On a Friday edition of “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” co-hosts Vic Carucci and Nathan Zegura talked with Michael Reghi from the PNC Bank Cleveland Browns Radio Network to get his perspective on where the Browns stand and their potential in the future. Vic and Nathan also spoke with Pete Prisco, from CBSSports.com, to get his take on the first half of the Browns season and how they can build the team moving forward.
Jamir Howerton, from ClevelandBrowns.com, went inside the locker room with offensive tackle
Here are some highlights:
Vic Carucci: “I sit here today recognizing that this is a very different National Football League. You have to be able to throw the ball well and make sure that your quarterback is supreme. If he’s not supreme, then at the minimum you have to have one who isn’t turning the ball over. I’m beginning to buy in to the theory that this is a passing league. For now, the Browns need to work on some key areas: they need to be able to run the ball better, to get someone who is at least efficient and competent, and they need to work on their third-down defense.”
Nathan Zegura: “Right now is the chance for the Browns to play for the here and now. (The Browns) can still have a successful season and still have the opportunity to get the player that they are looking for (in the draft) and a player who they can develop. There seems to be legit optimism from a national perspective on the Browns. It’s very clear that the leadership and the coaching level and in the locker room is functioning at a very high level.”
Michael Reghi: “This isn’t the path that I think anyone expected the Browns to take. The ability for (coach Rob) Chudzinski and the entire coaching staff to not let everything that has happened fragment and splinter. You trade the guy who was supposed to be the face of the franchise. You start three quarterbacks before the second half of the season. For them to be where they are right now is not only a huge testimony to the coaches, but to the 53 guys who have been able to block out all that noise. Normally, when stuff like that happens to a team, you see that team go south, but not with the Browns. In my opinion, there is not a game on this schedule where the Browns shouldn’t go in believing that they can win.”
Joe Thomas: “It always feels good to go in to the bye week with a victory, especially a victory as big as the Ravens. It was overall a good team victory. We scored a couple early, the defense played really well, and special teams were able to hold their own. We are improving and that is key. That’s where you want to be at the bye-week: improving. We have a lot of big games coming up. It’s the bye week, but it’s not the end of the season.”
Pete Prisco: “After looking at the first half of the season, these guys should feel like they have a lot of hope for the future, the long-term future of the franchise should get people pretty excited. This team has a lot of good, young players. …The trade for (Trent) Richardson, (the Browns) should be arrested for stealing; that was a great trade that they should be doing cartwheels over. One situation that can’t be settled now is the quarterback situation, but I give credit to the backup quarterbacks. I had no idea the depth of the quarterback situation was as good as it’s been. (Mike) Lombardi is a smart guy; he knows he needs a quarterback in this draft. Let him have his draft, trust him, and see where it plays out next year.”
Je’Rod Cherry: “To beat the Bengals, the Browns need to force Andy Dalton to try and beat them. I still feel like he hasn’t arrived yet. If the Browns can get the same effort from (Greg) Little and (Davone) Bess, then we’ll be able to see what that can do. The Browns should be fired up. When you beat a team (the Ravens) who you haven’t beaten since 2007, if that doesn’t get you fired up then I don’t know what will.”
CBD Mid-Season Awards: Vic and Nathan awarded some of the top players in the league with various awards on the CBD Mid-Season Award Show:
Offensive MVP from the Browns. (Carucci):
Offensive MVP from the NFL. (Carucci): Peyton Manning; honorary mention: Jimmy Graham from the Saints. (Zegura): Peyton Manning; honorary mention: Jamaal Charles from the Chiefs.
Defensive MVP from the NFL. (Carucci): Justin Houston. (Zegura): Defensive line of the Carolina Panthers and linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Defensive MVP from the Browns. (Carucci): TJ Ward. (Zegura): TJ Ward; honorary mention:
Biggest Moment of the Season. (Carucci): Minnesota game, Brian Hoyer with 51 seconds left, finding Jordon Cameron for the touchdown. (Zegura): Touchdown pass to Jordon Cameron from Brian Hoyer vs. Minnesota that saved the season and the halftime speech given at the Kansas City game.
Surprise Team in the League: (Carucci): Kansas City Chiefs, with the Cleveland Browns in second place. (Zegura): Kansas City Chiefs.
Coach of the Year. (Carucci): Andy Reid; honorary mention: Rob Chudzinski. (Zegura): Andy Reid.
Final Record of the Browns. (Carucci): 7-9. (Zegura): 8-8.