The DEFEND Cleveland Show



The collective gasp that was heard around 5:15pm yesterday was when Jason Campbell had a 500 pound DT fall on him and almost break all his ribs.  While it would be heartwarming to say this was because the region cared about the well-being of Jason Campbell, that would be disingenuous.  No, that gasp was about something else.  Hundreds of thousands of people realized en masse that Brandon Weeden was going to return under center and all was lost.  Once again, The Full Weeden was upon us.  After a few remarkably awkward looking plays and a punt, Weeden put on his little knit hat and poncho back at the sideline.  Campbell came back into the game as it was agreed by everyone on the sideline, including presumably Weeden, that a journeyman QB like Campbell with broken ribs was better suited than the option of The Full Weeden.  And just like that, disaster was averted and Jason Campbell became The Man.

A couple weeks ago Jason Campbell could have robbed a bank and no one could have identified him.  He was really in a great position to begin a Life of Crime and Mayhem in NE Ohio and then stand on the sideline eating nachos hiding in plain sight.  Now he’s the object of city wide love as he not only spared us from Weeden, but he sort of looks like Lionel Richie.  While I would have preferred Lionel Richie as the Browns backup QB going into the season, hindsight is 20/20.  “Welcome fans to our broadcast of the Browns hosting the Ravens today with former R&B star Lionel Richie leading the Browns at QB.  Mike, can you ever remember in the history of the NFL a man in his late 50s leaving pop music to become a winning quarterback in this league?  I’ll tell you this, if he can win this game they truly will be Dancing On The Ceiling here in Cleveland… Let’s get ready for kickoff after these words from Budweiser!”

That would have been a Network TV dream…

It’s really a testament to how bad Weeden is that when two mediocre NFL quarterbacks run the offense, it makes the Browns look like a fringe playoff team.  Jason Campbell has proven that, under the right set of circumstances, he is almost an OK player.  He’s sort of a poor man’s David Garrard.  We’re not talking about Steve Young here, but Campbell’s won some games in the NFL.  It has become crystal clear that all that is between the Browns being an actual dangerous team to play on Sunday is a Big Time QB.  Even with Campbell or Hoyer, they’ll keep your hands full.  The defense is in the top third of the league.  Josh Gordon is probably the best receiver the Browns have had since their return in 1999.  The stunning games by Greg Little and Devon Bess showed what can happen if the team acquires skill position players that can reliably produce week in/week out.  Imagine if they get a shifty running back that can catch the ball out of the backfield…

It seems very odd to be in November at the bye week thinking about scenarios with the Browns that are not 100% focused on the draft in the Spring.  The games actually have some meaning.  They’ll still finish 7-9 or maybe 8-8, but that’s enough to keep them on the bottom of the “Playoff Picture” graphics that the networks will start to display in a few weeks.   I don’t know what would happen in the region if the team evolved into an actual AFC power.  There’s tens of thousands of guys pounding beer bongs and wearing costumes to the games now.  Can you imagine if the team was 7-2?  I think it would become commonplace to see men walking around in full orange football uniforms with faces painted on a Wednesday.  Obviously one of the issues will be the horrible acne and boils that will break out on these men’s faces by pores clogged with greasepaint.  It’s going to be a small sacrifice to pay.  You gotta support the team after all.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we?

As the Steelers are pretty terrible, Ravens rebuilding, and Bengals being the Bengals, the Browns actually have a chance to do something this season.  The goal should be to make the playoffs as a Wild Card.  Though that is unlikely, it would be a remarkable step in creating a winning culture and make the players that remain after this season believe they can take the next step with whoever the hell they draft as QB. Perhaps they bring in the actual Lionel Richie under center.  I don’t know.  But I do know this.  The rest of the season will have to be dedicated to keeping Campbell healthy and playing.  If not, I fear the return of Brandon Weeden will create a downward spiral of doom that the franchise couldn’t hope to recover from in our lifetimes.

-Greg Miller

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Listen to last Monday’s “The Defend Cleveland Show” in its entirety by clicking here.

The DC Show with host Mike James airs live every Monday morning from 9am-11:30am on WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland, and streams world wide here.

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Posted by on Nov 4 2013. Filed under Featured, Greg Miller on Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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