Super-secret Browns quarterback school practice...LOL.
Browns try to better offensive line by crossing enemy line
Plain Dealer Reporter
A Cincinnati Bengal actually helping the Cleveland Browns?
Paul Brown must be turning over in his grave.
Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Munoz infiltrated the super-secret Browns quarterback school practice yesterday at the invitation of Browns line coach Larry Zierlein. They've been friends since Munoz retired in 1992.
Munoz re viewed practice tape of the Browns' line men, then ad dressed them on mental and physical prep aration and of fered some tips on technique. He'll sneak down I-71 to Cincinnati after another session today.
For obvious reasons - the firing of Brown by former owner Art Modell in 1963 is at the top of the list - the Bengals and the old Browns franchise were never friendly rivals.
Relations are different nowadays, of course. But the incongruity of Munoz's visit should not be lost. Imagine "Mean" Joe Greene stopping by to lecture the Browns on sportsmanship.
"It is weird," Munoz said. "I remember coming to the old ballpark and having those dog biscuits flying over our heads. It's really strange."
Aside from the fact he played 13 years for the Browns' intrastate and division rival, Munoz is eminently qualified to lend his expertise to the most closely scrutinized and eternally criticized unit in Cleveland.
"One thing I noticed right away, they were focused," Munoz said. "They wanted to learn. To me, that's a crucial beginning to being a pretty good NFL player. There's some talent out there.
"I was impressed. Larry Zierlein's a pretty good offensive line coach. I knew coming up here the guys were going to be pretty well-schooled in the technical aspects of playing offensive line."
Munoz said his initial observation is the Browns have the physical ability to "pound it when they need to pound it."
He likened center Jeff Faine, the rookie No. 1 pick, to Olin Kreutz, a 1998 third-round draft choice of the Chicago Bears who has developed into a Pro Bowl center. Munoz has worked at the Bears training camp at the invitation of coach Dick Jauron the past four years.
"Olin has a similar type of build," Munoz said. "They're not overly huge, but their sense for the game and knowledge of the game is impressive. That's what I saw in Jeff."
Munoz asserted the importance of a center.
"You need a guy to be in control. The center's got to be right up there with quarterback because of what they need to know. So much depends on the calls they make," he said.
Munoz said his Hall of Fame career was built through attitude and off-season preparation. Stability helped, too.
"In 13 years, I basically played with two sets of offensive lines," he said. "I had the same coach, Jim McNally, for 13 years. I played with three centers. I played with [quarterback] Boomer [Esiason] for nine years."
Munoz was voted to the Pro Bowl and named All-Pro in 11 of his 13 seasons. The Bengals were 14-8 against the Browns in nonstrike games with Munoz a fixture at left tackle. Since his retirement, the Bengals are 4-10 against the Browns.