Thank You Joe Thomas

April 2007. A young boy sits in his living room on the edge of his couch cushion in anticipation, waiting for Roger Goodell to announce who the Browns drafted third overall. The boy is a Notre Dame fan, and praying Cleveland chooses the hometown kid Brady Quinn to be their quarterback of the future. The bell rings, the room falls silent…

The boy was crushed. “A left tackle?? What the fuck?? HOW COULD THEY NOT PICK BRADY??” Little did he know, that would be the worst Browns take the boy would ever have.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, that boy was me. I remember so vividly watching this draft wondering how the Browns could take this big lineman from Wisconsin over my golden boy golden domer with perfect hair. But to their credit, it’s the most right this organization has been this millennium. We didn’t deserve someone like Joe, we still don’t.

He was the consummate professional. He played every game to the best of his ability, and regularly dominated any edge rusher that dared to face him 1 on 1. Here are some of the things Joe accomplished in his time in Cleveland:

  • 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting behind Adrian Peterson
  • 10 Pro Bowl appearances in 11 seasons
  • 1 of 15 players to make a Pro Bowl in each of his first six seasons
  • The second Brown other than Jim Brown to make the Pro Bowl in their first 7 seasons
  • Consistently voted a top 25 NFL player by other players in the league despite the Browns’ incompetence
  • Played 10,363 consecutive snaps, the only player to do so in the history of the league

But while his accomplishments and accolades on the field are incredible, what was more important to we in the Dawg Pound was how he was off the field. By all accounts Joe was a great teammate, and even better person. In an era defined by super teams and leaving to win rings, Joe stayed in Cleveland despite the black hole of talent and coaching in which he constantly had to combat. He believed in Cleveland even though this organization never gave him a reason to.

Joe Thomas will go into the Hall of Fame with a lower winning percentage than any Hall of Famer before him (48-128, 37.5%). He will also have blocked for the most quarterbacks of any Hall of Fame lineman (21). But it brings a smile to my face to know that when I take my kid to the Hall of Fame someday and we look at Joe’s bust, I’ll be able to teach them a lesson that as long as you’re doing what you love and doing it right, that brilliance will always outshine the failures.

A lot of people have been joking that the expectation in Cleveland is so low, that a QB that wins 5 games in a season will get a statue outside First Energy. But if any man is to to be idolized and immortalized as a representation of this organization, it’s Joe Thomas.

So here’s to you Joe. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being the one guy we could always count on, and proving that boy from ten years ago wrong.


Is LeBron James’ Alcoholism to Blame for DeShone Kizer’s Lackluster Tenure in Cleveland?

The other day I was scrolling through Twitter while taking my first of three daily shits when I came upon this tweet from (now ex) Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer:

On the surface, nothing seems too out of the ordinary here. We’ve all had our issues traveling before (cc: any sports journalist), but as I reread Kizer’s complaint I picked up on some lingo I’ve seen before…


Sheesh…sheesh…where have I heard that before? Then, it dawned on me:

lebron sheesh

LeBron. Fucking. James.

At this point, the smell of my bowel movement began to permeate from the handicap stall that I indignantly use for all of my stools. I wiped, washed my hands, and exited the restroom in a huff.

I should have known something was wrong  with DeShone this year.  Sure, his footwork is often times awkward, and yes, he chooses to hold on to the ball with a grip as loose as finger grabber handshake, but no one person can be that naturally bad at quarterback and start double digit games in the NFL.

I plopped back down at my desk and began to do some research. I followed Kizer at Notre Dame and did not recall any alcohol related issues or suspensions taking him off of the field, only his performance on the field did that. So, maybe alcohol wasn’t the problem after all?

Then I remembered week 2 against the Ravens when he was pulled because of a “migraine.” Five weeks later, Kizer was caught partying at a bar late Friday night, causing the team to drop to 0-7 on the year that following Sunday. Partying seemed to become an issue in Kizer’s life once he arrived in Cleveland, after meeting the most famous, least likable Clevelander since Drew Carey.

drew carey cleveland

Now, I’m no conspiracy theorist — hell, I’m not even a regular theorist — but here are the things I now know.

1.) LeBron James is an alcoholic (allegedly)

2.) LeBron James likes to say, “sheesh”

3.) DeShone Kizer was never on record saying, “sheesh” before his time in Cleveland.

4.) DeShone Kizer had no record of substance abuse until he moved to Cleveland.

And if that’s not enough, take a look at the banner that dawns the facade of the Quicken Loans Arena:


Look closer…

we are all wines

It seems the proof is in the pudding, or should I say the tannins, folks ,,

WE’RE GOIN’ TO THE PLAYOFFS!!! – Browns Trade For Jarvis Landry, Damarious Randall


Wow wow wow wow wow. Wow. I honestly don’t even know what to say right now. I’ve had some time to process everything and still don’t even know where to begin. There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s start at the beginning:

Jarvis Landry:

I was sitting at my desk at work, mindlessly staring at my computer waiting for 5 o’clock when I received the notification that the Browns traded 2 picks for Jarvis Landry. At the time, I didn’t know what to think:

My thoughts were if one of these two picks is one of our first or second rounders this year, then it wasn’t worth it. I’ve been harping for a long time that draft picks are intangible assets, and that we should be trading these picks for tangible assets, aka players that have proven their ability to play in the NFL. But you also need to be able to sell hope to these teams and trade picks that are not used for supposed “premier” talent.

Now that it’s come out that this trade was for next year’s seventh rounder and a fourth round pick this year, then this was totally worth it. That seventh round pick was acquired by Sashi for our punter Andy Lee last season, so essentially Dorsey traded a punter and a fourth round pick for a consistent wide receiver. So consistent, in fact, that he led the league in receptions last year despite the fact that Jay Cutler and Matt Moore were throwing to him.

So, if the Browns sign Terrelle Pryor in free agency in three days, their receiving corps becomes:

Jarvis Landry

Josh Gordon

Corey Coleman

Terrelle Pryor

David Njoku

That’s a mouth wateringly satisfying group right there. That’s a crew that can contend with any defense in the league, straight up. The only problem is, they don’t have a solid, viable quarterback giving them the football. Until…

Tyrod Taylor

This is when I started freaking out.


This move really got my mind going. Tyrod Taylor is a special quarterback. I know, I know, that may seem like an overreaction, but relative to what we’ve had in the past he may as well be Warren Moon. I also truly believe that he has the skill set to be a top 10 QB in this league in the right situation. He’s able to escape the pocket, throw the ball on the run, pick up yards with his legs, and doesn’t turn the ball over.

Pair these trades with a defense that’s not as bad as 0-16 showed, and a top 15 O-Line, it seemed this team has set themselves up for success in 2018-2019 and DeShone Kizer finally has a mentor from whom to learn. Except…

Damarious Randall

That somewhat solid defense I just mentioned, just got even better. Damarious Randall is a solid QB that everyone in the Packers organization was high on. Hence, why all the Packers scouts we brought in this offseason more then likely advocated for this deal. But our secondary was lacking last season, so the front office made a deal to rectify that and sent DeShone to an organization where he can learn and hopefully hone his skillset. I stand by the fact that Kizer is super talented and will be a starter in this league, so I’m happy for him. All the best DeShone.

So what does this all mean? The Browns got exponentially better today. They traded for a Pro-Bowl caliber wideout, a mobile experienced QB, a promising young corner, and still have 5 of the first 65 picks in the draft this year. They’re now set up to draft Barkley first overall, Mayfield or Jackson at 4, and focus on continuing to build the defense.

To the Dawg Pound, contain yourselves, but it looks like there may at last be a light at the end of this septic tank of football we’ve been climbing through. Who would’ve thought, after all these years of mediocrity, all it would take to fix the Browns is, well, a Brown.Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals

Thank you Sashi, you were the hero we didn’t deserve.

PS – Is Dorsey done making moves yet? Word on the street says he isn’t…*eyeball emoji*

earl thomas trade

h/t @DommyTweeter

What the Alex Smith Trade Means for the Browns Going Forward


JFK’s Assassination, the morning of 9/11, and receiving the notification that Alex Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins. Three events in history that Americans will remember exactly where they were when they heard the news forever. Me? I was taking a rare evening dump, perusing through Twitter when the notification banner buzzed in at the top of my screen.

Conflicting emotions began to flow through me as I flooded my toilet with my bowel movement. On the one hand, I really wanted Alex Smith. He’s coming off a career year in Kansas City, reuniting with a GM who believes in him, and gives this team veteran leadership that it is desperately missing. I let myself believe that the Browns could get Smith, draft Barkley #1 overall and Minkah Fitzpatrick at #4, sign Terrelle Pryor in free agency, move Duke to slot wideout, and have a team that goes at least 6-10 next year. It’s not perfect, but it’s a competitive team that allows the Browns a window to continue to develop their young talent.

On the other hand, this was kind of a bad deal for the Redskins. They gave up a starting CB and draft pick for a 33 year old veteran QB who does not have nearly the talent that he had available to him in Kansas City, and signed him long term with $71 million guaranteed over the next 4 years. They also already have this guy:

kirk cousins

who by all accounts would be a better move:

So yes, we could’ve gotten better, but Smith also had just as much potential as being a bad signing and a flop. Which leaves the Browns with these options:

1.) Sign Kirk Cousins to something to the tune of 5 years, $24 mil per with $90 mil guaranteed. It’s a bigger deal than the Skins gave Smith, and there’s no better place to start a redemption campaign than saving the Browns from sinking in Lake Erie. However, Cousins indicated in an interview with Mike Florio yesterday that winning will play a factor in his signing decision. Smith also said something similar in an interview with Dan Patrick, that money isn’t the only factor.

To which, I respond with this — winners win. No matter what team, no matter the circumstance, if you’re a winner, you find a way to win. Alex Smith lost his starting job in SF to Colin Kaepernick and has a career playoff record of 2-5. Kirk Cousins has a losing career record as a starter (26-30-1) and is 0-2 in the playoffs, both losses by double digits. So newsflash, NEITHER of you are proven winners, so for you to demand that of your future team is patently ridiculous. But I digress…

2.) The Browns lose out on Cousins and draft Baker Mayfield first overall. Mayfield is my favorite QB in this class and has the right kind of attitude to play for this team. He’s a proven winner, is comfortable moving around the pocket, and is an accurate thrower. Yes there’s baggage and off the field risk associated with him, but when you go 0-16 and 1-31 over the last two years, you’re kind of in a position to take a risk. Hell, even Johnny Manziel won 2 games for the Browns.

3.) The Browns draft Josh Allen or Sam Darnold first overall, which unfortunately seems like the most likely scenario. Both of these guys are big, and that’s just about it. Allen has a cannon for an arm, but also has zero touch, zero accuracy, and was injured throughout his senior year. Darnold is going to be Bortles 2.0 in my opinion. A big dude that was recruited as a TE but athletic enough to play QB, his release is bad, and from watching him play in college, the NFL is going to be too fast for him to succeed as a QB.

I love option 1, like option 2, and hate option 3, but regardless, the Browns need to address their QB situation with the first pick this year. I’m a huge proponent of you need talent around a QB to win in this league, but ultimately to reach that second tier of success, you need to have a QB that can lead you there. If the Browns go out and bring Pryor back, a receiving corps of Gordon, Pryor, Coleman, and Njoku with Duke playing out of the slot is enough talent to win on offense. Refocus on the defense in the coming years, and build out a sustainable system of success.

But realistically, the Browns won’t sign anyone except AJ McCarron, let Hue coach until he’s 75 and average a 4-12 record for the next 20 years. Thus is life as an assembly worker in the Factory of Sadness.

PS – Kendall Fuller live tweeting all of this, then finding out that he was getting traded to KC was peak Twitter.

Browns Lose Last Possible Win to Bears 20-3

I’m not gonna lie, this is tough to swallow. We all joke and say how we’re looking forward to the perfect season and the parade, but if we’re being honest I really wanted just one win. It feels like just yesterday I was going into the game at M&T Bank in Baltimore telling myself that  if they win this game they could be 4-1 going into week 6. But this team has proved time and time again that they are literally incompetent of doing anything well with any consistency.

I wrote earlier a list of reasons why the Browns would win this game today, and I was wrong on pretty much all accounts. Trubisky ran all over us and we couldn’t get a single thing going on offense. Josh Gordon looked like he didn’t want to be there, the pocked was constancy collapsing on Kizer, and Crow continued to run straight into the line of scrimmage every time he got the ball. It’s a mystery why Duke Johnson doesn’t get the ball 60% of snaps, but this team has a knack for putting the ball in the hands of players who shouldn’t have it.

The only bright side in all of this is that the worst has literally happened. It can only go up from here. I’ll see you all at the parade, now excuse me while I pour myself another scotch.

Browns vs. Bears Preview: Today is the Day

Merry Christmas Eve Second Stringers, and to my members of the Tribe I hope Channukah (you like that?) treated you well. In the spirit of the season, allow me to give you the greatest gift of all: a blog in which I convince myself the Browns will win a game.

Here’s why I like the Browns in today’s spot:

1.) It’s gonna be cold today in Chicago, vintage Bear weather some would say. That means both of these teams are going to run the ball, run the ball, and run the ball again. That plays to the Browns strength. This Browns rush defense is historically good, only giving up 3.3 YPC on 408 rushing attempts this year. If the Browns make Trubisky win this game, then I like our chances.

2.) I’d feel better if this game wasn’t on a Sunday considering the Browns haven’t won a game on a Sunday in two years, but the game is on Christmas Eve. The Browns only win in the last two years? Last year on Christmas Eve.

3.) The Bears will have no home field advantage today. 20 degree weather and snowing on a Christmas Eve game? I take it most Bears fans will watch the game from home. Plus, the wave of doubt and dread that overcomes First Energy Stadium when things go wrong for this team will not exist today, so I think this team fares better in someone else’s house.

4.) John Fox is 0-7 during his tenure with the Bears in games in which the Bears are the favorite. Not just 0-7 ATS, straight up 0-7. Lost every single game he’s coached as a favorite. For the first time in years, the Browns are kind of a smart bet today.

5.) People are already preparing for the “Perfect Season Parade” so it would be quintessential Browns to ruin everyone’s plans and actually win a game, just like last year. If nothing else, you can always count on this team to let you down somehow.

I doubt the Browns beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh next week, so this is their last shot at a win in 2017. Let’s get a win today then send Hue off in a Viking Funeral-esque ceremony on Lake Michigan.

Browns: 16 Bears: 13 LET IT RIDE BABY

Browns Keep “Perfect Season” Alive, Lose to Ravens 27-10

More of the same for the Brownies this week — brief flashes of ability, head-scratching play calls, and turnovers in the redzone. Watching this team play every week for the last two years has pretty much devolved into three hours of me muttering to myself in dirty sweatpants, a ritual so sad that the writers of Manchester by the Sea would cry watching.

0-14 and 1-29 in their last 30, we are just 2 games away from the imperfect season and the parade that follows it. Here’s what’s worth noting and what we learned from this week’s loss to the Ravens:

1.) You probably won’t win a game when you let Joe Flacco run for a TD.

2.) This offense is very bad without Joe Thomas.

3.) The “WHY?” sign won the day.

4.) The Browns have single handedly made Benjamin Watson relevant in 2017. 12 of his 45 receptions have come against this secondary, as well as 165 of his 347 yards (47%), and 1 of his 3 TD’s this season.

5.) Bill Mitchell is an idiot. People don’t go to Browns games due to depression, not political parties.

6.) Someone should inform Gregg Williams that it’s helpful if you’re SS isn’t starting plays 100 yards back from the line of scrimmage.

7.) Hue Jackson on the sidelines somehow gets more and more laughable every week.

8.) As it turns out, tickets to Browns games are quite literally worthless.

Another day another L for the Factory of Sadness. The Bears game next week is winnable, but more than likely another L to another QB passed on. It feels like no team will lay down against the Browns because they don’t want to be the ones to lose to one of the most incompetent teams ever assembled. Get your tickets to Cleveland now, because the parade is well within our grasp.

PS – A million dollars to who ever can explain to me what the fuck is going on in this photo.