Big Lead Sports Bar

8/08/2007

Why the Browns Will Be Better Than the Steelers in 2007

I've thrown out a challenge to the followers of every other NFL out there: tell us why your team will be better than the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007. And plenty of eager writers are lined up to tell you exactly why they will be superior to the Black and Gold. In the coming weeks, be prepared to get a gauge on exactly where the rest of the country ranks us in the NFL hierarchy this season.

Today's author is Jared Westler of Erie. He's not a sportswriter, he's not a blogger, he's a fan. But he made quite a case for why he deserved this assignment:

Hey Raul, I'm a huge fan of the site and of the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. It's difficult but for some reason I just can't quit them. I was born and raised in Erie, hence the Pirates allegiance, but also came of age during the 80s, a time when the Browns were a bit better then your Steelers, and became a Browns fan. I got a feeling they're already taken, but can I write the essay saying why they'll be better than the Steelers? Just think, I became a fan of the Browns and the Pirates.

OK, you got me. Anyone who suffers through a Pirates season followed by a Browns season year-in and year-out needs to be heard. I must say, I'm fascinated about any argument that would have the Browns fare better than the Steelers in 2007. So now, I turn it over to Jared, and try to see his point.
Comparison of the Squeelers and Browns
by Jared Westler

When I tried to think of a way to prove that my Cleveland Browns would be better than the Steelers I thought about making it humorous, ala the funny Rams post from the other day. I mean, let's be honest, trying to convince you that a team that finished 4-12 but had a good draft would be better than a team that went 8-8 largely due to a freak motorcycle accident and a coach whose heart wasn't in the game would be rather difficult. Plus humor is a much more enjoyable read. And then I realized that this is what the rivalry had become. The Browns were a joke and most around the NFL barely regarded it as a rivalry anymore. But at the same time Steelers blogs were still insulting the Browns and entire blogs were being created just for the hating of Steelers' fans by Clevelanders. This inspired me to a certain extent to defend my Browns no matter how bad the team looked. What follows is why the Browns are better than the Steelers, and before you start complaining about how general, wildly optimistic, and unspecific these arguments are, please remember: I'm a Browns' fan, cut me a little slack.

Offense:

Quarterback: I know that Mr. Mondesi will find this to be sacrilegious, but you can find some truth into Roethlisberger's skill-level by looking at last season. Specifically, the second half. After 10 weeks (including the bye), your savior had played in 8 games and should have had time to fully recover from all of his injuries. The real Roethlisberger should have emerged in the second half. His completion percentage from the first 8 games: 63.7%. His completion percentage from the final 7: 54.6%. The guy is a question mark, no matter how many times you try and convince yourself otherwise.

Meanwhile, the Browns have even more questionable QBs. Two have shown flashes of capability at the NFL level, while the other is a talented, greedy, crybaby who missed crucial training camp time, but will eventually be leading the franchise. Even though they have many questions surrounding them, at least there are three on them. Odds say one will pan out.

Advantage: Tie

Running backs: There is no doubt Willie Parker is a talented back and a great story. But he still has timing problems hitting the hole. He's young though and should improve this year. Like many people, I'm expecting big things from Willie this year.

About Jamal Lewis. He's not the same back that he was when he ran for 2000 yards. No sh*t, Sherlock. But he is an upgrade over the crap the Browns have been trotting out there for the past many years. Would I rather have Parker on my team? Yeah, of course, but the gap has closed this year.

Advantage: Steelers, by less than usual

Wide Receivers: Hines Ward is getting old. Already slow to begin with, a drop in his speed could be disastrous. Santonio Holmes is overrated, just like everything out of Ohio State, and is a still a threat to be arrested at any moment. Cedrick Wilson is the worst receiver ever to have demanded the ball more. Nate Washington drops more balls than Ronny Paulino.

Meanwhile, the Browns have a franchise receiver in Braylon Edwards while Joe Jurevicious provides veteran leadership and the intestinal fortitude to to go for balls over the middle. A young QB's two best friends. Look out for Tim Carter having a good year as well, now that he's on a team that will give him an opportunity.

Advantage: Browns

Tight Ends: The Steelers have done an excellent job of keeping their stable of big, tall, white, blocking tight ends completely stocked. What is the rationale behind taking Spaeth in the 3rd round? You already had an above average TE in Heath Miller and Tuman provided steady blocking. Waste of a draft pick.

I don't like Kellen Winslow. His personality, anyway. Don't get me wrong, you need confidence, but the way he bragged before ever getting on the field was ridiculous. Karma paid him back though in the form of a broken leg and a motorcycle accident. Even with all this, he became a dominant TE last year. Better than Heath Miller. He's an injury risk, but he played enough last year to warrant projected potential talent close to that of Antonio Gates.

Advantage: Browns

Offensive line: Picture this, it's the 10th week of the season, and Alan Faneca has just allowed his second sack of the game. Coach Tomlin, although not a screamer, comes up to him to display his disappointment. Faneca, realizing that he hates this situation, decides to either A.) quit right there or B.) go back out there and act like a revolving door. Most teams do not care about character issues anymore, and Faneca can explain to any potential suitors that the Steelers pulled a fast one on him so he had every right to stop trying for them. If T.O. can get a lucrative contract in Dallas after everything he's done, there's no way Faneca's stock falls that far in a market that is paying linemen a ton of money. So Faneca stops trying. Kendall Simmons was below average last year, there is a gaping hole at center, and Max Starks gets embarrassed by any DE with a hint of athleticism. This will be the Steelers downfall, I promise you.

The Browns greatest strength on offense is their line. I'm confident Bentley will be healthy this year while the addition of Joe Thomas to the left side will be monumental in protecting the blindside. McKinney, Steinbach and Shaffer are solid if not unspectacular.

Advantage: Browns

Defense

Defensive line: I concede this point immediately. The average age of the Browns D-line is around 72. This will be the Browns downfall this year.

Advantage: Steelers, by a lot.

Linebackers: Joey Porter was declining, but the Steelers lost a lot of leadership and a capable linebacker who would have put up solid numbers and allowed the rookies to be eased into their starting roles. The 3-4 defense places the onus on the linebackers, and LeBeau loves to run complicated zone blitzes. This is not something easily learned. Timmons missing out on this crucial time could be disastrous to his first year. I like Lamarr Woodley, but shifting from DE to LB will leave him vulnerable to the pass during his first year. While still relatively strong compared to the rest of the league, the linebackers have regressed this year. Next year, watch out.

I wish Willie McGinest was not in Cleveland. He's too old. But as I said before, you cannot place enough importance on experience in the 3-4. But other than that, the Browns linebackers are a strength. Kamerion Wimbley is an absolute beast who recorded 11 sacks in his rookie year. D'Qwell Jackson and Andra Davis are effective run stoppers, with Jackson possessing a large upside.

Advantage: Steelers, barely.

Defensive Backs: McFadden and Ike Taylor have talent, but have yet to consistently harness it. Deshea Townsend becomes a bigger liability with each passing year. The Steelers will once again be strong in the safety position.

The Browns DBs are the strength of the team. Last year, Sean Jones and Daven Holley had 5 interceptions each. Leigh Bodden shut down most top WRs. Eric Wright has the talent to have a better career than Quinn and Joe Thomas if he can stay out of trouble.

Advantage: Browns

Coaches

Tomlin and Crennel were both defensive coordinators before they moved on to their respective teams, so you know what they will focus on. Tomlin has a great chance to be a better coach than Crennel, but first year coaches generally have a bit of difficulty. This is Crennel's third year, a make or break year in his tenure. His experience and the team's comfortableness with his system gives him the upper hand this year.

Every Steelers fan seems happy to have Bruce Arians. Did you not see him in Cleveland?! The offense never finished higher than 19th.

Advantage: Browns.

Final Count: 5-3 Browns.

What's great is that we'll get to find out in the very first game of the season whether I'm right or not. Thanks to Don for letting me defend my team.
More in the Why My Team is Better Than the Steelers series:

21 comments:

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

Romeo Crennel is not even Wayne Fontes.

Yes, THAT Wayne Fontes.

My heart goes out to you for having to root fro==or the Browns.

Seriously.

I'd feel bad making fun of you b/c you're already at such a disadvantage in life having been born in Cleveland.

Best Wishes,

Cecil

Thejim said...

Here's one good reason the Browns will not be better than the Steelers...they're the Browns.

Don't forget to tip your waitress.

Adam said...

Cecil, way to use that Pitt education to read throughly enough to see that this guy is from Erie, and not Cleveland.

Now, without getting to upset, because it seems even when I defend your holy steelers around here, people still get pissed, I'm going to simply make jokes about your arguement, so i dont come across like an asshole.

Anyway

"The real Roethlisberger should have emerged in the second half. His completion percentage from the first 8 games: 63.7%. His completion percentage from the final 7: 54.6%. The guy is a question mark, no matter how many times you try and convince yourself otherwise."

Yes, the real Big Ben, who completed 66% his rookie year, and 62% in his second finally reared his ugly head in a select set of 8 games that you decided upon to make yourself look smart. Your right, the REAL Big Ben was the one who had that 54% completion percentage, not the one who has a career 62% completion percentage despite it. You cannot POSSIBLY sell to me that a stable of QBs who have 8 wins between them are even with one who started his career 27-4 with a super bowl ring.

That is a worse arguement than any a Pitt fan has presented on this sight. I suppose things could be worse than growing up in yinzr nation...

"But he still has timing problems hitting the hole."

Riiiight. Which is why hes busted the longest runs in Steeler and Super Bowl history, and racked up 2 200 yard rushing days last season. Your right. Severe problems there.

"Santonio Holmes is overrated, just like everything out of Ohio State"

49 catches led all rookies. Yup overrated. Buckeyes lose 3 games in two years? Pshhh they're overrated too.

"Meanwhile, the Browns have a franchise receiver in Braylon Edwards"

Sounds like you've been hitting the brew a little hard if you know what i mean.

"You already had an above average TE in Heath Miller..."

We'll let this season be the judge of that.

"Even with all this, he became a dominant TE last year. Better than Heath Miller."

Yup, cuz miller isnt a F***ING SOLDIER!!!!!!! like Lt. Winslow.

"and Max Starks gets embarrassed by any DE with a hint of athleticism."

Ahhhhhh, but he can sell a can of chunky soup, ill tell you what. Beat that.

" McFadden and Ike Taylor have talent, but have yet to consistently harness it."

Yup, just like in the Indianapolis playoff game, and the SUPER BOWL where they shut down 2 of the most prolific passing offenses in the NFL. THE BROWNS WERE 4-12! PLEASE!!!

Now while I realize none of that was funny, at least I got to blow off some steam on someone not stiking up for Pitt.

dave said...

calling qbs a tie is pretty hilarious

charlie frye is horrible. the browns would win more games with charlie batch.

Thejim said...

@dave

Or Charile Sheen, or Charlie Chan, or possibly even Charlie Brown.

James said...

I knew that would be a stretch, but wow.

Let's revisit this post after week 1 when the Steelers dish out the first of a the usual bi-annual drubbings to Cleveland.

AJ said...

While the rivalry isn't quite the same these days, I like Pittsburgh having an extra two bye weeks in the schedule every year.

This may get interesting again when Cowher goes to Cleveland next year... then again, I'm sure that Cleveland will screw that up too.

mondesishouse said...

Of course Cleveland could screw up Cowher. They screwed up BELICHICK.

Cotter said...

Some of these factors should really be weighted...cause like the sheer fact that they're the Browns is at least an automatic 3 points in favor of the Steelers...maybe that's just me...

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

All I keep gathering from these previews is that Adam is the most obnoxious kid on earth.

He defends "our Steelers", then he belittles the "holy" team it's "yinzer" fans in the next sentence (wait, does he like them too or not?).

This happens at least once during every response.

Then, there is the fact that he's more concerned with tossing random insults at Pitt, while defending everything Penn State does to the death, than he is with finding a date.

Jonny V said...

Which is why I would love for Cowher to go there. The fans would see that no matter who their coach is, they are doomed to mediocrity. And the only Brown I like is Daven Holly, because he graduated from my tiny ass high school--Clairton.

Jonny V said...

Cecil, way to use that Pitt education to read throughly enough to see that this guy is from Erie, and not Cleveland.
Read throughly? Is that even a friggin' word?


"That is a worse arguement than any a Pitt fan has presented on this sight."

Or site. Glad to see Penn State education is top of the line also.

Chase said...

Adam, as a fellow Penn State student (but a Pitt fan) thanks for making us look like arrogant idiots.

Your constant JoePa and PSU homerism is retarded, as are your use of the wrong form of the word "too", the wrong "site", and the word "throughly."

vinnie said...

Thanks Jared, I love reading fiction. You Brown's fans should just accept that you'll never realistically compete with the Steelers and instead should focus all your energies on smackin' the Ravens around twice a year. As a matter of fact, you should treat every other regular season game as a scrimmage in preparation for your next matchup with the Ravens. You'll be doing yourselves and us a huge favor, and in exchange the Steelers will try not to embarrass you too much when they play you.

Adam said...

Didn't you guys read? I said I was making jokes. The misspellings were parrt of it!

You guys tell me not to take things so seriously, and then get mad when i misspell on purpose.

And I like the Steelers, but the TV stuff during the Super Bowl run was overkill. If you can't step back and laugh at how much this town is ga ga for the Steelers, then your the butt of those jokes.

Alicia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I do think it's funny how Pittsburgh is ga-ga over the Steelers, and I do make jokes about OUR fanaticism (you're included there buddy).

But I don't belittle people or make my feelings on the subject ambiguous.

Seriously, I can't tell if you like them or hate them.

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

Adam:

I'll only walk you through this once, so pay attention.

The genius of my post is that I didn't read his. I only looked at the portion that was visible while I clicked the comment link.

Now get back to "Dungeons and Dragons."

And, yes, you're back on suspension. Indefinite this time. Not so much for the Pitt comment, but for the incessant rambling. No one cares.

Lenny said...

This can't be serious. Cleveland is a substandard team.

Black n Gold said...

This "essay" was the biggest load of crap I've ever read.

I can't tell what's more far-fetched: criticizing a Pro-Bowl RB, saying that the orgy of pathetic QBs consisting of Charlie Frye-Brady Quinn-Derek Anderson is "closer than you think" to Ben Roethlisberger, or saying that the Browns have any kind of advantage whatsoever vs. the Steelers.

I'm pretty sure the black and gold has won 16 of the last 17. I don't know how accurate that is because I've already wasted enough time laughing hysterically at the audacity of this post. I have more serious things to do.

Berzerkomandor said...

Its the spider vibe and you can't fight it
beyond radioactive I spiked the lightening
There ain't no iller thriller than the Big Orange Gun
Dawgs chew you up like you were the worst Atlanta Falcon
Browns Town uber alles ain't no other, son
The phasers are real and so are the threats
RuhnKult provides a new Browns phalanx
2007 September Game One is the dawn of a new age
when I take the stage
Berzerkomand goes on a rampage
and its true rage
take a splinter of hard wood
Anaconda assassin ninja with a head wound
I just rule and I'm from Cleveland, fool
Anaconda Assasin Berzerkomand
and if you ever were my rival now your buried in sand I pass judgment like it was platters of ham

Faraday, Farakahn, Shotgun Hytclan

Stark fist of removal
Mercural in nature
with the powers of Neptune Jehovah and Krishna
The resolution is carried
I still hate ya (sic)

Its show time
watch the spot light shine
'Bus you up like Bettis at the goal line
that one time

I gots my targeting scanners locked
Like I was Sisko
And you was Gul Dukat


You thought that we were ashes gone all these years Now my squad be coming through like we were bomabadiers
snapping bones like twigs
old skool like the Senate wearing powdered wigs
Its a new battle in the midst of the seige
Its the Browns about to get under your skin and make you bleed