This week, I talked to an avid Blawg Pound reader and commenter. Even when he doesn't comment on posts, I can always count on getting a good opinion/analysis from Brian when it comes to the Browns.
Brian grew up in Lima, Ohio where he and his family were active members of the Lima Area Browns Backers. Currently, he resides in what he's proud to call "the heart of Buckeye Nation," Columbus (But, I won't hold that against him).
So, without further ado, I give you the Blawg Pound Interview with a Die Hard Browns Fan.
How long have you been a Browns fan?
It would probably be easier to count the days that I was not a Browns fan, and that would be a big fat ZERO. In fact, today I was going through my closest and pulled out my first Browns jersey, which was number 43 worn by running back Mike Pruitt (at that time).Who is your all-time favorite Browns player?
I grew up loving to watch the “Mack Truck,” Kevin Mack run people over. I admired his tough, bruising style of running, which (in my mind) made him a true football player who didn’t run away from people, but rather through people.Did you ever get to see him play in person?
No, I never got to see my all-time favorite Brown’s player Kevin Mack play in person, but I definitely watched the “Mack Truck” punish defenders on TV.What is your favorite Browns memory?
My favorite Browns memory is going to the Cleveland Municipal Stadium to watch the Browns vs Patriots playoff game on January 1st, 1995; the Browns won 20-13 ... the Dawg Pound was barking like crazy and the dog biscuits were flying! I felt like I was definitely in my element.Do you support Mike Holmgren and the direction in which he is taking this team?
I believe Mike Holmgren is a very intelligent guy with a good grasp on what it takes to lead a football team, he also has a proven track record.Are you satisfied with the hiring of Pat Shurmur as the head coach?
However, I am not a fan of starting over and rebuilding every four years or so. I think time will tell if his reputation will hold true for him with the Browns. I will admit, I did see improvements last season with the team (despite the record), so at least the direction Mike Holmgren helped take the team last year was in a foreword, positive direction.
I was personally shocked by the hiring of Pat Shurmur as head coach for the Cleveland Browns. I was also surprised to see that few coaches were interviewed prior to his hiring; which tells me that Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert see something in him that they like.What offseason move has you excited for this season?
Given the track record Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert have, it makes me excited to see what their hire, Pat Shurmur, can do with the Browns.
I will admit that I was wishing that Jon Gruden would get the job, because I believe his knowledge of the game and blue collar philosophy would have been a better fit for the Browns and their fans. Not to mention Gruden had a nice track record working with Holmgren during their time with the 49ers and Packers.
So as I have said with the past few hires, time will tell how coach Pat Shurmur does, but I do hope the revolving door of coaches comes to a halt for the Browns.
The past few seasons I was impressed by the direction and defense that Rob Ryan created and I was rather upset seeing him go; however I am looking forward to where their new defensive coordinator Dick Jauron will take the defense. I will admit that the few moves they have made on the roster I agree with.What offseason move has you worried about this season?
They definitely needed to part ways with some of the aging players.
Even though I am excited for the new defense I am also worried about switching to the 4-3 scheme. The Browns spent years signing players for a 3-4 scheme and currently have the personnel for it. However now that they will probably be reverting back to a 4-3 scheme I am worried that this will take a while to perfect, therefore they risk many Browns fans losing patience and faith.What areas do you think are of the biggest concern to the Browns for this season?
In short, I am worried about the Browns doing "another rebuilding year."
I think the biggest area of concern for the Browns is offense, a team cannot win games without scoring some points. Yeah, I know a defense wins championships, but to get to the championship you have to win games.What are your thoughts on this season now that you've had a chance to see the preseason?
I did however like what I saw last season in rookie Colt McCoy and veteran Seneca Wallace. Quarterbacks need weapons, so I think a huge concern is the wide receiver position. Payton Manning has all sorts of weapons who have helped him become the great quarterback he is today.
I think the Browns need a Pro-Bowl caliber player for their quarterbacks to throw the pigskin to. If Colt McCoy is going to be the guy, I think a veteran receiver is in order for him. I like free agent wide receiver Vincent Jackson for the Browns because he is proven, experienced, and at six years in the NFL he has plenty of years left to play receiver. Wide receiver Steve Smith from the Giants also seems like a valuable option as well.
I also believe the Browns need to strengthen the right side of their offensive line. It's tough to score points with the quarterback laying on his back. I really like free agent Logon Mankins from the Patriots, but I think that is a stretch and have the feeling the Browns will be testing out one of their younger offensive linemen they’ve been grooming this season.
The Browns have been losing games, thus they could improve everywhere. Many are concerned about the defensive line. I really don’t feel this area is as bad as many think it is, even if they are switching over to the 4-3. Yeah, it needs help and considering the Browns are in a run heavy division whom face some of the league’s best running backs. I was impressed with Brian Schaefering and Ahtyba Rubin last season. Many forget about Robaire Smith from being out last year.
But this is an area where I think the Browns need to take a page out of the Raven’s and Steelers’ book and find some players, like they have, whom were lesser known and were later round draft picks; who have all turned out to be stars. Besides, the Browns haven’t had much luck picking defensive lineman in the first round. So where are Courtney Brown and Gerard Warren today?
I am looking forward to the season. The new rookies on the DL looked pretty good! Much better than I thought they would be. Colt looked pretty sharp too, especially for not having as much offseason practice. I am concerned about the OL, losing a pro-bowl gaurd don't help much. Oh, and I wish we had Vickers back. The FBs are not impressing me at all!What is your prediction for Sunday's game against the Bengals?
24-10, Browns over Bengals.Who is your favorite current Browns player?
Over the past few years, I would have listed Joshua Cribbs as my favorite player on the Browns’ roster. Through the many losing seasons this guy seemed to give it 110% , no matter what. Not to mention anytime the ball was kicked or punted to him, he was electrifying! Cribbs definitely brought me to the corner of the seat cushion many of times.What makes you a die-hard Browns fan?
However last season was rather disappointing for him. He had like four or five of his toes injured all season, which would slow anyone down. I tend to favor the guys who seem to give it 110%, no matter what.
With that said, I am going to have to claim running back Peyton Hillis as my favorite current player. I don’t know why the Broncos where hiding Hillis, but I’m sure glad they did. It enabled the Browns to get him, and unleash him to run wild! Hillis was a punishing runner last season, who exploded on the much hated Ravens!
It was great to finally say, "take that Art Modell and send your Ravens flying out of here." Not to mention his bruising style of running reminds me a lot of my all-time favorite Browns player, the "Mack Truck."
I believe I am a die-hard Browns fan because I’m not a fake fan who jumps on a bandwagon and claims to be a fan, such as most Steelers fans.How much money would it take to get you to wear a Steelers jersey in public?
I hate fans who only claim to be a fan if their team is winning. I have and will always claim to be a Browns fan; win or lose. I have worn my Browns gear and claimed being a Browns fan through both the thick and thin situations.
I’ve worn my Brown gear and claimed being a Browns fan even through the “inactivity” years between 1996 and 1999.
I claim being a Browns fan through all the depressing and stressful seasons.
Win or lose, I will keep barking and never hide the fact that I am a Browns fan! Go Browns!
I reluctantly admit that the Steelers run a great organization and always seem to have strong winning results year-after-year and play the style of football I like ... tough grind it out defense with a “3 yards and a cloud of dust” attitude and yet they embrace the history and love for the game of football.There you have it. Real answers from a real Browns fan. Thanks sharing your thoughts, Brian, and thanks for being a Browns fans.
However, I am and will always be a die-hard Browns fan, so you will NEVER see me jump on the bandwagon and wear a Steelers jersey! I’d rather see my Dawgs turn them into the “squealers” and squash them with my paw and let out a big bark, with a Go Browns!
Are you a die-hard Browns fan? If you're reading this and your name isn't RJ, then I'm guessing you are. Visit our Facebook page or send us an e-mail and let us know if you'd like to be considered for a future Interview with a Die Hard Browns Fan.
Rocco the Blawg Pound Mascot says:
|"I couldn't have |
said it better
myself, Brian ...
QBs need weapons"