Eric Mangini Needs To Reshuffle Offense in 2009

Doug TarnovichContributor IFebruary 10, 2009

If you're into playing cards but have never played Bid Euchre, I urge you to try it. It's basically the same as regular Euchre, but one of the differences is that each of the four players go around and try to make bids as to how many tricks they think they can take, with a minimum of three tricks to open.

If you don't think you can take three or go any higher than the previous bids, you have the option to pass.

Of course, if no one has a decent enough hand to take a mere three tricks and everybody passes, then the deck is reshuffled and re-dealt.

Similarly, the Cleveland Browns offense of 2008 has left the new coaching staff holding a handful of queens. Apparently, finishing the season next to last place isn't enough for fans and media to be concerned which will likely prevent the Cleveland Browns from drafting offensive players early in the draft.

It seems like they will more or less have to deal with what they have.

I believe, however, that the Browns offense can improve significantly in 2009 with a simple reshuffling of the deck, so to speak. Below is a list of switcharoos by position.


Derek Anderson has been wildly inconsistent ever since he took over for Charlie Frye in 2007. Late in the season, he single-handedly managed to cost the Cleveland Browns a trip to the playoffs by turning the ball over three times to the Bengals, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

The Browns had a chance to clinch a playoff spot with a win. They lost. Bench him. Start Quinn. Whether he'll be the franchise QB remains to be seen, but for God's sake, let's see.

Running Back

There were concerns regarding Jamal Lewis who turned 30 years old in 2008, the age where running backs hit the proverbial wall. The concerns were not misplaced as Lewis averaged a mere 3.6 yards per carry, ran for a season long 29 yards and rushed for only four touchdowns.

His back-up, Jerome Harrison, however, averaged 7.2 yards per carry, a season long 72 and 9.7 yard average in receiving. He's fast. He can run around the outside and can make big plays on the ground. And at age 26 compared to Jamal Lewis' 30, the Browns need to play him while he still has a few years left in him.

In short, swap the two. Harrison 80, Lewis 20.

Wide Receiver

Arguably the position of most concern heading into 2009. Braylon Edwards could very well snap out of his funk and still has the ability to make huge plays. Keep him.

Syndric Steptoe contributed little and seems unwilling to get physical and make blocks in the running game. We can do better.

Likewise, to have seen Donte Stallworth make a play in 2008 could be referred to as it was in the game against Philadelphia, "a Donte Stallworth sighting". The Loch Ness Monster emerges more often. Bench him.

But that then leaves two holes, right? Let's face it, the holes were always there. But there are two players to replace them.

Take Kellen Winslow Jr. out of the tight end position and put him at one of the vacant wide receiver positions. Replace Winslow with the very competent Steve Heiden.

And who to fill the second?

Joshua Cribbs.

I know he's already listed as a WR, but I don't remember seeing him out on the field much other than punt returns. He has way too much talent to just play on special teams. What a waste. We all know he's got the speed, and prior experience at quarterback could be an asset. Let's just see if he can run routes and catch the ball.