Wednesday, August 27, 2008
August 26, 2008
This is not a ranking, because it's stupid to compare linebackers to wide receivers. But as we enter the 10th season of the "new Browns," it seems appropriate to look back at some of the best players from what has been a mostly forgettable period.
Phil Dawson (1999-present): Every year people wonder about Dawson, and almost every year he remains one of the most consistent kickers in the league.
Last year he kicked two game winning field goals in overtime. He made 26 of 30 kicks last year, and has a career success rate of 82.7 percent.
Here's another intersting stat. In 1999, he attempted 12 field goals all year, making eight. It's easy to forget how inept the 1999 offense was.
Jamir Miller, ILB (1999-2001): What could have been. Miller's 2001 season was remarkable. Thirteen sacks, 83 tackles, four fumbles forced.
If he'd have played in 2002, the Browns may have won 11 games instead of 9. Instead, his career ended after an injury in the 2002 preseason. It was at that time that Butch Davis brilliantly referred to Miller's 2001 season as a "product of the system."
Darrin Hambrick replaced Miller, and he lasted all of one season. Miller also had two strong seasons under Chris Palmer. He was the best free agent signing of the Dwight Clark era, and even though his career with the Browns was brief, he was often the only light on a consistently pitiful defense.
Until 2007, Miller was the franchise's only pro bowler since coming back.
Kellen Winslow TE (2004-present): If it seems like he hasn't been around that long, well, he really hasn't. But when he has been on the field, he's been a beast. He had 89 catches in what was an atrocious 2006 for the Browns, and last year, put up one of the best receiving seasons in team history. Eighty-nine catches, more than 1,100 yards, five TDs.