Doug Dieken signs as Browns radio colored man in win over Bengals

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CLEVELAND – The $ 6 Dawg Pound seats weren’t selling.

A skeleton crowd watched Browns win 21-16 on lonely Lake Erie.

Guess a lot of you have avoided Fox TV crew Kenny Albert / Jonathan Vilma and caught Doug Dieken / Jim Donovan on the radio. It was Dieken’s last call in a radio career who started alongside Nev Chandler in 1985.

Dieken, who played the last of his 207 games as Cleveland’s left tackle in 1984, experiences a breathing block when he sees one. Nick Chubb was hit in the backfield in the first set.

Doug Dieken is honored by the Browns as he calls his final game as the team's radio analyst on Sunday, Jan.9, 2022, in Cleveland.

“The main tackle was Austin Hooper,” Dieken said of an expensive and disappointing tight end, “and that’s where the tackle comes from.”

We clung to every word of Dieken on his last call. Turns out his favorite Brown is a blocker.

“Joel Bitonio has been a rock since he came here,” said Dieken.

Early on, Case Keenum threw a touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry who flew 25 yards in the air.

Former Browns lineman and radio presenter Doug Dieken works on the field before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 11, 2016, in Cleveland.  (AP Photo / David Richard, file)

“Landry and Keenum have a certain chemistry,” Dieken said.

Dieken seemed amused that Kevin Stefanski “gutted the playbook” en route to a 14-0 lead. After describing a room as an ‘inverted double-touch screen,’ Donovan replied, ‘If you say so. “

With Bengals star Joe Burrow seated, Brandon Allen ran for his life against the Browns’ first string defense. After a baton, Dieken said: “He went high-low. Jadeveon Clowney hit him from the front and Myles Garrett buried him from the back.

“As the season wore on they got better defensively. The offense really stumbled.

“It raised the question of why didn’t we sit Baker (Mayfield) down earlier. I admire Baker for going out there playing badly, but when you do, you compensate for being able to do it and you lose some of your fundamentals. “

Around the time the defense pinned Cincinnati in a third and 33, Dieken said he liked a few picks in the 2020 Draft.

“We haven’t seen a lot of Jordan Elliott and Jacob Phillips,” he said, “but they’re making an impact today.”

A resounding victory seemed possible before a Keenum fumble was sent back for a touchdown.

“Wow,” Dieken said. “He handles the game really well. This time he just handled it badly.”

Keenum’s next set featured an 11 completion at rookie Anthony Schwartz.

“It was good timing on this road,” said Dieken. “Schwartz broke and the ball was over there on him.”

Moments later, Keenum threw an interception.

Bernie Kosar, a possible radio colored man in 2022, was a rookie the year Dieken began his radio career in 1985. Kosar lost a playoff duel 24-21 to Dan Marino and the Dolphins on January 4, 1986.

Dieken was then 36 years old. Twice that age now he’s laughing at himself because he’s an old man. At one point, he described a running back “dancing like Lawrence Welk,” a reference to a musical man whose television series ended in 1982.

‘The Doug Dieken Radio Booth’

After the name of the radio booth was announced in honor of Dieken, he said: “As many trips as I have taken to the bathroom, I thought they were going to give my name to that name. . “

Dieken’s smirk and dry sense of humor drew people to him. He knew more about the inner workings of the team than many coaches.

“You build relationships with the players,” he said. “You find out who will give you a straight answer.” D’Qwell Jackson was one of the great guys. I used to joke Phil Dawson that he was just a kicker. He knew a lot about football. And he was a dear friend. “

Dieken laughed when the Bengals pulled off a field goal that bounced off the post, rekindling memories of a famous Dawson kick in Baltimore.

Hall of fame Bill cowher and Dan Dierdorf sent private tributes to Dieken. A legend of Canton crossed the mind of Dieken.

Marion (Motley) was one of the most humble and greatest players I have ever met, ”he said.

Dieken tends to stay light, an approach that has helped him maintain his raison d’être in Cleveland football. Late Saturday, he decided on his final call by watching The Longest Yard, “the second,” he said, with Adam Sandler.

Cleveland Browns offensive tackle (73) Doug Dieken during the 1972 season. (Tony Tomsic-USA TODAY NETWORK)

Dieken’s only playoffs as a player resulted in one-time losses in 1971, 1972, 1981 and 1983. As a radio man he was in the booth for the playoffs in 1985, ’86, ’87, ’88 and ’89. The only playoff years since then were 1994, 2002 and 2020.

In 2021, the first games against better teams set an unsettling tone. The Browns led 22-10 at Kansas City and lost 33-29. They were leading 27-13 in Los Angeles and fell to the Chargers 47-42. They later got nothing from offense in close losses to Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

“The closure has been a problem,” Dieken said. “When we had opportunities at the end, we faltered. The defense became pretty good defense. The offense was inconsistent.

“It’s a shame. We all had aspirations. Mine was to come out like Peyton Manning.”

The offensive line was a nightmare. Left tackle Jed Wills has limped through the season. Right tackle Jack Conklin has only managed four full games. No.3 tackle Chris Hubbard was injured after replacing Wills in Game 1 and missed the rest of the year.

“You want five guys playing together and creating chemistry,” Dieken said. “One year, there were four left guards playing next to me, all with a different style. A shorter set. A deeper set. One was more physical. One was thinner.

“It just ruins you.”

Mayfield took nine sacks in a loss to Pittsburgh last week.

“The rookie tackle (James Hudson) had some problems,” said Dieken. “Why? He was inexperienced. It probably would have helped if he had had a little more help.”

In August, Cincinnati was a 25-1 longshot against the AFC North victory.

“Kudos to the Bengals,” Dieken said. “I wish it was us, but they deserved it.”

The Browns “earned” a much higher draft pick than after going 11-5 and taking cornerback Greg Newsome in 26th overall.

“The Bengals exploited positions of skill,” said Dieken. “They drafted the number one wide receivers a few years in a row. They had Joe Burrow. They already had Joe Mixon. The issue was going to be the offensive line. Sometimes the quarterback can make the offensive line better than it is. East Terrier has done a good job getting rid of football.

“We thought the team was going to be Baltimore. That’s why we drafted all those cornerbacks. But now you look at the wide receivers in Cincinnati and it’s a good thing we drafted the cornerbacks. “

The Browns’ 8-9 season left a feeling of emptiness.

None of this was evident like in the radio booth at the end of the game. Dieken’s family filled the room.

It almost looked like the tough guy’s voice was about to crack as he ended with one last thought:

“You sometimes feel like you’re the luckiest guy on the planet. I’m lucky.”

Contact Steve at steve.doerschuk@cantonrep.com

On Twitter: @sdoerschukREP

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