The Cleveland Browns made headlines yesterday when they fired head coach Eric Mangini after two 5-11 seasons. Mangini was the only coach to be fired on what is usually referred to as “Black Monday” in the NFL, as it is the first day after the completion of the regular season and a day when numerous coaches are normally fired after sub-par years.
“We want to win here. We do not win enough,” Browns president Mike Holmgren told the Associated Press after the move was made. Winning has been rare in Cleveland since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999. The team has only played in one playoff game, a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2002, and only had two winning seasons (2002 and 2007) during that stretch.
The move comes despite the Browns apparent improvement this season, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and signs that they may have found their quarterback and running back of the future in Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis. Despite the progress, Mangini was likely done in by the team fading down the stretch. They finished just 2-6 after upsetting the Saints and Patriots in back to back weeks. Ironically, it was the stretch run last season that may have saved Mangini’s job, as the Browns won four straight games to end the year at 5-11. That 5-11 record was a success, this one wasn’t.
Week 4 showcased a number of upsets to keep Divisions close all around. The Jacksonville Jaguars shocked the Indianapolis Colts to keep the AFC South interesting. Donovan McNabb led the Washington Redskins to defeat his former Philadelphia Eagles and share a hold of the NFC East lead. The Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are first to rest up with bye weeks now in effect. All week 4 scores are listed below.
Sunday, October 3, 2010Atlanta Falcons 16, San Francisco 49ers 14 – Kicker Matt Bryant split one through the uprights with six seconds remaining for the Falcons to earn their third win of the season.
New York Jets 38, Buffalo Bills 14 – LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns from 19 carries.
Cleveland Browns 23, Cincinnati Bengals 20 - Terrell Owens caught 10 passes for an impressive 222 yards, but the Browns were able to hang on for their first victory of the season.
Green Bay Packers 28, Detroit Lions 26 – Aaron Rodgers completed 12-of-17 for 181 yards and three touchdowns. (more)
The Baltimore Ravens just recently acquired wide receiver Donte Stallworth following the termination of his contract with the Cleveland Browns. The one-year deal will provide the seven year veteran with $900,000 and another $300,000 in incentives.
Stallworth’s previous long-term deal with Cleveland closed after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell lifted his year suspension. In March of 2009 he was arrested for killing a pedestrian while driving under the influence. The Ravens organization is now prepared to welcome Stallworth for a second chance.
“We’ve given a lot of thought to this and we’ve done extensive research into Donte’ beyond football,” said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome. “He made a huge mistake. There’s no doubt about that…But, we’ve signed him because we want to get better, and we think he has a chance to help us. We worked him out and it’s obvious he is working hard to be effective.”
The defending NFL Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers may be down and out four weeks from now, following their most recent 13-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns Thursday night. Ben Roethlisberger was sacked eight times in the midst of their dismal efforts. Pittsburgh will likely need to find another form of motivation to finish out their 2009 regular season campaign.
“To lose five straight coming off a Super Bowl from last year is embarrassing,” said WR Hines Ward. “There’s nothing fun about losing games, especially five in a row. We’re better than that. We should play better than that. With three games left, you’re going to see who really wants to go out here and play for the pride of this organization and this city and who doesn’t want to be around here.”
Cleveland produced all 13 total points in the first half. From there the Steelers couldn’t get anything going offensively, settling with just two field goals to end the second and third quarters. Yesterday’s game marked the Browns second win, giving players and fans alike a better sense of accomplishment this season. Pittsburgh will next matchup against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, December 20th as the Browns travel to Kansas City to meet up with the Chiefs.
The Baltimore Ravens racked up two touchdowns and a field goal in the third quarter while holding the Cleveland Browns scoreless, resulting in a 16-0 Monday Night Football Ravens victory at M&T Bank Stadium. Ray Rice ran for 12 yards to claim the initial TD, which was followed by a Dawan Landry interception for six more. Baltimore posted their final points eight minutes into the third with a 44 yard boot through the uprights courtesy of Steve Hauschka.
“I guess I agree it wasn’t pretty,” said QB Joe Flacco. “It was an ugly win, but that’s the way some wins are in the NFL.” Flacco threw for 155 yards from 13 passes completed. Luckily his defense pulled most of the weight yesterday, holding Cleveland’s Brady Quinn to 99 yards and two picks. The 1-8 Browns are scheduled to face the Detroit Lions on Sunday, November 22nd at Ford Field. Baltimore is set to host the undefeated Indianapolis Colts the same day.
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Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini recently announced that the young Brady Quinn will return as starting quarterback for their upcoming Monday Night Football game against the Baltimore Ravens. Quinn was benched after just 10 quarters of play and replaced by Derek Anderson heading into the second half of their first matchup with Baltimore. After seeing Anderson post a league low 36.2 QB rating, Mangini is convinced that Quinn will be able to hold the spot for the remainder of the season.
“He’s had good weeks of practice,” said Mangini. “He’s worked hard since the first transition was made. I look forward to him taking advantage of this opportunity and helping us improve.”
The Browns organization is 1-7 so far this year with just five offensive touchdowns (a number two less than the New Orleans Saints defense alone). Quinn is definitely eager to get back on the field for another chance. ”I’m excited to be a part of Monday night,” said Quinn. ”Every team in the NFL is tough, them especially. We’ve got our hands full right now.”
Monday Night Football is set for 8:30 PM at Cleveland Browns Stadium
Earlier today the Cleveland Browns traded away WR Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets for special-teams player Jason Trusnik, WR Chansi Stuckey, and a pair of future draft picks. Edwards has been in the league for five years and will give QB Mark Sanchez the extra option he’s been looking for all season down field. “It’s just another piece that we wanted to add,” said GM Mike Tannenbaum said. “We’re excited to get Braylon. We think he’s going to help us. It was a position that we liked, but it was also a position we felt that if there was an opportunity to improve, we were going to go ahead and try to do that.”
The NFL is currently looking into whether Edwards has violated league policy after allegedly assaulting a friend of NBA star LeBron James outside a Cleveland nightclub on Monday. The situation may play a large factor as to why Edwards has found his new home to be New York. The Jets are next scheduled to take on the Miami Dolphins Monday, October 12th at LandShark Stadium. The following week they will host the Buffalo Bills at Giants Stadium.
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Former Patriots defensive coordinators Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini have been fired from their respective head coaching jobs. Crennel left the pats to helm a rebuilding Cleveland Browns team, and led them to a 24-40 in his tenure. Mangini left for the rival New York Jets, making the playoffs in his first year but ultimately leading them to a 23-25 record. Crennel was dealt a difficult hand with a quarterback controversy (the rollercoaster Derek Anderson versus the seemingly underachieving Brady Quinn), and Mangini dealt with difficult turnover. Despite signing on legendary QB Brett Favre, the Jets lost tough games this season, including an uninspired week 17 loss to the division rival Dolphins.
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