Defense still wins championships


Seahawks' Malcolm Smith (53) returns an interception from Broncos' Peyton Manning for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLVIII

On Monday's edition of "Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford," co-hosts Vic Carucci and Nathan Zegura reflected on Super Bowl XXVIII and the Seattle Seahawks' dominating defense.Mike Jones, from the Washington Post, joined Vic and Nathan to discuss the Browns' new offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, and the qualities he has to lead an offense. Kevin Costner, star of the upcoming movie "Draft Day," joined Vic on Radio Row at the Super Bowl in New York to discuss his experiences while filming in Cleveland.Je'Rod Cherry finished the show by providing his analysis on Seattle's dominating triumph over the Denver Broncos.

Here are some highlights:


Vic Carucci: "Seattle made a statement: defense still wins championships, despite the fact that this is supposed to be a quarterback-driven league. I give so much credit to the talent that the Seahawks have put together. Their defensive front did an overwhelming job. It was the perfect matchup for a Super Bowl: the number one offense against the number one defense. But the defense took solid control of this game. They took the game by the throat and the Broncos wanted no part of it. By the second quarter, the Broncos were checked out. I'm encouraged now, that after back-to-back offensive-minded head coaches, the Browns are going down the road with a defensive guy with bringing in (Mike) Pettine."


Nathan Zegura:"Denver just looked beat-up on the front. Seattle didn't have an elaborate scheme to stop Peyton (Manning), but they played fundamental football and allowed the plays to develop. They also hit, and they hit hard and that certainly was something that came through for them. A lot of the key players for Seattle's defense are undrafted guys, so that's something to remember. They just know how to hit and were relentless. Peyton Manning is still one of the top five greatest quarterbacks to play the game, but he just won't be considered the greatest quarterback of all time. He has a losing record in the playoffs now, despite being the favorite in almost all of his games. That is just unacceptable. Sometimes, when a defense overwhelms you at the point of attack and your quarterback has no time, you just get dominated and that's what happened to the Broncos. This is the best day of the year, in my opinion. The slate is clean. All teams are equal and we can now look forward to the draft."


Mike Jones:"Kyle (Shanahan) is a bright, offensive-minded guy who has a lot of ideas and ways to get his receivers open, despite having limited talent. His offense moves the ball and he knows how to get a lot out of his guys. He loves working with the tight ends and knows how to use them in a variety of ways. He is very creative with them. He likes to use the run to set up plays, but he prefers to throw the ball as much as he can. He took some grief from being (in Washington) with his dad and things not working out with their relationship with (Robert) Griffin (III), but you have to like his chances because of what he has done elsewhere. It will be good for Kyle to show that he is a bright mind and hard worker, not just the son of Mike Shanahan. This is an opportunity for him to prove that he can have success on his own. He wants to prove that he can work with other people besides his father and can be a good teammate on the coaching staff."


Kevin Costner:"It's hard to make a good movie, but I think we successfully made a good boy/girl movie. I think we served the Browns' tradition of pain and hope, everything that goes with a sports team. It's about building a team and it begins on a day like this day (draft day) and you see all the pressure that goes in to it. There is a lot at stake and there's a lot of passion with the Browns organization. I don't think there is anyone in that building who doesn't want them to succeed. I will forever have a soft spot for the Browns. Having had this experience, I realize that they are a real pillar of the NFL. Draft Day was made with a lot of ideas pointing towards the Cleveland audience. It was made for the world, but we made sure it was important to the people of Cleveland."


Je'Rod Cherry:"As a defensive-minded person, I thoroughly enjoyed what I watched (from the Super Bowl). It was beautiful. It was like watching poetry in motion to see the number one defense just shut down the number one offense. I know that Peyton does so much at the line of scrimmage that if you could get to him and disrupt him, then panic sets in. When you have so much going on and a defense who can get pressure on the quarterback in a manner that Seattle can, nothing but panic would come in to play, and it did. It wasn't just Seattle's defense, which is the crazy part. That defense creates a mentality and it permeated throughout the entire team. That's where you credit your general manager to be able to find those diamonds in the rough; those guys who have that talent and that hunger that not everyone has. At the end of the day, it's about execution and aggressiveness and yesterday, it was old school football in all its nature."

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