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1st & Goal: Anthony Lima, 92.3 The Fan Host

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
August 21, 2023 7:28 pm

1st & Goal: Anthony Lima, 92.3 The Fan Host

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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August 21, 2023 7:28 pm

Anthony Lima joined Zach to discuss if Kevin Stefanski needs to make the playoffs in order to keep his job and where the Browns rank in the AFC North. 


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That's slash audio. The NFL season is inching closer and closer. Who are the contenders and who are the pretenders? We have four downs to figure out your team's future. It's time now for First and Goal on the Zach Gelb Show. Alrighty, time to preview the Cleveland Browns. Here we go, Browns. Here we go. And we'll do so with Anthony Lima, who does a great job. Mornings on 92.3, the fan in Cleveland. Anthony, what's going on, man? Gelb, what do you have a chart in front of you with every team's respective chant around the NFL?

I'm impressed. For some reason, just the Browns stuff, maybe it's because of you in 10 with the, Here we go again. It's the Cleveland Browns and it's First in 10. There's just some teams that have some good chants, some good songs, and I like to incorporate it. Hey, listen, we try to embrace tradition on our show in our city. We get nostalgia at times, even though the entire Browns community were a little up in arms over some potential changes, you know, logo or what they were going to put at midfield or a new white helmet. So it's something that makes some people a little nervous, but we're excited about it.

We just roll with the punches. So when we start off with the Browns, Anthony Lima, how much Russ is there still to knock off with Deshaun Watson? Because he was underwhelming in those six games when he got back last year. Well hopefully, Zach, that was gone after the six games last year because I don't know how much margin for error in this division, in the AFC North, with the rest of this division, with the rest of the AFC, all the different quarterbacks that are in this conference that you know very well. I don't think he has a lot of time to try to shake that rust off. It has got to be, you know, top 10 and previously I thought he was top five Deshaun Watson in the NFL.

It's been a long time. I mean, it's been three years since he actually quarterbacked a winning team, really three and a half. And the last year in Houston when he led the league in passing, they were a terrible football team and a lot of empty calories coming from behind.

He was spectacular, but it didn't mean a lot. Now it's time for Browns fans to finally see Deshaun Watson that they traded for, that they paid all the money for, and start to distance themselves from all the bad things people say about Deshaun and get to, hopefully, the good thing. So there is a scapegoat here. We know that. It's Kevin Stefanski. Watson isn't going anywhere. Is it as simple as the Browns that make the playoffs, Stefanski's back next year, and then if he misses it, they'll be looking for a new head football coach?

You know, I think it probably is. I know that is a dumbing down, and my co-host, Ken Carman, we love him. He wants to feud me on this very principle. He says, you know, how do you fire a coach? He goes 10 and 7, and I said Dallas Cowboy fans are ready to fire Mike McCarthy with anything short of a Super Bowl this year at teams. Remember, back in the day, Marty Schottenheimer went 14 and 2 and got fired. If the Browns don't make the playoffs, that is three consecutive years with the most loaded rosters in my lifetime as a lifelong Clevelander and a diehard Browns fan. I don't know how many coaches are able to be able to survive that, and like you said, it's the easy head to be on the chopping block because ownership, who has been impulsive in the past, they can simply say, hey, we got a better season out of our team, but now we need an upgrade and we need to take it to the next level. Who can do that?

It's not Kevin Stefanski at that point. Let's go to the next down. Anthony Lima here with us. We know Watson is their best offensive player, but Nick Chubb has been phenomenal with the Cleveland Browns the last few years. When Watson came back, they took the ball. It felt like, out of Nick Chubb's hands, a whole lot more than I thought. How many carries this year do you think Chubb's going to get, probably per game? You know, it's interesting because the hope is that the carries might go up, but those carries would be in the fourth quarter when you're stealing away, you know, hopefully salting away a two score lead into a victory.

I mean, that is the hope. Of course, we all remember the Jets game when he decided to run for a touchdown, and we're sitting here wondering how we lost the game when I was halfway to the parking garage. I missed that one, Galvin, thank God I did. So, look, I don't know, number wise, I'm not sure because this is, Kevin Stefanski is known as one of the coaches who throws out the old 1980s, 1990s football where, you know, it's smart to throw the ball on first down. And if DeShawn Watson is throwing the ball on first down, and they get great opportunities at second and two, and they're moving the chains, that, you know, they're going to continue to be aggressive. That's how he's been even with Jacoby Bressett. That's how he was with Baker Mayfield. He's shown that he's willing to do that regardless of who's under center. So, you know, Nick Chubb will be used, but they're hoping they can use him to salt away those games.

You look at the other skill position players, right? We know Amari Cooper continues to be one of the more underrated wide receivers in football. David Njoku in healthy is a solid tight end. We've already have said enough positive things about Nick Chubb, and that should continue.

How about everybody else on that offensive side of the ball when you get into these other names? Well, so every day from the moment they made the trade for Elijah Moore to move back in the draft last year, and they ultimately took a wide receiver anyway, and Cedric Tillman out of Tennessee, when they took Elijah Moore, I said, wait a second. This is a guy who looks like he is heading towards a total bus status in the NFL.

I'm not talking Hall of Fame bust. I'm talking total draft bust with how high the Jets took him. And why would the Jets do that, considering they have Aaron Rodgers coming in, and this is a win at all costs here, and they say goodbye to this, albeit talented on paper player, where they didn't use him in a lot of different ways. He complained constantly about the team, the organization, and Zach Wilson, and all quarterbacks that were used last year.

In the end, I was very hesitant about that trade, but since they made the trade, every single Browns player and coach has universally said this kid is going to be unbelievable. And they're using them in every way. Now, we've only seen them briefly in the preseason game, but they have lined them up everywhere so far, and I thought this was going to be a move where it was just going to be exploding down the field, being able to take the top off, as they like to say, one of my favorite cliches in the NFL.

The other one, by the way, Gelv, is pin their ears back. That's also a good cliche, so we'll work that in. So everybody tells me that Elijah Moore is going to be great. Apparently, I've got to believe them.

Battle in the Trenches is my favorite, being a big guy. Yeah. Let's get to the next down. Alright, we know the Browns on paper have a really good offensive line.

It's been that way for a while. Defensively, it starts up front with Myles Garrett. Then on the back end, you've got Denzel Ward. Expectations for the defense this year or what? Well, so they bring in Jim Schwartz, defensive coordinator after a year hiatus.

He was sick. And by all accounts, in Philly, the defensive line and their joint practices against the Eagles, and that's a great team to go up against. For a couple of days last year, they got battered and embarrassed by the Eagles. By all accounts, they were about an even football team in that week in Philly.

Kevin Stefanski going back to his roots. He's a Philly guy. And all accounts said the defensive line of the Browns was nasty. And we know Myles Garrett can do that, but what about getting some help? They said goodbye to J'Davion Clowney at the end of the year, who signed with Baltimore just a day ago in the division.

He was not happy with the way he was being used. Well, they bring in Tomlinson and Zadarius Smith. And so far, it has been excellent. Now, Zadarius Smith fell apart the second half of last year. So we'll monitor that because obviously the full season matters, but the Browns do have a tough schedule early on where they play every single team in their division in the first five weeks. They do have four home games.

But I'm excited about that. A defensive line with Jim Schwartz and aggressive defense. Hey, all the defensive coordinators say they're aggressive. So I've heard that one every single year with the Browns. Last year, they were one of the worst run defenses in history, or at least contemporary NFL.

I don't think that's going to happen again. Talk about players that were disgruntled towards their end in Cleveland. I know Kareem Hunt is still available. He was, what, visiting with the Saints, visiting with the Colts as well.

Is there any chance, like even a slim chance, that there's a reunion there, or is that ship already sailed? It seemed like they kind of kicked him out the door, which surprised me as a Clevelander, a guy from Northeast Ohio, one of the best high school football players in Northeast Ohio history. And he came back.

He rented the ship. He had the behavioral issues that certainly everybody knew about. And he seemed to be able to fit in. There were some chemistry concerns coming in.

Didn't have those. He seemed to accept his role until last year when he knew, hey, he's going to be an unrestricted free agent. So he asked for a trade. They didn't trade him. They held firm. They showcased him in a big Monday night football game for the trade deadline against Cincinnati.

And then that was it. And then they kind of said some things that were attributed to them about him losing a step. And he's not signed yet. I'm a little surprised by that. I never thought they used Kareem Hunt as well as possibly they should.

Everybody remembers. That was a long time ago, but when he was in Kansas City, he was one of the most lethal players out of the backfield, catching the ball from a quarterback. Seems like Deshaun Watson would have enjoyed somebody like that. Maybe they think Elijah Moore can do that, even though he is a very, very small individual. Let's get to the final down.

Last thing for Anthony Lima. Give me the pecking order, one through four in the AFC North right now. Yeah, so this is something we debate every single day. And I probably flipped on it a bunch. But I do think Cincinnati, they have earned that. And, you know, when everything I've seen of Joe Burrow looks like he is absolutely healthy, I'll tell you the team I'm not believing in more than anybody.

And I'm surprised to say it. It is Baltimore. The Ravens. I did not like what I heard out of Baltimore last year.

I get it. The quarterback was looking at a contract dispute. He was going to do everything he could to get the Deshaun Watson guaranteed money.

He did not get that level of guaranteed money, even though he did sign a nice contract, but didn't even join his team in the playoffs. I thought that was an all-time bad move. And I wonder if they get off to a slow start, if that stuff continues to come up, and is Odell Beckham going to save the day? Guys like Judevi and Clowney, you wreck guys like this. And I'm a Browns fan. I know that can be dangerous. They could find themselves behind the eight ball very early on.

And I think they could be in trouble. Pittsburgh is steady as they go. So I would say it's going to be Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore.

Wow. Baltimore last. Yeah, and already Humphrey getting injured. I think that is a very bad sign. They've been one of the most injured teams in the league over the last three years.

I know that could be used as an excuse. I just, there's something going on in Baltimore, and I sometimes wonder how long Harbaugh truly wants to be in that situation. They have their new offensive coordinator. If that doesn't work this year, look out. I only got a minute left, but I'm surprised that you were that optimistic on the Steelers, because I feel like every time I get on TwitterX, whatever we're calling it these days, I see you feuding with the boys in Pittsburgh. Well, I do that for fun, but I feud with everybody.

I feud with Ken Karman, I'll feud with you even though I love you. Here's one crazy stat, one of the crazy stats in sports, where parity reigns supreme all over the place. The Cleveland Browns have not finished with a better record than the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1989. Every year, they've either tied or finished worst. The entire last, how many years is that? Do the math.

That 36 years, 35 years, it is one of the craziest stats in sports. Anthony Lima, appreciate the time as always. You be well, my friend. Thank you, Galton.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-24 13:33:58 / 2023-08-24 13:39:43 / 6

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