Let’s just talk about the “controversy” first to get it out of the way. Yesterday’s comments erupted into a bunch more bickering about the quarterbacks on this team. I have to be honest when I tell you that I don’t know why you guys do it. I love to argue as much as anyone in the world, probably. I just don’t understand where arguments over these two quarterbacks emerge from. It seems like arguing over which boy band had better hit singles in the 90′s, N’Sync or Backstreet. I would rather find a new band to listen to honestly. The future of this team is probably in the hands of a player to be named later. People who proclaim Brady Quinn deserves a shot need to realize that he was given every opportunity to win the job that neither player could seemingly take away from the other in training camp. People who hate Derek Anderson need to recognize the fact that for all his shortcomings over a long season, the dude didn’t play half bad yesterday. Still, if any of you feel after a single game that DA can again be considered the “answer,” you are crazy.
And let’s expound on DA’s day a little bit. Anderson helped the Browns move the ball. He was 26/48 for 269 yards with a TD and an INT. His rating for yesterday was 68.8. His throws to Mohamed Massoquai were great. Still, how closely were you guys watching his performance? To me it seemed like DA stared down receivers all day long. Was I the only one who noticed that? What happened to the pump fake machine that we saw in the pre-season when DA had the ball? In basketball, they always told us you have to “fake the pass to make the pass.” I would like to give DA an audio book with just that phrase over and over so he can listen to it while he sleeps. Also, it shouldn’t go unnoticed that when the Browns really needed to find a way to score to put the game away, DA and company couldn’t do it.
Mohamed Massoquai. After all the Browns receivers have come and gone from the draft (Paul Hubbard, Syndric Steptoe, Travis Wilson, Andre Davis, Quincy Morgan, and potentially even Brian Robiskie,) is it finally possible that the Browns got one right? Massaquoi caught 8 balls for 148 yards and nearly had a score on an athletic dive and catch toward the pylon of the end zone. If there is something that Browns fans can actually feel good about today it is the emergence of Massoquai. Still, it is just one game. He needs to continue to be a threat week in and week out as the season continues along.
152 yards from scrimmage. That is what Jerome Harrison produced yesterday for the Browns. He also fumbled a ball, but did you see him secure that thing the rest of the game after fumbling? 121 yards on 29 carries on the ground and 31 yards from 5 catches in the air. Harrison also had a long run of 21 for the Browns. This is all the stuff that we ever dreamed of having in Jerome Harrison. I don’t know that we really want to have to rely on any back as much as we had to rely on Harrison yesterday with Jamal Lewis out again. The positive news is that you have to feel intrigued by the prospect of having Jamal Lewis and Jerome Harrison as a true running back tag team. And I know Chris Jennings only ran once for 8 yards, but he showed that whirling dervish running style that seemed so fun and effective in the pre-season.
The best performers of the day were the defensive linemen. Corey Williams had a sack, but we all know who the player of the game was. Big Shaun Rogers was a monster. Rogers had a blocked field goal, a blocked extra point and also provided a big-time legal hit on Carson Palmer that resulted in the Browns getting off the field on third down. They gave up too many rushing yards again, but overall they did a good job against Cincinnati’s offensive line.
And the rest of the high points? Josh Cribbs was another monster with a 58 yard kickoff return and a 50 yard punt return. Brandon McDonald seemed to respond to his benching. A couple times he seemed to be on the winning end of a good play in coverage. Mike Furrey broke up a pass playing safety. Brodney Pool had an interception and nearly gobbled up another one. Steve Heiden showed why Browns fans love him so much as he caught 5 passes for 33 yards and a touchdown. D’Qwell Jackson disrupted passing lanes and was all over the field with his 14 tackles yesterday.
Anyway, in the end the Browns lose the game in heart-breaking fashion. They couldn’t find a way to score a touchdown to expand on their three point lead. They played four full quarters and an overtime of competitive football, to be sure. Still, they sit at the bottom of the league at 0-4. They have to continue to improve on the offense. The game of football is complicated. There are no easy answers. Try and remember that when commenting. Also keep in mind that it doesn’t hurt to be nice to each other. At the end of the day, we all want the exact same things regardless of who is coaching or playing quarterback.