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Braylon Edwards - What Type of Player is He?

Is Edwards a Leader?
With Terrell Owens, fans know what they're getting: a player who makes a difference on a team but may not be worth the baggage of publicity he comes with.

With Randy Moss, we know he has potential, but nobody wants to deal with the lack of effort he gives on the field as a result of a lack of motivation.

With Chad Johnson, people love the way he plays, and even love his "trash talk" and celebrations because they seem to be all in good spirit.

With Braylon Edwards...well, it's tough to tell. Last season, we were very pleased with how Edwards played in his rookie season. Last year in ten games, Edwards was able to catch 32 passes for 512 yards. The Browns did not play him as a starter at first, instead giving most of the playing time to Antonio Bryant and Dennis Northcutt. Right when Edwards starting to get a chance to play, he tore his ACL while going up for a pass, and there was a legitimate chance that he would miss half of this season. Instead, Edwards made had a remarkable recovery, and returned in the team's third preseason game. Edwards has started every game this season, and put up comparable statistics to what he did last year. He's caught 9 more passes with 41, 100 more yards with 612, and the same number of touchdowns with three. More notably, he's dropped several key passes throughout the season on plays that could have resulted in touchdowns or critical first downs. And now, some people are questioning his speed after being chased down by Troy Polamalu last week.

And now, Edwards is starting to open his mouth in the locker room. At least twice this season, he has provided bulletin board material for teams. When Cleveland faced the Carolina Panthers earlier this season, Edwards wanted to renew his college rivalry by taking it to former Ohio State cornerback Chris Gamble all game long. Edwards didn't do a whole lot in that game, and the Browns lost the game. Before the Steelers game, Edwards provided "semi-bulletin-board" material. Although Edwards showed up, the offense in total put three points on the board, and we still lost the game.

Finally, the big controversy over the Thanksgiving weekend has been his comments towards teammate Brian Russell.

"That was bullshit," said Edwards, regarding Russell's hit being "clean" on receiver Chad Johnson during Week 2. This is the type of comment that Edwards definitely needs to leave to himself, when the player is on your own team. Russell didn't pull an "Albert Haynesworth" and stomp someone on the face. And, Russell didn't pull an "Igor Olshansky" and club a player in the head twice after the play was over. All Russell did was deliver what the NFL and even Chad Johnson deemed as a "clean hit". There's no doubting that the hit was painful, but Edwards has no right to call his own teammate out, especially when it has nothing to do with his position on the field. Nobody liked it when Dre Bly of the Detroit Lions called out quarterback Joey Harrington's gameplay last year. Thankfully, Edwards was quick to apologize for his comments and the supposed severity of them.

"The bottom line is you never want to have an article like that, that big, especially on Thanksgiving," Edwards said. "I didn't know it was going to be that big of a deal. ... Things like that divide from within and that's something we don't want to do."

Perhaps, Romeo Crennel had some good advice for once: "I told Braylon that if he had a problem with the way Brian plays, he should talk to him about it," Crennel said. "That's the best way. You don't air your family laundry. If you don't like your parents, you don't put it in the paper."

The best part about our defense is that we've been physical. Week after week, teams are physically beaten up offensively after facing the Browns defense. If you take that away from the Browns, then you're taking away any chance of us winning a football game.

Now, to touch base on some other quick news:

  1. Running Back Duo: It looks as if the Browns may actually take my advice this week and spell running back Reuben Droughns with running back Jason Wright. It amazed me that despite Droughns having trouble getting past quick defenders and being sore from carrying a load all game, that we would not give him a break and let someone like Wright or Jerome Harrison touch the ball. Most teams spell their running backs, even the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs, who have arguable the best two ground games in the NFL.
  2. Nice Record: I went 3-0 in my Thanksgiving Day picks. And, with Jay Cutler rumored to take over for Jake Plummer in Denver soon, some fans have asked the question on whether or not the Browns should give him a look next season. I feel the Browns should not go after him, because we don't know if he would be our starter or our backup. Whatever quarterback we sign or draft, we need to make sure they are either the clear cut starter, or the clear cut backup. Unfortunately, we traded our clear-cut backup to the San Francisco 49ers in the offseason.
  3. Quieting Down on Grantham: All of a sudden, the strong rumors on defensive coordinator Todd Grantham heading elsewhere have died down. I'd love for Grantham to stay with us next year, which may also encourage better free agents from coming to the Browns knowing that our defensive system has progressed despite having a below average defensive line, a group of linebackers still trying to get some experience, and a secondary that has been decimated with injuries.
With the Thanksgiving games being played yesterday, it just feels like the Browns were supposed to play either today or tomorrow. We still have to wait until Sunday though, in a game that I'm pegging as a shootout.