Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Quick Saturday slants

After three preseason games, Phil Taylor continues to play like a No. 1 draft pick.

The highlight of Thursday night’s game against Philadelphia was Taylor’s 14-yard sack and forced fumble of quarterback Michael Vick. He also drew another holding penalty as the Eagles struggled at times to contain Taylor.

“I’ll tell you what, there were flashes of what you want from a defensive tackle in this league,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur told The Plain Dealer. “And then again, there were some areas in the game where he needed to be a little bit more explosive and consistent. But generally, I think he’s making steady progress, and so that’s good.”

Which is good, because we’ve certainly seen plenty of No. 1 picks put on a Browns uniform and act as if they’ve never played the game before.

***

We caught Vic Carucci, who writes for the Browns official website, on Sirius NFL Radio earlier today.

Carucci took a call from a Browns fan asking about the wide receivers this year. Carucci made a point to single out Brian Robiskie, saying the third-year receiver looked “impressive” against the Eagles.

We’re not sure we’d classify three catches for 23 yards as “impressive” – although those are the same numbers second-round pick Greg Little put up. And his pass interference penalty – wiping out a 43-yard reception – is further proof that Robiskie doesn’t have the speed necessary to gain separation against NFL secondaries.

As we head into another season wondering about the wide receivers, Carucci’s comments raise the question of whether he really believes that or if he was parroting the company line about Robiskie.

If it’s the latter, that makes it sound as if the Browns are willing to give Robiskie a chance this year to show what he can do in the West Coast offense.

***

Mike Sando at ESPN.com ranked the NFL teams based on the age of their current rosters, and its good news for the Browns, who are the 29th youngest team in the league.

The Browns are 26th youngest on defense and 28th youngest on offense as general manager Tom Heckert continues to rebuild the roster.

Hey, if you’re going to struggle, you may as well do it with younger players.

***

Finally, Liverpool moved to the top of the Premier League table – at least for a day – with a 3-1 win over Bolton.

Charlie Adam continued to show why the club was willing to pay a $13 million transfer for him, putting a perfect cross off a corner kick to Martin Skrtel, who headed the ball home for the second goal.

A minute later Adam got on the board himself with a sweet left-footed goal, his first on the season.



The Reds have seven points after three games in their best start to a season since 1994.

(Photo by Reuters)

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