"The Sunday Five" is a loosely-titled piece where I talk about five NFL- or Browns-related topics related to this past week. This week I am doing things differently: there will be two editions of, "The Sunday Five." The "extended edition" of The Sunday Five will be posted later tonight and will talk about the draft; this edition talks about the non-draft related events of the past week, such as our Madden superstar, broken records here at DBN, our interview with Colt McCoy, and more.
It was a big week for running back Peyton Hillis. He won the tournament to be on the cover of Madden '12, defeating quarterback Michael Vick in the final round with ease. I really don't think a significant amount of fans voted for Hillis purely so their 'star' would not be on the cover. The difference maker was the Cleveland fans who voted non-stop for Hillis, coupled with the cult following he had in other areas such as Denver. After being named as the coverboy on Madden, he also announced the Browns' first-round draft choice (Phil Taylor) in round one and did the Top 10 on David Letterman. Hillis has to be the lowest-profile name to ever grace the cover of Madden, but it is still cool to see a Cleveland player get some well-deserved recognition.
We had a ton of posts related to the draft during the three days it took place, so I wanted to take a look at some of numbers for Dawgs By Nature as a website. On Day 1 of the draft, we had 15 front page posts and 2,484 comments. This set a new record for the website; the previous high was on Day 2 of the draft in 2010, where we had 8 posts with 2,450 comments. On the Day 2 of the draft this year, we had 8 posts and 1,929 comments. On Day 3 of the draft this year, we had 7 posts and 1,153 comments. Combining all of those figures together, the three days of the draft had 30 posts and 5,566 comments, beating last year's three day stretch of 16 posts and 5,028 comments.
For anyone who knows statistics, this is the type of year that makes it difficult to create an accurate forecast. Bloggers are working harder than ever, but across all NFL sites, traffic is not growing compared to the same time last year. In fact, it is declining somewhat, and that is basically 100% attributable to the lockout. It prevented our normal traffic boost from free agency, and some fans are just disinterested in football right now because of the lockout. To beat last year's record is a tribute to everyone who made DBN their home for the draft in the open threads, and to the wonderful work that rufio, Brownsyup, and Bernie19Kosar put forth in help everyone prepare for the draft.
With all the craziness of the draft last week, some of you might have missed the fact that DBN interviewed Browns quarterback Colt McCoy the morning of the draft. If you have not checked it out already, be sure to do so now. rufio also had an educational piece up on some more draft terminology, so if you missed that, check it out as well.
The lockout is back. It feels like it was never lifted. With that said, there was a ridiculous small window of time that the lockout was lifted and that coaches were allowed to engage players. I am going to assume that Pat Shurmur and Dick Jauron had general offensive and defensive playbooks made up that they distributed to a few players on the Browns. Not only should the Browns have done this, but I would expect the other 31 teams in the league to have done the same thing. There might be some "unofficial practices" taking place, but at least the players can at least go over the basic schemes that will be run this year. Colt McCoy and Joshua Cribbs should be able to take control of the offense. Scott Fujita and Sheldon Browns should be the guys who lead the way on getting the defense together. By the time football is reinstated, this team should be well-prepared; the only thing I fear all teams will be behind on is actually getting the players just drafted to participate in sessions.