Blog Entry

But It's a Good Kind of Hurt ...

Posted on: October 5, 2009 10:35 am

Watching the Cleveland Browns on Sunday was an emotional rollercoaster. But at least it provided some thrills. 

As the game ended, I felt that familiar feeling of disappointment that is part of every Browns fan's experience. Red Right 88. The Drive. The Fumble. We were so close. 

But when I let my head overrule my bleeding heart, I realized that only the most cynical observer could say there were no signs of hope in their performance against the Bengals.

1. Eric Mangini Shows Leadership - A skeptic would say that necessity is the mother of invention. But it says something that he made some difficult, or not so difficult personnel decisions - and I'm not talking about just the quarterback change. Reducing Cribbs' role on offense. Starting Mike Adams over Brandon McDonald. Putting Furrey in as a defensive back. These show a coach walking his own talk and doing everything he can to put his team in a position to win the game. He's been asked over and over in press conferences, what specifically can he do different. Actions speak louder than words.

2. The Kids Made the Most of Their Opporutnities. The Browns needed a #2 receiver and did the 2nd rounder from Georgia ever deliver. He made catches down the sideline, in the seam. Some jump off your couch catches. And Jerome Harrison delivered a performance that many of us have been waiting for. Nobody had his back and he put the running game on his shoulders. No question Dick Jauron and the Buffalo defense have something else to think about this week. 

3. Braylon Edwards Fights For What's Right. There are good penalties and bad penalties. His penalty for defending the unnecessary throwdown and subsequent taunting of Harrison was a GREAT penalty. I would have been happy even if the penalties weren't offsetting. Then again, I like the brushback pitch ...

4. The Defense Shows Some Bite. It wasn't perfect, but I suspected that if the offense could just do a little, this defense might surprise us. With an aggressive defense that still doesn't have all the pieces in place, we're a shoestring tackle away from big plays, but I've said it since the 1st game, this is a defense that looks like it's "all in" for Rob Ryan.

5. Special Teams Were Something Special. OK this isn't really a new thought, but game changing doesn't begin to describe what Josh Cribbs and Shaun Rogers deliver for this team.

We didn't a get a win and I'm not one for moral victories. But I think all Browns fans are walking just a little taller today. I'm excited about next Sunday because of the new possibilities it might bring, not just to get the taste of a bad loss out of my mouth.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or