April 23, 2014

Browns vs. Bears: What We’re Watching For…

This is the last exhibition, both for the Browns and for us here at WFNY. Next week we hit up the game previews for REALZ. We’re talking guest bloggers, people! At any rate, this game doesn’t have the import or the luster of last Thursday’s game, as whichever starters play in this game for both teams probably will not be on the field for long.

brownsbears

The Bears were one game away from the Super Bowl last season, and look to be in a battle for another playoff spot again this season in a tough, tough NFC North. Jay Cutler is back from his knee injury that derailed the team’s chances in the NFC Championship, though I doubt we’ll see much of him tonight. Caleb Hainey!!! I know you’re all ready to strap in for this one. Much like the teams, we here at WFNY are just trying to get through this one with no injuries. Now that my leg is healing, the last thing I need is a bout of carpal tunnel right before the regular season starts! At any rate, let’s go…

What We’re Watching For:

Scott: As I stated on a radio appearance earlier this week, the two players I’m watching will be Usama Young and (once again) Montario Hardesty.  Two players, both expected to fill key roles for this football team, and both having played very little this preseason.  Naturally, Hardesty’s injury was considerably worse than that of Young so I will be intrigued to see if the second-year back can continue to make progress from a confidence standpoint.  With specific regard to the free safety, I want to see how he performs outside of the first two weeks of training camp.  How does he react in a live setting? Will he have the skill set we would come to expect from a starting free safety? Everything I saw in camp pre-injury looked positive; here’s hoping he didn’t lose a step while nursing the hamstring.

DP: It’s easy to say, but I’m watching with a hand over my eyes to make sure no one gets hurt. The placing of Eric Steinbach onto IR after back surgery this week is an all-too-stark reminder of how fragile the team’s depth can be based on one injury. Who can forget Jamir Miller? Ross Verba? Pre-season game season-ending injuries suck wookie, so I’m watching with my sphincter clenched hoping that no one of great import gets hurt. Beyond that, I’d like to see Colt McCoy bounce back a bit, another successful game for Montario Hardesty, and I’d like to see someone catch a punt without muffing it at their own 15 yard line, even though I know that once rubber meets road JC will be back there holding it down. On defense, I’d like to see another PHIL TAYLOR!! appearance, if even for only a series or two. It would also be nice to see some defensive scheming to stop swing passes to running backs out of the backfield that seem to always gain 9 to 12 yards. And, since Jay Cutler isn’t exactly known for his speed, I’m hoping we won’t see two QB rushing TDs this week. Did I mention I don’t want anyone to get hurt?

Andrew: It’s always tricky when you get to this 4th and final preseason game. There’s a lot to watch for, but not all that much of it will actually matter in the regular season. But there are two very important things I will be watching for in this game. First, I want to see more of Jason Pinkston. It’s asking a lot of a 5th round draft pick to step in as a rookie and play a meaningful role on the team. But with Steinbach’s injury, it just might be Pinkston who sees his role expand, so I will be watching him closely to see how he is holding up. Second, I want to see more of Montario Hardesty. The Browns’ lack of RB depth is well documented at this point, so I just want to see what kind of shape Hardesty is really in and whether not he looks like he’s ready to take on the role of taking some of the load off Hillis’s shoulders.

TD - Its this simple for me. Just make sure nobody important gets hurt. The Browns depth essentially in all spots is pretty thin, so making sure they come out completely healthy is a must.

Also, like last week, I want to see more Montario Hardesty. This guy is going to be needed this year to make sure Peyton Hillis doesn’t wear down. I’d like to see what he can do getting into a groove tonight. My guess is they won’t allow that to happen in fear of injury, but I’d like to see Hardesty go hard tonight.

Rick- No injuries would be 1,2,and 3 on this list. After that, I want to see if any of these backs can take the place of Brandon Jackson who is out for up to 6 weeks now. (And for the record I do not want to see Hardesty tonight. I don’t think a few carries is worth the risk in a game like this. Save it for Cincinnati.) Perhaps there is also something to see as far as D-Line depth.  Otherwise, I’m just not very interested in a fourth preseason game.

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What about you, folks?

  • The Conductor

    Colt McCoy is better at throwing a football than you are at literally anything.

  • Garry Owen

    I’ll be watching for a re-run of Parks and Recreation. Ron Swanson is, literally, the Man.

    (By the way, I love how everyone doesn’t want to see someone IMPORTANT get hurt. Screw the rest of you guys. Break a leg, as they say.)

  • mgbode

    @Garry – for the guys who are going to get cut, it actually benefits them to get hurt. they will get a severence package instead of nothing.

    so, it’s not screw the rest of you guys. it’s: here’s a parting gift :)

  • Garry Owen

    Cold comfort, indeed.

  • Matt

    I will, figuratively, die if this “literally” meme continues.

  • Woods

    I would like to see….
    1) No one get hurt
    2) Pinkston to look comfortable between Thomas and Mack for a series or two
    3) Braxton perform well at RT. (I re-watched the Philly game and Pashos did not perform well at all. Braxton on the other hand looked good.)
    4) The timing look good between the QB’s and WR’s
    5) No one get hurt.

    On Sunday I would like to see the Browns scour the waiver wire to upgrade the talent at the DL and LB positions. I bet that Heckert and staff have a list and will check it twice on Sunday as if it was Christmas.

    Go Browns

  • jimkanicki

    freaking play the starters and learn how to win! play some hard football. get tough.

    cripes.. ‘ooh i hope no one gets injured.’ no duh. but most of the injuries are from practice. and if/when we get beat with a rusty performance against cincy you’ll say .. dang, should actually worked in that last preseason game.

  • jimkanicki

    also.. why is anyone buy the load of crap about ‘depth on the offensive line?’ does anyone remember kevin shaeffer? john stclair? tony pashos?? every year we’ve been told that we’re set at o-line. now this year we’re going to war with a 5th round pick starting? both starting guards bring a combined 2 games of nfl experience? and you’re buying it that we have ‘depth’ at line?

    man.
    no one will be happier to be wrong but neglect of the o-line is an annual occurence and bugs the hell out of me to watch the same mistakes over and over.

  • Glasser812

    Anyone now a website to watch the games on for an out of town Browns fan? Looking for a site to do so on Week 1.

  • Omar’s Magic Glove

    @9 firstrowsports.eu is working

  • Glasser812

    Thanks! The site I used last year has been taken down.

  • Shamrock

    You aren’t missing anything.