Special teams miss Lenny Friedman

When Josh Cribbs led the NFL in kickoff returns, the key blocker was Lenny Friedman, who is no longer with the team. Look no further for the reason that the Browns’ return game has slowed to a crawl.

    Cribbs explained to me in intricate detail a few years ago how all the pieces fit together. I wrote about that in one of my final columns for the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram and Medina Gazette.

    Friedman was the point of the wedge. He had the first block on kickoff returns. He was Cribbs’ key. In fact, the entire blocking scheme began with Lennie. He was everybody’s key.

    When Lenny got long in the tooth, the Browns released him and the kickoff return team went straight to hell. The finely tuned mechanics are out of synch. Cribbs is getting killed. I’m no coach. I can’t tell you how to fix it, but, like most sportswriters, I know what broke it.

    I’ll be signing books Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Tradewinds bar at 319 E. 200th St. in Euclid from 6-8 p.m.  Wednesday, Dec. 7,  I’ll sign at Around the Corner, 18616 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, also from 6-8 p.m.

    Other signings this week are Friday, 7-8 p.m., at Barnes and Noble in Mentor; Saturday 1-2:30 at the Fireside  Bookstore in Chagrin Falls; and Saturday, 3:30 to 5  p.m. at Scott Dantio’s GPS gift store on Center Ridge Road near Wooster Road in Rocky River. Hope to see you at one of the signings.

    That’s all for now.

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