Live-Blogging A Meaningless NFL Exhibition Game

Tonight the Browns play an exhibition game.  I think it was Pete Rozelle who decided that they should be called “preseason” games, because “exhibition” sounds like the games are meaningless.  I say Pete Rozelle can stick it.  The games are meaningless.

So tonight I’ll watch the Browns play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — and I’ll record my thoughts from time to time.  Why not?  I’ve just had a fine meal with my lovely wife — now I’ll go to the opposite end of the spectrum and watch two crappy NFL teams.  Why not?

ETA:  Did Phil Sims just say Justin Gilbert was “good”?  What the hell?  Just because he broke up a pass while running behind the receiver?  NFL commentators have gone far downhill in the credibility department since the days of Al DeRogatis.

Update 2:  Browns gave up a field goal and got a field goal.  That’s not good.  If the Browns hope to do anything this year — and “hope” is precisely the right word –they desperately need to score TDs.  A field goal is not a good sign.

Update 3:  I expect the Browns D to suck this year.  There’s nothing about this game that causes me to change my view.

On the other hand, the brown jersey/white pants combo looks good.  I’ve always like the Browns unis.

Unfortunately, the guys who are wearing them don’t stack up.

Update 4: The current Bud Light commercials are OK, but I miss Spuds McKenzie.

On the other hand, the commercials are better than the Draft Kings spots.

Update 5:  The Browns punt coverage there looked like a junior high team.  Yeah, that’s about right.

Update 6:  I expected the Browns to suck, and they have met my expectations.  The O line is suspect, and the D is porous.  Every Bucs receiver is wide open.  It’s not a recipe for success.

Update 7:  Based on tonight’s performance, I expect RG III to last maybe 3 games, tops.

Update 8: When it comes to the Browns, no expectations can ever be too low.  They’re getting drubbed by a marginal team in the exhibition game that is supposed to give you a good idea of what the season will be like.  If that is true, the season will be like dental surgery without novocaine.

Update 9:  Omigod! The Buccaneers punted!  What the hell!

Update 10:  The nice thing about cable TV is that you can always find something entertaining to watch.  Tonight, it’s the Tribe.

Update 12:  I’m glad the coaches lifted RG III.  Why have him get hurt?  Officially, it’s scrub time.

Update 13:  Well, the Tribe is looking good so far, at least.

Update 14: That does it; I’m done.  No hope for the Browns this season.

Bad Number Ones

Last night, against my better judgment, I watched the Browns’ preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons.  The Browns lost — of course! — 24-13, and looked pretty bad in the process.  I came away with two conclusions.

First, it’s going to be a very long season.  Some of the Browns’ better players didn’t play, but this team has so many holes it’s hard to see how they can be filled.  The offensive line is a patchwork, and the defense looks terrible.  The Browns got gashed on the run, and Atlanta routinely converted on third down.  In the last few years of crappiness, the Browns offense has been pedestrian at best, but the defense has been a porous disaster.  I think we’re in for more of the same.

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland BrownsThe second conclusion is that Justin Gilbert may be the worst number one pick the Browns have made since coming back into the NFL.  That’s saying something, because their record of number one picks is one of dismal failure after dismal failure.  After all, Johnny Manziel was a first-round pick, and so was Brady Quinn, and so was Brandon Weeden, and so was Gerard Warren, and so was Trent Richardson . . . and the list of head cases and utter busts goes on.  But at least these guys looked like they knew how to play football.  Gilbert doesn’t.  He seems completely clueless out there as he takes bad angles, whiffs on tackles, and gets burned repeatedly.  If the Browns’ defensive backfield talent is so bad that Gilbert actually starts, the Browns D will be historically awful.  I’m talking potential record-setting ineptitude.

I don’t mean to pick on one player, but Gilbert is an example of why the Browns are a failed franchise.  Other teams make number one picks that immediately have an impact, score touchdowns, rack up sacks, and make the All-Pro team.  The Browns somehow make number one picks of players who look like they’ve never seen a football before.  Is it any wonder that the team is such a frustrating mess?