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The source for back issues of Football Thoughts.

For 4/22/2005

The last coach of the Cleveland Browns who posted a winning record during his tenure as head coach was Marty Schottenheimer.

Since Marty departed following the 1988 season, the Browns have posted exactly two seasons with winning records, 1994 and 2002. Romeo Crennel, your work is cut out for you.


From the depths of the "In Case You Missed It" file:

Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is launching his own personal cologne later this year. The scent is called AH92 based on his initials and his uniform number.

Oh boy! Who'd pass up a chance to smell like a 320lbs. defensive lineman?


This month's stupid comment from a guy who ought to know better:

"Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was schooled under Bill Belichick, and he learned how to use the players he has to his advantage from Belichick." - Peter King, Sports Illustrated.

Rob Ryan is Buddy Ryan's son. Yes, the same Buddy Ryan who rebuilt the Monsters of the Midway defense in Chicago for Mike Dikta (you know, the one that plastered just about everyone it faced in 1985).

Now, you might call me crazy, but I think that there could be a chance, just the tiniest possibility, that the younger Ryan might have learned something about coaching defense from his dad. Wild idea, huh?


NFL Europe note: The Berlin Thunder have a starting WR named Aaron Boone.


Funny stuff:

In case you missed it, Mike Vick is being sued by a woman who alleges that he gave her genital herpes by having unprotected sex while knowing that he carried the disease. Ok, if it's true, that's not funny.

However, the funny part is that, according to her lawsuit, Vick used the alias "Ron Mexico".

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Ron Mexico? Wasn't that the name of the landscaper who showed up to 'mow the lawn' in Bush-hoggers 3?"

But wait, that not all. It gets funnier. Apparently, as a result of the allegations against Vick, there was an instant demand for customized Falcons replica jersey's with the number 7 and the name "Mexico" on the back. In fact, the demand was so much that the NFL actually instituted a policy on their website preventing people from purchasing such a jersey customization.

Now that's funny.


With the NFL's Annual College Draft extravaganza taking place this coming weekend, I have a few thoughts about the possible scenarios that could play themselves out in the top-10 picks.

I'll start with the fact that there has been more speculation surrounding the names of the top three picks this year than any year which I can remember. In fact, I believe that the players who get selected #1 and #2 will have a cascading effect on the rest of the top 10 and first round in general.

San Francisco has the first pick and they are considering selecting four players: Aaron Rodgers (QB, California), Alex Smith (QB, Utah), Braylon Edwards (WR, Michigan), and Antrel Rolle (CB, Miami-FL). As I read on one of the myriad of draft websites, the chances for the Niners to select these guys are about 45% for both Rodgers and Smith and about 10% for Edwards. I think Rolle is being considered purely on the off chance that San Francisco can find a trade partner in the top 7 or 8 picks.

At this point, signals are mixed on what the 49ers will do. Some say Smith others say Rodgers. I think that the 49ers will opt for a business decision and select Rodgers. He's local kid and he'll help put fans in the seats, something the 49ers need help with after last season.

Miami has the second pick in the draft and, in my opinion, is looking at a lot of the top players. However, what they will actually do I think depends on what the 49ers do.

Here's why: I fully expect the Dolphins to trade the pick.

While most "experts" believe that the Dolphins are planning on selecting a RB, specifically Auburn's Ronnie Brown (their thought process being that, as a defensive-minded coach, Nick Saban will institute a conservative, ball-control offense that features a lot of running -- much like the same WWII-style offense that Dave Wannstedt ran), they seem to have missed are both Saban's comments that he's going to be aggressive on offense and his hiring of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan who ran the offense in Minnesota for the past 3 seasons.

What Miami wants are more picks to rebuild a team with very little depth. Currently, Tampa has been rumored to be considering moving up to take one of the top QBs and Minnesota wants to land a WR to take Randy Moss' spot. I don't believe that team picking below Miami wants to face the possibility that their first-choice player will not drop to their spot and this will trigger them to start making offers to trade up. Since Miami is not enamored with Ronnie Brown enough to select him with the 2nd pick, they will certainly entertain any offers to trade down and remain in the top 10.

So, if the 49ers select Aaron Rodgers, I expect Miami to trade with Tampa (who will select Alex Smith). If the 49ers select Alex Smith, I expect Miami to trade with either Tampa (who will select Aaron Rodgers) or Minnesota (who will select Braylon Edwards). If the 49ers select Braylon Edwards, I think all hell will break loose as teams below the Dolphins will be climbing over themselves to take a shot at either Alex Smith or Mike Williams. These include Tampa, Minnesota, Washington, and Detroit.

Cleveland holds the third pick and I think that they are looking at Alex Smith, Antrel Rolle, Ronnie Brown, and Braylon Edwards. I don't see Aaron Rodgers in the mix here, if he's available, as I don't believe that the Browns' brain trust has rated him this high. In fact, I think that if they cannot select Smith that they would rather select Charlie Frye (QB, Akron) at the start of the second round. If the Browns select Rolle, then he could possibly be moved to FS where he could become the next Ronnie Lott.

Holder of the 4th pick in the draft, the Chicago Bears' GM Jerry Angelo has been telling everyone that he's not interested in trading up or down and is looking to select an offensive playmaker. Chicago's list includes Carnell "Cadillac" Williams (RB, Auburn), Cedric Benson (RB, Texas), Braylon Edwards, and Mike Williams (WR, USC), although the word on the street is that they are thinking RB. Given that, I would think that the Bears would love to have Ronnie Brown but they don't think that he'll make it past the Dolphins.

Tampa Bay is next and they are all over the place. Mike Williams told reporters at the Combine that Jon Gruden told him that the Bucs were going to draft him with the #5 pick. At the Senior Bowl, there was a constant buzz that Gruden was smitten with Carnell Williams and that the Bucs would almost assuredly be driving a Cadillac in the fall. Now, there's talk that the Bucs are looking at trading up to select Alex Smith.

Hmm.

To me, it seems apparent that there is also a direct relationship between San Francisco's pick and Tampa Bay's draft decisions. Armed with 12 picks in this draft, the Bucs certainly have plenty to offer in trade to one of the teams drafting above them, especially the pick-starved Dolphins. At this point, Tampa is a huge wildcard and whatever they decide to do could take a buzzsaw to the rest of the draft board for some other teams.

Picking sixth are the Tennessee Titans, who I feel are looking at Mike Williams and salivating. I haven't seen a lot of Mike Williams-to-the-Titans rumors and I'm surprised because Tennessee's new offensive coordinator, Norm Chow, was the offensive coordinator for USC for the past few seasons and if anyone knows what Williams can and can't do, it would be Chow. I think Tennessee selects the big WR and assembles the most physically dominant WR corps in the NFL.

Minnesota holds the seventh pick in the draft courtesy of their trade with Oakland for Randy Moss. Two months ago, they stated that it was their intention to hold the pick and draft the best player available. That was then, this is now. Word is out that they've contacted the Dolphins about trading up to the second pick with their eyes on Braylon Edwards.

I think that we'll see Minnesota trade up select Braylon Edwards. I'm just not sure where. It could be at #2 or it could be at #3 especially if Tampa trumps their offer to the Dolphins. However, with two 1st round picks, I think that the Vikings have better aces in the hole than the Bucs do.

Sitting pretty at #8 we have the Arizona Cardinals and Denny Green. Green is notorious for not trading up in a draft and taking the best player available on the board when he selects. It's a safe bet that Green will be alternating between anxiety and glee until his team is on the clock as the options for his pick take shape. On one hand, he needs a running back who can carry the load in his offense and any of the top three backs (Benson, Brown, and Williams) will do. On the other, I'm sure that he'd love to select a franchise QB and there is a chance that Aaron Rodgers could fall through the top of this draft like a stone and be available when Green picks. Finally, Green could be hoping for Antrel Rolle to slip a few notches -- Rolle could be the key piece that solves a lot of Arizona's defensive worries. Regardless, expect Green to take the best player available and find a place for him later.

Up next in the 9 hole are the Washington Redskins who sit on the cusp between this year's crop of top-tier players and the group of "next bests". The Redskins have stated that they aren't willing to trade down but I think that, if the right offer came along, that they'd jump on it. However, until a suitor comes calling, I have the 'Skins eyeing a pass rusher and Shawne Merriman (DE/OLB from Maryland), David Pollack (DE, Georgia), and Erasmus James (DE, Wisconsin) on the top of their list.

Rounding out the top 10 are the Detroit Lions. The Lions have used 6 straight first round picks, and 7 of their last 8, to select offensive players. I think that changes this year and the Lions will be looking at pass rushers. In addition to Merriman, Pollack, and James, I think that Marcus Spears (DE/DT, LSU) will also get consideration because of his ability to move inside in pass rushing situations and collapse the pocket.

There's still one thing that the Lions can do which would radically change the draft -- trade up to get Alex Smith. Word out of Motor City is that the Lions' management is tired of waiting for Joey Harrington to demonstrate why he was the 3rd pick in the draft. If Detroit decides that they have to have Smith, they could trade up with either San Francisco or Miami for him, but they'd have to mortgage the future to do so.