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Gone Shoppin'

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I believe in a Football-god.  I'm a Browns fan, and I am convinced that there is no way the kinds of things that happen to this team could actually happen without the influence and bizarre timing of a higher power.

So the skies opened, and the God of Free Agency bequeathed upon the masses of this dreary town millions of greenbacks and said unto them:  "You have managed recovery from your Curse of The First Round Draft Picks and given half your defense (and your salary requirements) to Denver, therefore you will be rewarded graciously with players of whom you are in great need and will be of most benefit to you."

And the masses responded with a collective sigh of relief and hope that just maybe this season will be the one....

Punter Dave Zastudil, acquired from the Baltimore Ravens, is originally from Bay Village, Ohio, just west of Cleveland.  Played at OU, drafted by the Ravens in 2002; he's a baby in punter-years.  He averages about 43 yards per punt with a career long of 60.  If he's steady, he should be around a while.  Browns fans know better than to take a good punter for granted.

Left tackle Kevin Shaffer comes to Cleveland from the Atlanta Falcons.  This guy scares the hell out of me.  

 I would be so inclined as to not f**k with him.  And that's great, I want to be intimidated by my offensive line.  I don't know enough about the guy to be sure he'll get it done on the field, but I believe in Crennel's and Davidson's ability to coach him.  I also like the seven-year contract; if he's able to do his job well, he'll be more than worth what we paid for him just for the sake of having some stability on that line.

This is where it gets fun for me...big ol' Teddy Washington, the largest nose tackle in the game, the largest player in Browns' history at 365 lbs.   Here's his most notable stats from NFLPlayers.com, spanning a 15-year career:

Widely regarded as one of the premier run stoppers in the NFL ... Four-time Pro Bowler and a veteran of 13 NFL seasons with San Francisco, Denver, Buffalo, Chicago and New England ... In 2001, named first team All-Pro by the Associated Press, Football Digest and The Sporting News and earned a Pro Bowl nod in his first season with the Bears ... Played in 119 consecutive regular season games from 1994-02 and started in 88 consecutive games from 1995-01 ... Has recorded 897 tackles, forced eight fumbles, intercepted two passes and batted down 28 passes in his career.

You can't miss him.  You can't get through him, either.  Heh...take THAT, Jamal!  

(sigh)

I love free agency.  We're like kids in a candy store....

"Welcome Home!" to our new center, LeCharles Bentley, who grew up here, played at Ignatius and then for Ohio State.  I know him as a Wildcat and a Buckeye; I'm not too well-versed on his career at New Orleans. ( I don't..well, um...pay much attention to the Saints, sorry!), and other than "snap the ball/protect the QB", I'm not too knowledgeable on the finer points of the center position.  I'm just happy to have the kid home, as I'm sure his folks are, too.

Oh, and Joe.....

Joe Jurevicius is a Cleveland Brown.

I need to say that again, I still don't believe it.

Joe Jurevicius is a Cleveland Brown.

(can I dance to it?)

Joe-Jurevicius-is-a-Cleveland-Brown.

Heh, I can drink to that, too.

Yes, there is a Football-god.