Posted on: April 17, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2011 3:39 pm
Posted by Andy Benoit
Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups.
Another year turned into another rebuilding season for the Browns (it turned out to be the last of three in Eric Mangini’s tenure). Injuries rocked all three mistake-prone quarterbacks (Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace and third-round rookie Colt McCoy, who performed OK but was limited to a cliff-noted playbook).
It maybe wouldn’t have mattered anyway, given the paucity of quality receiving options (No. 1 wideout Mohammad Massaquoi improved just enough to pass for being a low-end No. 2, while tight end Ben Watson was the go-to guy by default).
Defensively, the young secondary at times seemed overburdened by the volume of sub-packages in Rob Ryan’s complex system. But often, Ryan’s scheme compensated for shabby pass-rushing resources. The Browns were the only team not to give up 30 points in any of their first 15 games. Still, that wasn’t enough to save Ryan from the coaching staff overhaul in January.
The task of installing a 4-3 scheme is substantial, especially given this team’s prior commitment to the 3-4.
Linebackers Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita and nose tackle Ahtyba Rubin (who will now play more one-gap techniques) are the only players from last year’s team who are truly equipped to operate in a 4-3.
And Gocong never did blossom in Philadelphia’s 4-3. Restocking the defensive line will be the biggest challenge.
1. Defensive End
Marcus Benard is a fantastic athlete who, as an outside linebacker, often played bigger than his 256-pound size suggested. That doesn’t mean the undrafted third-year pro is ready to start – especially given that he’ll be learning how to play with his hand in the dirt. Jayme Mitchell, another undrafted guy, is penciled in on the other side. What does this tell you? The Browns need at least three, and maybe four, defensive ends.
2. Defensive Tackle
Rubin can be an adequate two-down player, even if he’s not a true Pat Williams-like clogger. Brian Schaefering, however, does not get off blocks well enough to play inside. Even if he did, the Browns would still need more one-gap quickness here.
3. Wide Receiver
Very few quarterbacks could succeed with Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, Chansi Stuckey and Joshua Cribbs as their top four wideouts. Massaquoi is not dynamic enough to create on his own; Robiskie has barely seen the field his first two seasons; Stuckey’s quickness is impressive but best suited for the slot, while Cribbs is simply a gadget player.
Let’s hope new head coach Pat Shurmur is a patient man. The defense that Dick Jauron is installing is not complicated schematically, but it will take at least two years to accumulate the front seven personnel needed to run it.
That’s about how long the offense will take to develop if Shurmur decides that Colt McCoy is indeed the long-term solution for his West Coast system. A third straight 5-11 season seems likely.
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Tags: Ahtyba Rubin, Ben Watson, Brian Robiski, Brian Schaefering, Chansi Stuckey, Chris Gocong, Cleveland Browns, Colt McCoy, Dick Jauron, Eric Mangini, Jake Delhomme, Jayme Mitchell, Josh Cribbs, Marcus Bernard, Mohammad Massaquoi, Offseason Checkup, Offseason Checkups, Pat Shurmur, Rob Ryan, Scott Fujita, Seneca Wallace
Posted on: December 27, 2010 2:57 pm
Eli Manning became the first Giants quarterback since YA Tittle 71 years ago to have 30 touchdown passes in a season.
217 of New England’s 348 yards at Buffalo came on the ground.
Rookie free agent Kyle Love started at NT for the Pats. He recorded a sack and two tackles.
The Browns’ only touchdown pass Sunday came from wideout Mohammad Massaquoi.
Michael Crabtree had six catches for 122 yards and a touchdown. It was just Crabtree’s second 100-yard game season and only the third time he’s gone over 60 yards this year.
After going four weeks without a sack, Rams DE James Hall has now reached the quarterback in back-to-back games. Hall had 1.5 sacks on Sunday.
After losing an NFL-record 26 consecutive road games, the Lions have now won back-to-back contests away from home. Detroit’s win left Miami with a 1-7 record at Sun Life Stadium.
Mike Thomas has evolved into Jacksonville’s No. 1 receiver. He was the team’s statistical leader once again with 96 yards on six catches. Also, emerging wideout Jason Hill added 77 yards on four receptions.
Hmmmm….maybe Carson Palmer CAN still play after all. Without having to worry about two diva receivers, Palmer spread the ball around against San Diego Sunday, completing 16/21 passes for 269 yards and four touchdowns. Jermaine Gresham, Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson all had at least four catches and 55-plus yards receiving.
Jacob Tamme caught seven passes, giving him 60 on the season.
The Bucs outgained the Seahawks 439 to 174.
Kellen Winslow had his best game of the season, catching seven passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Tags: Baltimore Ravens, Bobbie Carpenter, Carson Palmer, Chicago Bears, Chris Harris, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Eli Manning, Eric Weddle, Geno Hayes, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jacob Tamme, Jacoby Jones, James Hall, Jared Cook, Johnny Knox, Kansas City Chiefs, Kellen Winslow, Lawrence Jackson, Miami Dolphins, Michael Crabtree, Mike Thomas, Mohammad Massaquoi, Nathan Vasher, New York Giants, New York Jets, Randy Moss, Sam Bradford, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins