the door open, which means we could end up seeing Delhomme AND Wallace AND Colt McCoy on the roster when 2011 (eventually) starts.

Given the situation that Cleveland's in, though, it makes more sense to let Colt McCoy play the role of starter with Wallace backing him up, and then draft some sort of upside-riddled quarterback.

Just like for Delhomme, in his current situation, it might make more sense to try and make a run for starting for one of the 10 or 20 other teams that apparently need a quarterback, rather than settling for a backup role in Cleveland.

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Posted on: March 13, 2011 10:29 am
Edited on: March 13, 2011 1:48 pm

Da'Quan Bowers slippng?

Posted by Andy Benoit
D. Bowers (US Presswire)
As we reported during the combine, Da’Quan Bowers’ knee injury appears to be more serious than he claims. The Clemson defensive end underwent arthroscopic knee surgery not long after the Tigers’ loss to South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Bowers told reporters at the combine that he is 100 percent. Simply not true. He did not workout at the combine, and he recently delayed his pro day workout from March 10 to April 1.

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Bowers had an MRI in Indianapolis. Jeff Legwood of the Denver Post reports that several teams saw the results and have flagged him because of medical issues.

CBSSports’ draft expert, Rob Rang, projects Bower to be the sixth pick (Browns) in April. Chad Reuter has Bowers going second to the Broncos.

Given that Bowers is essentially a one-hit wonder coming out, don’t expect him to remain in the top five if he can’t workout.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com