Last night was big in the City of Cleveland with the opening of the State’s first casino, The Horseshoe Casino driven by Cavaliers’ owner, Dan Gilbert.
Gilbert has a history of involving other local athletes in big events. Browns players are routinely seen court side at Cavs games and several Browns players even attended last year’s NBA Draft lottery in which the Cavs ultimately secured the #1 and #4 picks (used to select Rookie of the Year, Kyrie Irving and promising big man, Tristan Thompson.
Last night was no exception as Dan Gilbert invited several Browns (Joe Haden, Josh Crinbs, and Greg Little) and even former Browns Head Coach, Eric Mangini.
No big deal so far. I love that Gilbert involves local players from other teams. However…..
The issue came when according to a Browns source, Josh Cribbs showed up late to today’s practice and Joe Haden didn’t even show up or call anyone to let them know he wasn’t coming. Greg Little was on time.
Now, let’s be clear. These are optional practice sessions (OPS). But if you’re the Browns, perennial cellar dweller in the NFC North and for the most part, the entire NFL, don’t you want your best players and “leaders” to set a better example than this?
Cribbs is a veteran at this point and is supposed to be a leader on this team. After a subpar year, or two, it’d be nice to see a little more responsibility, maturity, and dedication.
For Joe Haden, he’s clearly immature and to some degree, it’s understandable. But he also regressed greatly after a solid rookie season and if you’re familiar with his extracurriculars, you can start to see why he took a step back.
The Browns have very few top level NFL players. Joe Thomas, D’Quell Jackson, Joe Haden, Phil Taylor(out for at least 4-6 months with a torn pectoral), and Phil Dawson are probably among the only “locks” not counting Richardson or Weeden as we’ve yet to see them in pads. When you’re this far behind the rest of the Division & the rest of the NFL, you need your best players to show up. Optional or not.
Not only did Haden blow off practice today completely, but even as he’s been in the facility and comes out on the field for the OPSs leading up until today, it appears that he’s only participated in 2 practices. Most days, he comes out on the field and doesn’t take part in the drills/session.
If you’re hurt, stay in the training room and get better or rode the bike. If you’re healthy, you gotta participate not only to get yourself ready, but to help get your teammates ready.
There is reason to believe that Haden has an injured knee (which occurred around April 19th) that the Browns aren’t reporting/disclosing. So, that may be why the Browns are allowing him to skip most of the drills and why they don’t want him seen in the training room.
I have no idea why the Browns would hide an injury, but after last week’s revelation about Phil Taylor thatLTSB broke before anyone else, its pretty clear the Browns are slow to report injuries. If they report them at all.
I don’t know exactly what’s going on in Berea, but if you start to pay attention to some of this BS, you can quickly see why they’re one of the NFL’s worst franchises and have been for more than a decade.