In today's edition of "The Sunday Five," we take a look at the Cleveland Browns having brown jerseys for today's game, QB Brandon Weeden possibly wearing gloves when he throws, who took Scott Fujita's roster spot, Mike Holmgren's final presser, and more.
There are a couple of interesting things to point out for today's game. The first is that according to Tony Grossi, the Cleveland Browns will be wearing their brown jerseys today against the Chargers, and will do so from here on out at home this season. Related to uniforms, the Pittsburgh Steelers are also supposed to play in their laughable bumblebee uniforms against the Washington Redskins. I guess it is Halloween time, eh? Second, the weather is expected to play a factor in the game again. Although it reached 80 degrees in Cleveland on Thursday, the forecast for the game calls for 46 degrees and rain...lots of rain. The wind could get pretty crazy out of the north too.
The weather could add a different element to Brandon Weeden's game: wearing gloves. It's something we've seen quarterbacks like Kurt Warner and Tom Brady do in the past. Daryl Ruiter from 92.3 The Fan reported that Weeden was practicing with gloves on Friday, and he asked the first-round pick whether we'll see them against the Chargers:
"I actually can throw the ball better with them. Seriously, people don’t believe me, but I get a little extra [zip]. If it’s raining I don’t want to wear them; you can’t wear them. If it’s absolutely freezing cold I’ll probably wear them. If it’s even drizzling I can’t do it. I wish I could but the ball would be so slippery."
Considering the forecast calls for rain, I don't anticipate him switching mid-game, so my guess is that he won't wear them at all. With that said, it sounds like something we can anticipate seeing before the end of the season.
LB Scott Fujita is contemplating retirement, but he's not going to make a decision until after the season it sounds like. I don't see the reason why Fujita should risk coming back. He's still under contract with the Browns in 2013, but even if he were a free agent, I don't think many teams are going to be clamoring for a linebacker entering his 12th year in the league. Fujita was officially placed on the injured reserve Saturday night, and the Browns called up defensive lineman Brian Sanford from the practice squad. With Ahtyba Rubin sidelined, that move makes sense. When Phil Taylor gets activiated from the PUP, it seems pretty obvious that Sanford will go back down.
The question then is, "what do the Browns do at outside linebacker?" Chris Gocong will be back next season to fill one of the positions. As much as I'd like one of our lower-profile investments -- like Kaluka Maiava, Craig Robertson, or James-Michael Johnson -- to be a high-quality starting player on the other end, I'm not counting on it.
He's not officially gone yet, but for all intents and purposes, Mike Holmgren had his goodbye press conference this past Tuesday. For me, it was pretty tough to listen to, and I have a lot of mixed emotions on how the whole thing went down. I remember back to the excitement I had when Holmgren was first introduced as a part of the organization; he was thought to be the "czar" or even the savior of the modern day Browns. Several years later, he is headed out the door, and it feels like we're just continuing the cycle of shifting to another regime. Was Holmgren a waste? Did he collect millions of dollars for one of the cushiest jobs you could ask for? I don't know how invested Holmgren was behind the scenes, and I think that's why fans were pleading (before the news of the sale) that he speak to the media/fans more often.
What I hope is that a couple of years from now, the Browns are a winning football team and that we can look back at Holmgren's reign and say, "this guy offered a stable presence up top and set the team on the right path." Some teams get lucky and can go from the pit to the playoffs in one season. Maybe it's a little different for Cleveland. If that means the Browns are building a team that can sustain winning in the long term, then Holmgren will have been a success, regardless of what he was paid. If his work is wiped away and we win or lose with another build of this team...he'll just be another chapter in the Browns' gloomy front office situation (post-1999).
Let's get to my predictions for this week's inactives. I will go with RB Brandon Jackson, WR Mohamed Massaquoi, TE Alex Smith, OL Ryan Miller, DL Ahtyba Rubin, CB Dimitri Patterson, and S Tashaun Gipson. The only players officially ruled out on that list are Rubin and Patterson. Massaquoi was limited in practice all week, and with plenty of other healthier receivers available, it seems fine to rest him another week or two. Smith was a healthy scratch last week, and I expect the same this week, unless the coaching staff feels like he can be a huge asset in run blocking. I put Miller as inactive, which means Jarrod Shaw would be active. My logic is that the team views Miller as more of a backup tackle, while Shaw gets more work at guard. If it were me, I would have Jackson active at running back. He's the only back who wasn't on the injury report this week. It's a numbers game, though, and the trend has been to activate just three running backs, and I doubt one of those inactives will be Trent Richardson.