On Monday, Browns’ President Mike Holmgren gave his first press conference since the NFL moved into lockout mode. The point was to put on a happy face so we continue buying season tickets, but he also managed to reveal some interesting tidbits of info along the way.
For one, he mentioned quarterback Colt McCoy has new coach Pat Shurmur’s playbook in-hand, and they expect him to bring the other players together so they can learn it. Don’t know how much of that is exactly street legal at this point, but it appears the NFL has no problem with it, so good for the Browns.
Since the players are forbidden to have any contact with Browns’ employees, and are being denied access to all Browns’ facilities, here’s what Colt and four other players should be doing this off-season…
What he is doing: See above. Learning the West Coast Offensive system his new coaching staff will run when football resumes, and installing himself as official team leader.
What he should be doing: Lifting. Colt has a lot of learning to do, but he also needs to get bigger and stronger. Like it or not, his arm is weak, he needs to toughen up so he can avoid injury, and he needs to prove he can survive in Cleveland’s cold weather.
Add that all up, and you’ve got a very straight forward Rocky IV training montage scenario.
You can’t tell me Colt wouldn’t feel right at home on a ranch like that. The key will be finding a cold, high altitude climate during the summer. Maybe Tim Tebow knows a spot in Denver with plenty of wood to chop, snow to run through, and oxen yokes to toss around.
Colt, we know you’ve seen Rocky IV, everyone has. Remember, spirit is stronger than the flesh.
What he is doing: Crying in his room and wiping away his tears with wads of cash. The Browns placed their franchise tag on Phil before the lockout, guaranteeing he’ll make the average salary of the top-five highest paid kickers in the league, or $3.25-million.
However, he hasn’t signed the deal yet, and hasn’t been in contact with the Browns since they offered it. Some say he’s disappointed because he could have made more on the open market, and never got to experience free agency.
What he should be doing: Reminding himself he’s a freaking kicker, and thanking his lucky stars he gets to make $3.25-million in the first place, for a fan base that for some reason, worships their special teams players.
We love Josh Cribbs, and Phil, we love you too. We know what you mean to this team. Normally the kicker is the most dispensable and comical figure in American football, but not in Cleveland. Browns fans would have been sincerely devastated had Dawson signed with say, the Steelers. Repeat: Devastated to lose a kicker.
What he is doing: Recovering. Peyton had a breakout season for the Browns last year, but he wore down the last few games. It was bound to happen with his punishing physical running style. He’s probably spending his off-season stretching, icing down the legs, and working out his fumbling problems.
He’s also praying the Browns can add a few more play-makers on offense, cause at this rate, he’ll be dead at 27.
What he should be doing: Peyton became a cult-hero of sorts in Cleveland last year, but he shouldn’t rest on his laurels. We are bitter fans, and we’ll turn on our heroes at the drop of a hat. Peyton should be taking steps to immortalize himself as a Cleveland Sports icon.
He could easily accomplish this by attending every remaining Miami Heat game just to scream at LeBron James and get in his head. Peyton’s intensity is truly terrifying. Even an honorable competitor like LeBron would eventually fold under the pressure (OK that was a joke). And if he doesn’t, we could still count on Peyton to be waiting for him in the parking lot. Do it for us Peyton.
What he is doing: Enjoying life as a blooming star athlete in the public eye. T.J. has been spotted in attendance at Cleveland Cavaliers and Lake Erie Monsters games, and is generally considered a fan favorite since his preseason debut against the Green Bay Packers.
He’s probably also a little ticked off that his career is going to be put on hold for a little while. I bet that makes him mad.
What he should be doing: Channeling that anger. Ward came out with a hard hitting reputation, but he seemed to regress and shy away from contact after he decked Jordan Shipley in Week 4 (he actually did not lead with his helmet).
Ward was a rookie then and didn’t want to be branded a dirty player. We get it, you’re a nice guy T.J., but don’t lose your edge. What you should do is take Jordan Shipley out to a nice dinner and explain how sorry you are. Then, after you pay the check, and Jordan is walking to get his coat, just tackle him as hard as you can right there in the middle of the restaurant. The message being, “I’m friendly, but I also like to hit stuff.”
What he is doing: Looking around and wondering how on earth he is still on an NFL roster. That all may change when a new CBA is constructed between the players and owners, but for now, Jake is a Brown and is looking forward to mentoring Colt McCoy.
What he should be doing: Donating his body to science. Jake has got to know his days are numbered. He can’t throw, run, stay healthy, or make smart decisions. He’s too old. At this point, spending all summer in the Colt McCoy training montage wouldn’t be enough to salvage his tattered body.
Thus, he has one choice left: total body prosthesis… that’s right, Robocop style. Get some new electronic arms and legs, a digital targeting system, even an improved memory.
Delhomme’s Directive Four: Do not destroy leads your teammates build.
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