With the end the Browns 2009 campaign coming soon, I have started to think about the season as a whole. While many good things have happened, more lately then early on, the season as a whole has been pretty disappointing. Save for Joshua Cribbs (PAY THE MAN!) there really has been no standout performances or standout players this year until last week when Jerome Harrison had his coming out party. Now you will notice he is not on this poll but of course feel free to write him in. Harrison is the MVP of my heart right now, but that is an emotional based choice because of his record setting day, up to this point in the year Mangini has been dumb enough not to play him his due time and it has ended up coming full circle to kick Mangini in the butt now. My rundown of guys I think are eligible to be called the Browns MVP is short. Very short.
Joe Thomas – Thomas is a stud. That fact is pure and simple. One of the best Left Tackle’s in the game and could be on his way to another pro bowl. He is the anchor of the offensive line, regardless of whether the unit is good or bad, and is only going to get better with time. I love watching those Defensive Ends trying to get past him only to get tossed to the ground like little girls.
Alex Mack – This rookie Center has really impressed me all year long. Much like Thomas did his rookie year, he came in and was a big impact guy on this line. Him and Thomas really are the only 2 worth keeping around next year and Mack has done a great job transitioning to the NFL. It is clear now why we traded down to get him. Calling him the team MVP is a stretch, but he is without a doubt the teams top rookie on either side of the ball.
Kam Wimbley – Wimbley, by virtue of health, has been the teams top Linebacker all year long. Usually this honor would easily find its way to D’Qwell Jackson, but he was lost to injury long ago. Wimbley came into the league in 2006 with a bang, racking up 11 sacks that year. Since then he has been struggling as teams have adapted and game planned for him. This year, with 2 games remaining, he has gotten 6.5 sacks and is 3rd on the team in tackles. He looks like he made a case for the team to keep him as a transition back to the 4-3 very likely with Holmgren, he could get back to a top pass rusher with more guys on the line to eat up blockers.
Abe Elam – The teams top tackler. He is pretty much the only guy in the secondary who knows how to tackle and it usually shows each week. The only reason I wouldn’t call him the MVP is that he seems to not have that nose for the ball you’d like your teams safeties to have. With no interceptions and no passes defended, that brings him down a few notches. But he has had a very stellar season.
Lawrence Vickers – I didn’t put him on the poll down there, but he really deserves the recognition. He is truly an amazing run-blocker and a very under utilized receiver and carrier as a fullback. He was amazing yet again Sunday against the Chiefs and other then Joshua Cribbs, he is the most consistent and impactful player on the team’s roster. He could be going to the Pro Bowl this year, as he is clearly a dominant force in the backfield. He is the Brown’s unsung hero, the only guy who overshadow’s him in terms of every day effort, performance and skill is…
Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2009 MVP of the Cleveland Browns…
Joshua Cribbs. Duh! Not only did he set a new record for career kickoff return touchdowns, he has proven week in and week out that he is the best player on the team. One of the most well rounded players of this decade and the best special teams player in the history of the NFL. He is also the record holder for the most special teams tackles. He has racked up 1500 kick return yards through 14 games, with 2 more big days he could break his own yards record. He has 400 punt return yards, 1 TD, and countless big returns to set up the offense. His 3 kickoff return td’s make 4 return td’s this year, and he has had his best year at WR as well with 20 catches and a td. He has found his spot running the ball, and has had countless huge plays on offense, especially in that Pittsburg game. He is the best player in a Browns uniform. If this team does not give him the contract he wants I will never forgive them. I think he has a shot to make the hall of fame at the end of his career if he stays on the pace he is now, unlike most guys who come into the league as kick return specialists, Cribbs is something special. So talented, so loving of his team and teammates and such a good person it is impossible not to like him. An early congrats to you Josh, you are this team’s heart and soul, and its MVP for 2009.
I know most of you will agree with me. But let us know what you think!