August 26, 2014

Non-Hillis Browns Updates

There is more Hillis talk in the news today because Hillis gave the media a minute to obliterate a deceased equine.  You can go find that information if you need to find it and take it out of context to somehow make it interesting.

In the meantime, Scott Petrak’s twitter has a few more interesting things if you are interested in actual football news.

First of all, Josh Cribbs is banged up but he was sprinting on the sidelines.  The Browns could be up against it on the injury front if Cribbs can’t go this weekend in Oakland.  The Browns could be without Alex Mack who had an appendectomy last week.  They could also be without Joe Haden who is nursing some sort of knee injury.

There is no great option to replace Alex Mack.  I think it might be John Greco.  There is no telling what damage that could do to the Browns’ offense.  We saw just a week ago how much the Jets struggled when Nick Mangold missed time.  The center is one of those positions that you are really happy not to talk about.  It seems like nothing is good when the center’s name is in your mouth.

I am even more concerned though, about what Joe Haden’s absence could do to the defensive secondary.  Dimitri Patterson has been a pleasant surprise in the nickel role this season.  As I have noted before, Patterson came with warnings from Eagles fans.  Thus far, those warnings seem to be totally unnecessary.  That could change in an instant if Patterson is thrust into primetime against Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey next weekend.  This isn’t even to mention Buster Skrine potentially moving into the nickel role.  Skrine was a bright spot in training camp and pre-season.  Still, it would be preferable to let the Browns’ 5th rounder “season” a bit more before he is put on the field with regularity.  We’ll see. Maybe they’ll have to play and they’ll be a pleasant surprise.

Other than injuries, coach Pat Shurmur indicates that Greg Little will start and see more action.  He also indicates that Evan Moore will also see more action.  Both of these are big news if not somewhat obviously needed adjustments.  The Browns need to get consistent on offense and the sooner Pat Shurmur zeroes in on his rotations the better off the Browns will be.  A steady diet of Peyton Hillis and Ben Watson along with more secondary guys like Evan Moore, Greg Little, Cribbs, Massaquoi and Hardesty sound like the Browns’ best bets.

 

  • -bobby-

    Honestly, I would strongly consider starting Skrine. Patterson was brought in to be a nickel, and has done pretty well thus far, so lets leave him there. Skrine will have the speed to keep up with the Oakland WRs (something I dont think Patterson can do… and having 2 slow DBs could mean early disaster) and why not get more rookies playing? See what we have now so we can address weaknesses this offseason.

    As for the O, Id like to see more of MoMass and Moore wide with Little in the slot and watson on the line. Get more of our weapons out there and are pretty reliable catching the ball.

  • Harv 21

    More optimistic about this game than the last two. Raiders are coming off a very emotional win and a letdown would not be surprising. And the Browns have had 2 weeks to stew about lethargy on defense and let the rookies catch their breath. You would hope Shurmer has walked down the hallway to see Big Man and maybe get some input for a sound game plan.

    Also, if the Falcons miss the playoffs this year does Dimitroff think he overpaid for Julio Jones?

  • oribiasi
  • mgbode

    i’m more worried about the loss of Mack purely because of the opponent. the Raiders have a really strong DL and it’s going to take a concerted effort to contain it.

    their WRs are fast, but Campbell is so dang inconsistent that we can get away with some things there. heck, he’s getting praise for his game against Houston when he did everything he could to give the game to the Texans and went 15/35 on the day (some big throws in the 2nd half helped them pull things out)

  • BuckeyeDawg

    I do not have a good feeling about this game…which is good news! Seems like whenever I expect a loss, they win, and vice versa.

  • mgbode

    @Buckeye – I agree. Seems like the Raiders are a team built to handle our current Browns. Good on both lines negating any advantage we might have there, great speed on the edges.

    I am currently having a nightmare envisioning Fujita and/or Gocong trying to beat McFadden to the corner on a sweep.

  • Joe

    You guys just “get it”…love the headline!!! Go Browns…