"The Sunday Five" is a loosely-titled piece where I talk about five NFL- or Browns-related topics related to this past week. In today's edition, since there really is not a lot to talk about, I'll take a look back at what had happened last year before Memorial Day, and whether anyone on the Browns has a defensive playbook.
In 2010 before Memorial Day, Terry Pluto and other writers were talking about how often the Browns were using Joshua Cribbs and Seneca Wallace together in OTA's. If you did not already realize it, that is the first "significant" thing that teams have already missed: OTA's typically take place in mid-May and the beginning of June. Some of the players on offense will have gotten together three times to substitute for OTA's, but that is still without coaches being involved. As far as we know, defensive players and special teams players aren't getting any work in.
How big is it that NFL teams are missing OTA's? One thing is for sure: in previous years, all of the "hype" that has come from them, such as the use of the Wildcat formation or certain quarterbacks looking great, has not translated to gameday. Maybe that would be different under Pat Shurmur, but I look at OTA's as supplemental sessions that are not going to make or break a team's chances at contending in the regular season.
On May 29, 2010, the Plain Dealer published an article that talked about the labor issues with linebacker Scott Fujita. I did not take the lockout very seriously at the time, perhaps because I am usually a very optimistic person. At the time, when I heard "lockout," I thought, "come on, this is the most popular sport in the country, surely there will be a resolution." Well, it is one year later, and I can't say we're much closer to a resolution. I still do not have an "empty" feeling because of how well the Indians have done and the several sessions put on by the offense, but if training camp does not take place in July, then I might start feeling a little bit uneasy.
I was under the impression that nobody received a defensive playbook. In an interview with PFT Live a couple of days ago though (transcribed by the Akron Beacon Journal), Fujita said otherwise:
On if he was able to get his hands on Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron's playbook while the lockout was briefly lifted: "Yeah, I mean it was tough because a lot of guys don't spend their offseasons in Cleveland, and I wasn't in Cleveland at the time. But there was a brief moment of time, and I'm not gonna talk too much about it, but I did make arrangements to get my hands on some materials. So that will serve us well, I think, moving forward. Defensively, we're gonna start getting together and talking through things. I don't know if I want to make coaching my profession, but I think I have enough stuff to get some information to guys, so we don't fall too far behind."
Last week, rufio began taking a look at the West Coast Offense. Be sure to check them out if you haven't already. His first article was subtitled, "The Bill Walsh Offense," and his second article was subtitled, "Timing-Based Passing." Over at Dawg Scooper, Daniel Wolf also has a column out recapping his latest thoughts on the Cleveland Browns.