"The Sunday Five" is a loosely-titled piece where I talk about five NFL- or Browns-related topics related to this past week. In this week's Easter-themed edition, we take a look at rounding up some of my general draft thoughts, how Camp Colt got many fans excited, the release of the regular season schedule, and more.
The thing that stood out with the release of the Cleveland Browns' regular season schedule, which I went into a detailed discussion about here, was the fact that four of the Browns' last five games are against Pittsburgh and Baltimore. While Cleveland seemed to be the only team in the NFL that had that circumstance, almost all of the teams in the league play five of their division games after the first half of the season. ESPN's Adam Schefter discussed the probable reasoning for this, which I take a close look at after the jump.
As a summary to what Schefter had to say, basically the regular season schedule was designed to accommodate a 14-game season that allowed everyone to still face all the teams in their division six times while also having an even home-road distribution. The Week 2 and Week 4 games would get cancelled for everyone. The Week 1 games would still be the first game of the season in the normal Week 4 timeslot. The cancelled Week 3 games would take place during the team's bye weeks, which were also synchronized. For example, Cleveland is scheduled to play Miami in Week 3. Both teams have a bye in Week 5.
If a 14-game was played, Cleveland's games against Indianapolis and Tennessee would be cancelled. Eliminating one big-time threat (the Colts) would probably be a bonus for the Browns. Pittsburgh would miss Seattle and Houston. Baltimore would miss Tennessee and the Jets. Cincinnati would miss Denver and Buffalo. All things considered, Cleveland and Baltimore would be the slight benefactors of a 14-game schedule. The best-case scenario? Ending this darn lockout and just playing all 16 games as scheduled. Judge Nelson's lockout ruling comes Monday, but an owners appeal will keep things in limbo.
Camp Colt is over, and it sounds like Camp Cribbs is next. If the Browns draft a player on offense, would it be safe to assume that the draftee will start attending these 'unofficial' practices? It would seem like the right thing to do on one hand, but on the other hand, it might seem awkward to step into an unofficial setting with no coaches in place as a rookie. Would agents have any say in advising their rookies not to do anything that would subject them to injury before signing a contract?
The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft kicks off this Thursday, and I think we're all still wondering who the Browns will take at No. 6 overall. There is no questioning that a top prospect will be available still, but from trying to predict who will be taken in front of the Browns to predicting who is at the top of Tom Heckert's draft board, fans will be anxiously awaiting who the pick ends up being. Make sure you keep Dawgs By Nature up in the background every day of the draft, as we will have live game threads and up-to-the-minute coverage of all the action.