"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, we'll take a look at the Browns starting their full squad minicamp, what the people in Steelers Nation are going through, a neat little block-comments add-on that someone created, and more.
The best day of 2011 might end up being the day in which I can type, "the lockout is over." I still believe the end of the lockout will happen before August, but it might not be as soon as July 15. Whether that affects a portion of the preseason remains to be seen. Right now, missing preseason games is not such a big deal; after all, fans have been asking for a reduction of two preseason games for quite awhile now. If the lockout ends on time and teams are able to perform as crisp during the regular season as they normally do after having less time to prepare, will that make teams re-adjust how they approach things in the future?
About 40 members of the Cleveland Browns are scheduled to meet in Austin, Texas starting today. They will also be there on Monday and Tuesday, as the offense and defense combine for their first full squad minicamp of the "season." This will be the offense's fourth time together, and the defense's first time. Rookie defensive linemen Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard are expected to be in attendance. I don't see these camps making a significant difference in individual performances this season, but they should help build things like team chemistry and helping the youngsters get acclimated to being a member of the Browns.
Hines Ward has been making headlines this offseason for a few reasons, but he didn't want to add a DUI arrest to that list. Steelers fans over at Behind the Steel Curtain are not happy with Ward's decision. Shockingly, his mugshot did not feature a grin. The bottom line is that you hate when any public figure is charged with a DUI, so it is not like I take significant pleasure in this as a Browns fan. We saw Shin-Soo Choo charged with a DUI earlier this baseball season, so we know how it's not fun to have one of your team's premiere players making news for the wrong reasons.
How should we play Joshua Cribbs? Good question. Here is one thing I hope happens: if we don't plan on using it very much during the regular season, don't waste so much damn time working on it in training camp. If Pat Shurmur needs the West Coast Offense implemented ASAP, that should be what the team commits too before the regular season. Most of the players on offense already know the Wildcat packages, and they can probably be worked on in weekly preparations for games. I think Cribbs should spend less time at receiver than he did last year, but that doesn't mean his statistics will be down. If Shurmur inserts him into the game here and there and gets him involved with some quick hitter passes, I like a healthy Cribbs' chances. I'd vote to put him back as a gunner on special teams too.
Over at our Saints affiliate, they posted about an add-on (only available for Google Chrome and Safari users) where you can block the comments of a certain member. I would never use this add-on myself, but if you happen to use that browser and could care less about what a certain member posts, feel free to try it out.