An Irishman, an Englishman and a Scotsman go into a pub. Each orders a pint of Guinness. Just as the bartender hands them over, three flies buzz down and land – one, two, three – in each of the pints.
The Englishman looks disgusted, pushes his pint away and demands another … the Scotsman picks out the fly, shrugs, and takes a long swallow.
The Irishman reaches in to the glass, grabs the fly between his fingers and shakes him as hard as he can, shouting ‘Spit it out, ya bloody bugger! Spit it out!’
The Browns quarterback situation. What to make of it? Most fans I’ve talked to are flummoxed. Jake Delhomme? Isn’t he just an older version of Derek Anderception?
With the caveat that I trusted Carmen Policy, Dwight Clark, Butch Davis, and Phil Savage … let me say this: I trust The Walrus. And I trust Tom Heckert. These are men that have built organizations from the ground up that have went to Super Bowls. Two seriously accomplished men with long track records and histories of being able to judge talent and build winning football teams at the pro level. The Browns have never had this before. And it’s showed in how poorly the team has drafted … and subsequently performed on the field.
With the quarterbacks, I get the fans that are incensed that they traded away Brady Quinn for a minimal return to hand over the reigns to a 35 year old that threw 8 TD’s and 18 INT’s last season. But I get what the Browns are doing. A perpetual QB controversy is such a bad thing for a football team, and we’ve been mired in that corrosive drama with this team here for 12 years now. And under any scenario in which Brady Quinn would have returned, there would have been a QB controversy. You can say what you want about Jake Delhomme, you can not like him, not like the signing … but one thing is clear: The Walrus has a plan.
- Brought in a free agent veteran stopgap professional QB to stabilize the team to come in and be the starter in 2010 (Delhomme).
- Traded for a backup quarterback who is fine with the role, knows Holmgren’s system, has some upside potential, and can be used in different ways (Seneca Wallace).
- And the final piece to the QB puzzle, coming here in late April – draft a rookie QB to groom. With now 12 total picks, including three in the third round, I would not be surprised at all to see the Browns trade up to the #1 selection in the draft and take Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford. There’s no question about it – the team will take a QB in the first three rounds, and very possibly in the first round.
Everyone wants to look at just two numbers with Delhomme. 35 and 18. His age and # of interceptions last year. He’s not as bad as he performed last season, when there were a number of other factors that played into those horrific numbers. The two seasons prior to last, Delhomme completed over 60% of his passes and slung 23 TD’s and just 13 INT’s. He will be a leader. He will unite, not divide, and have a calming presence on this offense in the locker room and the huddle.
Quote of the day …
“There are good ships, and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea. But the best ships, are friendships, and may they always be.” ~ Irish proverb
Fed rate announcement – this afternoon, 2:15 PM.
We all know the story by now. The Fed has held rates at a record low near zero since December 2008. Big Ben Bernanke and other Fed officials have said low rates are still needed to bolster economic growth.
And there will ne no rate hike today. However, Big Ben and his Fed cronies may change some of the language in their statement in an effort to prep the markets for a rise to rates. It will be a challenging maneuver. The Fed has to do this in order to not shock the markets. Sometimes, unexpected and decisive action is necessary from the Fed. We saw this several times in the wake of the Mortgage Meltdown when they brought rates down quickly. Ideally though, the Fed wants to telegraph all their moves in advance, and let the market “bake in” the reaction before the actual event itself.
The Fed’s dilemma today? They need to decide whether to keep or modify their yearlong pledge to hold rates at record lows for an “extended period.” Economists generally think “extended period” means at least six more months. The Fed could drop that wording altogether. Or they could modify the statement and pledge to keep rates low only for “some time” or really play it safe and only promise to keep “policy accommodative.” Or it could change its language in some other way to stress that credit will be tightened when the time is right. Any such step would signal that the days of cheap money are eventually going to go away.
Many, if not most market analysts expect no change to that language today, and expect it to come at the Fed’s next meeting/announcement in late April. While some of the recent employment numbers have been better, the Fed will likely want to see 5 more weeks worth of jobs data before making this jump. We’ll find out this afternoon.
All kinds of good news links on the looming Fed announcement below.
~ Mortgage Rates Waiting on the Federal Reserve
~ Fed Funds Futures Markets Murky
~ Fed Weighs How & When to Signal Higher Rates
~ Fed May Seek to Avoid Lower Inflation as Officials Debate Exit
~ Housing Construction Drops 5.9% in February
~ Dodd’s Financial Rules Bill Dilutes Obama Plan to Seek Support
~ Mortgage Insurers Won’t Pay on Bad Loans
~ Emerging Market Bond Sales Hit Record High
~ Stock Futures Rise Modestly Ahead of Fed