Browns hope former coach can beat Ravens on Sunday

Browns, Bill Belichick. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
Browns, Bill Belichick. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns need a win by former Browns coach Bill Belichick and his New England Patriots over AFC North favorite Baltimore Ravens.

The Cleveland Browns, who normally cannot stand Bill Belichick, need their former coach to defend his home turf against the team that really rejected him, the Baltimore Ravens.

Of course, the Ravens are the team formerly owned by Art Modell, the blundering owner who couldn’t make money owning a football team in Cleveland despite having one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game in Belichick. He had already fired Paul Brown, who was probably the greatest of all time, if it isn’t Belichick.

The Dawg Pound has had its ups and downs with Belichick. He built a defensive juggernaut in 1993 and took that Browns team to the playoffs. However, he was the guy who cut Bernie Kosar and did it in a way that many thought was needlessly mean and classless.

Over the years, Belichick has had a penchant for picking up players from his former team. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but his Super Bowl teams almost always had players from the Browns. The 2019 team was particularly ridiculous, with four starters: Jamie Collins, Danny Shelton, Josh Gordon, and Jason McCourty, plus recycled tight end Ben Watson who was still a threat at age 39.

The 2022 squad includes several-times-recycled quarterback Brian “The Destroyer” Hoyer, starting linebacker Mack Wilson and reserve safety Jabrill Peppers. Of course, Hoyer is backing up Mac Jones, who has been kind of blah in his first two games with only 465 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.

Wilson was traded by the Browns for perpetually injured Chase Winovich who unfortunately is now on IR after fighting the same problem last season. Peppers isn’t starting but does play in about 30 percent of the Pat’s defensive snaps.

Of course, Cleveland has a big contributor who is a former Patriot in quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who seems to like Cleveland, thank you very much.

The Patriots are actually a lot like the Browns, with two running backs in all-purpose back Damien Harris and big Rhamondre Stevenson. Like the Browns, they have two star tight ends in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. They also have name-brand wide receivers in Jakobi Meyers (questionable), Nelson Agholor, DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne.

Baltimore is all about Lamar Jackson and as long as he’s healthy, they probably deserve their status as favorites in this game. The Ravens were devastated by injuries last season, and this year they are still having problems.

Cornerback Kyle Fuller is out for the season, and fellow corners Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphreys are listed as questionable for Sunday. Are they really going to be 100 percent this season?

Similarly, Ronnie Stanley is back, so we are told, but has yet to play. Gus Edwards is also questionable. J.K. Dobbins is listed as questionable but had a full practice on Friday. It’s easy to get the idea that Jackson is going to have to do it all himself again this week.

Peppers might very well draw the assignment of following Jackson around on certain plays. For one game, the Dawg Pound has a rooting interest in seeing some old friends sack Jackson a few times and bring down the Birds. Good luck, coach, you crusty old cuss.