So, as I sit here ready to write up the bullets for this week, I turned on the Palladia channel so I could listen/watch David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) play guitar as I write. And wouldn’t you know it, when I started typing, the alarm clock went off to start the song “Time.” It might seem a bit cheesy, but here we are at the end of week two and it certainly feels like the Browns have “missed the starting gun.”
As always, don’t consider these notes comprehensive. I will almost surely miss something. Just put it in the comments.
- The Browns failed to score a touchdown on the opening drive as they were gift-wrapped their first scoring opportunity with the kickoff fumble. They got a field goal, but that was almost a moral victory for the Broncos.
- Braylon Edwards had a good game. 6 catches for 92 yards is not too shabby at all. Whenever the Browns’ offense didn’t look totally inept, Braylon was involved.
- Brady Quinn was sacked 4 times. John St. Clair and the rest of the guys on the right side of the offensive line did not get the job done. I remember reading earlier this year that the former Browns’ regime regretted not drafting Adrian Peterson and just using Steinbach at left tackle. Any chance that Steinbach could play right tackle? I am only half kidding.
- Jamal Lewis seemed effective in the first half. It was a disappearing act in the second half. In the end, it wasn’t a good showing for the running game any more than the offense as a whole. 54 yards on 21 carries as a team.
- The story of the game offensively? Brady Quinn and the Browns were 3 /14 on third down.
- Quinn’s sub-60 QB rating isn’t going to get the job done. He was rushed all game long, and didn’t make the best of his bad situations. Yes there was pressure, but sometimes he seemed to contribute to the mess by holding the ball too long. Kyle Orton was happy to look silly in the first half as he continually threw the ball away as the pressure grew too heavy in the pocket.
- Hank Poteat looked like Terry’s Cousin. In the first half it appeared that the DB was just getting abused continuously by Brandon Stokley. Stokley finished the day with 5 catches for 70 yards. I think pretty much all of that was on Hank Poteat. My mantra has been “Poteat HAS to be better than Terry Cousin.” Well, maybe Coye Francies is.
- I was happy to see the Browns open with three and four receiver sets in the first half to try and keep the defense from loading up the box. It didn’t work except to lead to a couple of field goals, but it was still a good idea.
- Mike Furrey was a welcome sight on offense, except that he didn’t do anything. I give the coaching staff credit for making that change from last week to this week, but unfortunately for them, it didn’t work.
- The Browns also did a nice job of faking the reverse a number of times before actually giving the ball to Cribbs. It didn’t lead to a big play, but the attempt was proper.
- Even after two weeks, I can tell the difference between a Mangini-run team and a Romeo run team. At 0-2 it isn’t good enough, obviously. Still, I can’t help but notice the changes in gameplan to try to get this offense going. Bad news is that it isn’t working yet.
- I am sure it is something that will continue to get better with repetitions, but Brady Quinn’s ball fakes weren’t that good. Either the alignment with the runner was off or Quinn’s timing was odd because the play action didn’t look clean all game.
- The Browns did an alright job with penalties. They committed 4 for 43 yards. That isn’t so bad at all.
Look, folks. The news isn’t good. Then again, it still isn’t as bad as it feels today. I honestly feel that the defense played decently despite the eventual meltdown in the second half. I also can’t believe that this offense won’t start to click a bit more as they gain familiarity. Then again, it is hard to bank on familiarity and rhythm when your offense punts 4 times, fumbles once and gets intercepted in all of their 2nd half “possessions.”
Based on our experience right now I am guessing that Eric Mangini really did have a QB competition this pre-season because neither of these QBs could take the job. I don’t look forward to a continuation of the Cleveland quarterback controversy, but you do have to wonder. If these two QBs were so tightly matched in the pre-season, how many games will Eric Mangini go with a struggling Quinn? And an even better question, did Quinn struggle as an individual this week, or was it a team effort in suckitude?
Bottom line is that the Browns need to find some rhythm and playmakers on offense.