Browns Year In Review

Phil Dawson, Browns Kicker 1999-2010?

Phil Dawson, Browns Kicker 1999-2011

BOMBLE.NET WASHINGTON SPORTS BUREAU, JANUARY 2, 2011

The 2010 season was a whirlwind for the Cleveland Browns.

With some amazing trick plays, surprising wins, and disappointing losses, the Browns closed the season at 5-11-0 with a saddening defeat by the Pittsburgh Steelers. For all but the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, the Steelers had 41 points to the Browns’ 3 — a field goal by captain Phil Dawson. Eventually the Browns scored, missing the 2 point conversion, losing 41 to 9.

With the exception of two clutch wins over defending Superbowl champs New Orleans and New England, the Browns managed 3 squeaker wins over the Bengals, Dolphins, and the Panthers. Only the Dolphins were a respectable opponent (no offense). The Browns also lost a heart breaker in overtime to the New York Jets.The season also had many very close losses to good opponents, with the Browns losing by 10 or less. Nonetheless, the Browns competed, but did not win.

Delhomme had a very poor year, and Seneca Wallace performed alright. Surprisingly, Colt McCoy made a great case to be the Browns’ starter for years to come. The Browns should drop Delhomme.

Josh Cribbs had a below average season, mainly due to dislocated toes that kept him out for much of the season. It didn’t help that opposing teams were woe to kick to him.

Enter Peyton Hillis, acquired from a trade for Brady Quinn to Denver (of all places). Hillis had a break out game against the Ravens, rushed for over 1,000 yards, and quickly made a name for himself in the NFL.

The Browns defense, while flawed, had a decent year. TJ Ward had a fair number of interceptions, Scott Fujita, plagued by injury later in the season, performed well. Linebacker David Bowens had two interceptions that he returned for TDs against the Saints. Rookie Joe Haden did very well for a rookie.

Offensively, the Browns struggled. While trick plays were a great aid, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll should be fired immediately. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan should be given another season. Massaqoui, Watson, and Robiskie all had pretty good years. Robiskie, in particular, is to be commended for a significant improvement.

Bomble.net isn’t sure whether Head Coach Eric Mangini deserves another year, and understands views from both perspectives. This website was very opposed to the firing of Romeo Crennel a few years back. In that spirit, we tend to lean on the side of giving him another season.

It’s the obligation of this blog to single out kicker and Captain Phil Dawson for his performance for the Cleveland Browns franchise. Unfortunately, the Browns franchise hasn’t made much of an effort to re-sign Dawson, whose contract expired, effectively, today. It is the hope of this site that the Browns re-sign Dawson.

Dawson’s 2010 salary was $1.15 million, while the average for punters and kickers in the league was $868,005. Both Buffalo’s kicker and punter make more than Phil Dawson. Now each team is different, but Buffalo is a smaller market team than the Browns, and has had pretty tough seasons in recent years.

Phil’s performance is superior to most kickers in the NFL, and in our opinion, he is worth well over $1.15 million. He’s made 83.1% of his lifetime field goal attempts, and made history with more than a few. He’s one of the most accurate kickers (No. 9) in the history of the NFL. He’s only missed 8 PATs in 11 years with the Browns. That’s an average of 97.4%. Dawson’s points and Field Goals Made exceed the league average. In 183 games for the Browns, Dawson has out kicked Hall of Fame Brown Lou Groza.

Our closing argument is this: Phil Dawson has won 14 games for the Cleveland Browns. Arguably, that number is higher. The author must disclose he has one Cleveland Browns jersey, and it is #4 — Phil Dawson. He is definitely biased.

Phil Dawson is the heart and soul of the “new” Cleveland Browns. In this author’s opinion, he is the Bernie Kosar of the this generation’s Browns.

Some of the recent quotes attributed to Phil or other Browns teammates read as follows:

“I’m not emotional, but I am sentimental,” he said. “So I’ll soak it all in.”

“I have a job to do,” he said Wednesday, doing all he could to downplay his apparent finale. “I signed my name on the dotted line and until that’s no longer the case I’m going to continue doing my job. The challenge this week is to embrace the rivalry, what that entails, and block out whatever distractions there may be – and in this case, possibly being my last game.’

“Hopefully, it just says that I’ve done my job well,” he said. “I set out a long time ago to work hard and execute when my number was called. There’s been a lot of good players come and go out of this place, I’m certainly not the only one, but it means a great deal to have played in this league as long as I have and especially in one place. To be able to develop the bond with the fans and the organization and teammates and friends and see my kids grow up here, it’s all been good.”

“We don’t want to see Phil leave,” said rookie quarterback Colt McCoy. “We don’t want to see this as his last game. We’ve got a lot of great things going here and he knows what’s changed and what’s happening. I know he wants to be a part of it and I hope he can be.”

If Phil Dawson is forced to leave Cleveland, we hope the following:

  1. If he wants to remain in the NFL, he gets a championship. He deserves it.
  2. When he retires, he chooses to do so as a Cleveland Brown.
  3. Whomever takes his place can be close to as good as he was.

Now, there’s still time, Cleveland Browns. We hope you’ll re-sign him.

LINKS

Morning Journal: Steelers game could be last for Browns kicker Phil Dawson

Cleveland.com: At what cost do Browns re-sign Phil Dawson?

Phil Dawson Wikipedia page

Chronicle-Telegram: Could Dawson’s final kick come this Sunday vs. Steelers?

Orange and Brown Report: Move Over, Lou

Orange and Brown Report: One Class Act

WFNY: About Phil Dawson’s Potential Valedictory Contest

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