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Season Awards: The Good, Bad, and...Bad

It's time for the 2006-2007 Cleveland Browns Awards, unofficially brought to you by Chris Pokorny of Dawgs By Nature! It was not a very pleasant season, especially when you consider the fact that we thought this year's team would finish better than last year's, not worse. Each award will be accompanied by a brief description, which will bring back some of the few positives during the season, as well as many of the negatives. I will offer one note: I will not have "Most Valuable Player" award. I feel that if someone wins that award, I'd also be giving them their position award, which almost defeats the purpose.

  1. Offensive Player of the Year: Kellen Winslow. Despite not being fully recovered from injury, Winslow finished the season tied for the most receptions in a single season for the Browns. He started to lose some of his involvement in the offensive gameplan during the stretch that Derek Anderson was filling in for Charlie Frye, but there's no doubting that he was our best threat. Even more so amazing with what he was able to do is the fact that it always seemed like the Browns were not throwing him the ball at opportune times. Runner Up: Joe Jurevicius

  2. Defensive Player of the Year: Sean Jones. During the first half of the year, Jones was playing like a Pro Bowler. When guys like Gary Baxter and Leigh Bodden had to leave with injuries on a consistent basis, Jones never missed a beat and was able to come up with several key interceptions. Unfortunately, you can only do so much once every other member of the secondary is down to the third man on the depth chart, and teams were able to guide their offenses away from him and more towards guys like Ralph Brown and Brodney Pool. Runner Up: Kamerion Wimbley

  3. Special Teams Player of the Year: Dave Zastudil. Half-way through the season, Joshua Cribbs would have been a lock for this award. However, as teams began kicking shorter to him, he never really broke anything of significance. Zastudil was our best punter in years, and perhaps was even better than Chris Gardocki was. Zastudil may have only had one punt that I remember that was kind of ugly, but it still doesn't come close to Derrick Frost's famous "He shanked it!" kick against the Ravens. Runner Up: Joshua Cribbs.
  4. Rookie of the Year: Kamerion Wimbley. I was going to split this into offensive and defensive rookie of the year awards, but there weren't any offensive rookies that received playing time or deserved it. Wimbley not only had the best rookie season for the Browns this season, but the best among any rookie the Browns have selected since our return to the league. His "dip under the shoulder" move on offensive tackles was sick, and all of his sacks are worthy of appearing on a Browns' highlight reel. Runner Up: Leon Williams

  5. Best Played Game of the Season: October 29th, 2006 - Jets vs. Browns (Won, 20-13). Although the Jets weren't the most intimidating team this season, they finished the season with ten wins and only beat one team with a winning record. The Browns were a team that they expected to defeat, and our team delivered with our best team effort of the season, and our first win under offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson. Todd Grantham was very aggressive on his blitzes, and this was really the final game of the season in which our secondary was fully in tact and able to perform as somewhat of a unit. The defense only allowed two field goals, considering the Jets returned a 99-yard kick return for a touchdown. Runner Up: November 12th, 2006 - Browns vs. Falcons (Won, 17-13)

  6. Most Exciting Game of the Season: December 3rd, 2006 - Chiefs vs. Browns (Won, 31-28). Not only was this my favorite game of the season, but it was my favorite game since Romeo Crennel took over because of the performance delivered by Derek Anderson. Our defense didn't really help us in the game, because Trent Green torched us for the best game he had all season. Nobody will forget Anderson's two touchdown strikes to Steve Heiden in the fourth quarter, and then the biggest play of all - a 33-yard, season long scramble in overtime to set up Phil Dawson for the game winning kick. Runner Up: October 1st, 2006 - Browns vs. Raiders (Won, 24-21)

  7. Worst Played Game of the Season: November 26th, 2006 - Bengals vs. Browns (Lost, 30-0). This game came one week after we were stunned by Ben Roethlisberger's 4th quarter comeback, a game in which the Browns played very well in early. We started out with a bang against Cincinnati with Cribbs returning a touchdown, but it was called back on a Mason Unck penalty. By the end of the game, the Browns were embarrased 30-0. Our defensive backs were giving 15-yard cushions to the Bengals' receivers, and Frye was absolutely destroyed by a Bengals defense that had been horrible up until facing us. On top of that, this was the game where Braylon Edwards had his outburst on the sideline, something we'd all like to forget. Runner Up: December 24th, 2006 - Buccaneers vs. Browns (Lost, 22-7)

  8. Most Crushing Defeat of the Season: September 24th, 2006 - Ravens vs. Browns (Lost, 15-14). This was as close as we came to beating a division rival this year, and we blew it. The Browns had seemingly played very well throughout, but we just handed the game to the Ravens in the fourth quarter when Frye threw a completely unnecessary pass into the end zone with three minutes to play. The Ravens intercepted the ball, and instead of us taking a four-point lead, the Ravens were only down by one point. We still had hope that Matt Stover wouldn't have enough leg to drill a long field goal in our stadium, but he connected and the game was over. Just as painful as Frye's interception was the fact that Sean Jones dropped a for-sure pick six in the second half that would've sealed the game. Runner Up: November 19th, 2006 - Steelers vs. Browns (Lost, 24-20)

  9. Best Story of the Season: Braylon Edwards Makes Stunning Recovery. Back in August, as far as we were concerned, Edwards would not be returning to the field until Week 7 of the regular season. Instead, the Browns made the surprise announcement that Edwards would see some action in the preseason. By the time the season began, Edwards was in the starting lineup against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. Runner Up: Wimbley's Rookie Success

  10. Worst Story of the Season: LeCharles Bentley Tears Patellar Tendon. It was only a sign of things to come. Our best free agent signing in years, a Pro Bowl center, tore his patellar tendon on the first play of training camp. Bentley's injury sent our center situation into a mess - it caused Bob Hallen and Todd Washington (who?) to retire, Rob Smith was sweating too much, and we cut Ross Tucker out of no where. We ended up salvaging the situation by acquiring Hank Fraley from the Eagles, but the damage had already been done. Runner Up: Indecisiveness to Fire Maurice Carthon

  11. Best Hit of the Season: Brian Russell against Chad Johnson. We all remember the moment that left Chad Johnson bloody, way back in the second week of the season. Johnson was quoted as saying that it was the best hit a defender had ever hit him with, and I'd definitely have to agree from what I've seen. If it weren't for Braylon Edward's stupid comment about the situation later in the season, there would be nothing but pleasant memories about the whole situation. Runner Up: Ralph Brown against Alex Smith

  12. Worst Drop of the Season: Dennis Northcutt against Carolina Panthers. By the time the season was over, everyone realized that the Panthers were a big disappointment. That is another reason that this was a game the Browns could have won if Northcutt had not made the ultimate mistake early in the game: drop a pass that hit him right in the chest for an easy pick six. The play ruined all of our momentum, and in my opinion, is the reason we lose the game. Runner Up: Braylon Edwards against New Orleans Saints

  13. Best Call of the Season: 22-yard pass to Winslow vs. Raiders. In a game that the Browns were absolutely getting crushed in at first, the Browns made a gutsy call to go for it on 4th-and-8 from the 31 yards line during the third quarter. Frye delivered a nice throw to Winslow over the middle, and the play set the tone for our dramatic comeback. Runner Up: Frye to Edwards at Atlanta

  14. Worst Call of the Season: Pitch Play to Lawrence Vickers. These were the types of plays that immediately set the tone for the dismissal of Maurice Carthon. With a poor offensive line call, we twice ran the pitch play to our beloved rookie fullback, and it failed both times. Runner Up: Vickers FB Option Pass

Coming soon, individual player reviews from the season, as well as more previews for the upcoming round of the playoffs.