July 24, 2014

Browns’ Young Secondary Still Has Potential Despite Rough Day

There’s no other way to say it than to say that the young guys were overwhelmed yesterday. Trevin Wade got torched. Buster Skrine seemed overmatched and chasing. Eric Hagg played pedestrian when he wasn’t giving up his own touchdown. Look, it’s difficult to lose your top two cornerbacks in between week one and week two of an NFL season.

No matter how much planning you do to miss Joe Haden during a suspension it doesn’t mean you’ll be prepared. People absolutely crush Sheldon Brown, but there’s just no doubting that he’s the man until someone replaces him. Sunday taught us that there’s still some room for the young corners to grow out of his shadow.

None of this is to say that I’m disappointed that the Browns kept Trevin Wade over other players like James Dockery. I liked Dockery too. He played with aggression and spirit while contributing well on special teams. Who knows? Maybe the Browns don’t give up that punt return TD if he’s still on the squad.

The fact is that Wade outplayed everyone else in the pre-season and deserved the roster spot. One bad game after being thrust into duty is not the end of the world for him. Same with Skrine. He’s got unbelievable speed and has taken leaps with every opportunity the Browns have given him since he arrived last year.

The Cincinnati Bengals had a little something to do with it too. One of the plays was a bit broken as Dalton rolled out. Plus, there’s really no shame in getting beaten by A.J. Green on occasion. You can ask the missing man Joe Haden himself about that. Add in the fact that Armon Binn and Andrew Hawkins appear to be quite the weapons and it might not be quite as bad as it looked on Sunday. Consider that Hawkins had 86 yards in game one and appears to be in the elusive Percy Harvin type of mold (assuming he keeps it up of course) and we’ll all feel that much better.

Well, kind of. We’ll only truly feel better if these young guys get better with each opportunity. And even if Sheldon Brown comes back next week, the opportunities should be there. Make no mistake though, even with early struggles, these guys still have potential to be a part of the future of the Cleveland Browns.

  • http://www.facebook.com/screevo Stephen Martin

    What are the odds that Haslem said “Play the young/bubble guys, show me what I’ve gotten myself into”, and thats why we 1) Didn’t see Sheldon Brown? 2) Hardly realized Ben Watson was on the field? 3) Saw a lot of Ogbonnoya and no Hardesty with an inactive Jackson?

  • Clown Baby

    Quit giving them credit Craig, they played like a bunch of later rounders and undrafted FAs and…….(checks bios)……….oh. I think those guys gave it there all against a very talented group of wide receivers. I don’t blame the players, I blame poor personnel decisions for this one.

  • Steve

    This right here. This is one of those times where it seems like Craig just can’t be fair in his assessment. We’re all Browns homers here, but it’s perfectly ok to say ‘these guys shouldn’t have been expected to do much, didn’t, and won’t be around too long unless things drastically change”

  • mgbode

    the SB champs secondary looks bad too when you take away their top2 CBs (just ask Dallas and Tampa)

  • factory of sadness

    Brown was still unavailable after an injury and week 1 and hardesty has stone hands. Ogbonnaya had a good day catching the ball except for the fumble. It wasnt a matter of playing the roster bubble guys it was more of it was the only guys we had left sorta deal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.gilbert.589 Jim Gilbert

    Why would Haslem want to worry about Watson and Hardesty in the 2nd game of the year? I think he may have much bigger fish to fry than a tight end and a backup running back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/screevo Stephen Martin

    Watson was available and active. If he was unavailable, he should have been inactive. So why not play him?

  • TSR3000

    Agree that if you take away that fumble we are singing Obie’s praises. But that fumble was HUGE.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    What’s the alternative for any team missing its top two corners? Who would you rather have take those roster spots?

  • NamedMyKidPrice

    Because Alex Smith blocks better and is probably our best TE.

  • Clown Baby

    I would vote for the best CBs on the board at the time the Browns drafted that stiff who is allegedly a FB and Hardesty. Again, I applaud those guys (except for Hagg, he’s horrible) that were thrown into it on Sunday. Hopefully we’ll see a similar jump from game #1 to game #2 like we saw with Weeden.

  • Steve

    I’m not saying things could have been any better. I’m not sure why you’re shifting the argument to that. The headline says “potential”, and you talk up these guys. We currently have crappy cornerbacks, who played crappy, and will, in all likelihood, continue to do so. Sugarcoating it doesn’t help at all. Dreamcasting like “Maybe the Browns don’t give up that punt return TD if he’s still on the squad” is incredibly frustrating to read. It’s not useful in any way, shape, or form.

  • BrownsFanBrad

    going to be suspended and knowing that Brown is in his late 30s and increasingly fragile. Why did they not bring in a veteran corner? I’m sure someone was out there. I understand the youth movement and all, but geesh, bring in a few proven commodities.

  • John_LC_Silvoney

    Yay for potential!!

  • Steve

    Brad – this is an incredibly frustrating part of the Holmgren Browns. They talk about improving now, then don’t sign any free agents, and half the roster is 1st or 2nd year players. But then we invest high draft picks in a 29 year old QB, and a RB who has already been under the knife (not that we should expect RBs to have a long shelf life to begin with). It seems like they’re just winging it as they go and there’s no real consistent long-term plan. It’s a real headscratcher.

  • mgbode

    haven’t they consistently said they will build through the draft. and, so they have built through the draft. you may not like the end-results, but they have been consistent.

  • mgbode

    or he’s saying that these guys are not so bad for a CB3, 4 and 5. sure, we don’t want them starting, but they aren’t supposed to be starting.

  • Steve

    Then don’t write an article about their potential, or talk them up at all. Just say “this is what happens when you have to start guys who are mediocre-even-for-backups”.

  • Steve

    Then don’t me that you fired Mangini because he didn’t win enough. And especially don’t say things like “Going from 4-12 to 6-10 isn’t good enough, and
    that’s been conveyed. I believe we’re going to be a little better than
    that … a lot better than that.”

    I can only hold Holmgren to what he tells me, even if it is difficult to keep track of all his backtracking and flip-floping.

  • mgbode

    just in a complaining mood today? :)
    why not talk about young guys and whether or not they have potential. it’s not like we have a bunch of grizzled vets we are bringing in who are what they are. they have potential though they may never reach it. youngsters (no matter how good) usually struggle at first.

  • Steve

    Maybe a bit. I just didn’t see anything yesterday to make me think any of these guys will be on the next Browns contender, and I saw nothing in the article to that extent. If Craig wants to evaluate the back end of the roster, that’s fine, but this wasn’t analysis, this was putting whipped cream on a turd.

  • Warburton MacKinnon

    So much more optomistic than I am, but I do think the young DB’s can grow.

  • bridgecrosser

    I fully expected their youth to lead to getting them torched. But there were a few things I didn’t like. Skrine gets manipulated at the line. He should be moving guys off their routes, instead WR’s easily beat his jam and then move to go routes. There was another DB this happened too. Then, at the end of the first half, they gave these 10-yard cushions. It is unacceptable to play a jam and then get toasted so badly. This is odd, as the Browns WR do a terrible job of fighting for their routes (see Benjamin completely giving up on those 2 INT’s his way in week one). Do they practice contact with the WR and DB at all in practice at Berea.