This is the “dress rehearsal”. More importantly, though, IT’S THE GLC!! Will we see our offense holding onto the ball for a change? Will the defense again step up for the lion’s share (see what I did there?) of the game? We’re getting closer to official BWWI territory, so perhaps our starters will play into the third quarter as well…
Other than this, what needs to be said?
With that on the table, what are we here at WFNY looking for tomorrow night?
What We’re Watching For:
Scott: I’m looking for Calvin Johnson to put on a display. Seriously, I think he’s the most talented wide receiver in the NFL and anything shy of a dismantling of the Browns defense should be considered a win for Rob Ryan and the rookies. Given the location, the weather should not be an issue nor an excuse this week. I will expect the team to have considerably fewer penalties than last week; it was a big focus of Eric Mangini since the final whistle. I will be looking for more the same from Peyton Hillis, Ben Watson and Joshua Cribbs. I will be looking for some clarity among the linebacker situation. But most of all, I’ll be looking for a win. Preseason or not, this one is the “dress rehearsal.” If this team isn’t winning – especially at halftime – I will be disappointed.
Rick: The starters will likely play significant minutes in this one, and as such the most important thing is to get out of this game healthy. An injury to the offensive line would be especially damaging with the uncertainty of that right side. While we’re on that subject, I want to see rookie Shawn Lauvao play significant minutes at right guard. With Womack’s injury the position is certainly in flux. If Lauvao were able to nail down that job, we can hopefully push Womack to right tackle when he returns. As much as I would like to see the running game cranked up another notch in this one, the receivers and QBs still need to get a lot of work in. Besides, the running game will be there as long as the blocking is solid. Defensively this team was destroyed the last time we played Detroit. We are practically a new team since that game however. In fact, I don’t believe any of the Line Backers starting Saturday night were on the active roster when we played the Lions last week. Only Elam and Wright were in the backfield. That’s 6 of 11 new starters since Stafford torched the Browns for 422 yards and 5 TDs. Obviously, I’d like to see the pass defense have a little swagger after this game.
DP: Honestly, I’m watching to see if the offense can continue to hum along. Other than those first two drives last week, the first teamers looked solid again. I want to see Jake Delhomme continue to look like a competent QB, mainly because I just enjoy seeing competent QB play from a guy in an orange helmet. I want to see the combination of running backs gash Detroit’s defense, and more specifically I want to see Peyton Hillis emasculate some more defenders. I want to see if the WRs can get back to looking “OK” like they did against the Packers, and I want to see if Ben Watson can top himself after last week’s sick TD catch. On defense, it’s a bit of a broken record, but some QB pressure would be nice. A zero-sack showing against the hapless Rams’ offensive line doesn’t instill much confidence. Mostly, as stupid as it sounds, I want some vengeance for the loss from the regular season last year. I’d love to see the Browns stop them on defense, and have Bobby Boucher run off the field yelling, “Mistah Hank Poteat… you got ya manhood back!”
Craig: I am looking for a victory in the GLC. It can’t be a rivalry unless someone actually cares to win the game, right? In all actuality, I am hoping to see the Browns complete some blitzes. Against the Rams, the Browns didn’t have much time before Sam Bradford was thrust under center. Also, this is another pre-season game where the Browns are facing a team that they hope to see in their rearview mirror this season. They need to look like the more competitive and competent team in all phases from wire to wire.
Bowers: I would have contributed this week, but last week I ended up in the Muni Lot under a tent for a tailgate in the rain last week and well…never made it inside to see game two. So…I have no idea what I’m watching for other than more live read ads from BKosar. I love those.
Andrew: Above all else, I’m just excited to be able to watch the game period. Last weekend I was visiting family up in Northwest Ohio, and for whatever reason, the game wasn’t on TV there. Furthermore, because Time Warner is a greedy cable company, I don’t have NFL Network and thus couldn’t even watch the replay on there. So I did not get to see one play from the last game. They often refer to the 3rd preseason game as the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season as this is the game we get to see the starters play the longest. So with that in mind, I’m just anxious to see how this team plays in rhythm. We’ve seen some very positive signs in small bursts so far this preseason, but now it’s time to see the extent to which they can sustain drives. I’d also like to see the defense step things up. There’s no question the defense has looked pretty bad, particularly against opposing starters. Matching starters with Detroit should actually serve as a pretty good litmus test for both teams to see where each one measures up.
What about you, folks?