Thoughts on Browns Quarterbacks, Brian Robiskie, and the Secondary
At least Derek Anderson is as disgusted about his statistics as the fans are.
Anderson told the Cleveland Plain Dealer this week that his stats are “garbage.” He says he believes he’s “improving,” but that is arbitrary at this point.
He has a 40.6 quarterback rating and 43.8 completion percentage, both dead last in the NFL. He has averaged 4.42 yards per completion, which also ranks last in the league.
However, he probably doesn’t have to worry about losing his job anytime soon. Head coach Eric Mangini appears adamant about sticking with Anderson over Brady Quinn.
Speaking of Quinn, if he takes 70 percent of the snaps this season, he is due an $11 million bonus. Mangini and the Browns’ front office don’t think it’s wise to pay that to a guy who they aren’t sold on as a franchise quarterback.
This is understandable, and if they want to keep his trade value at a respectable level, not playing him on this pathetic offense is the smart move. Teams that are looking for a quarterback in the offseason will still view Quinn as an unknown and may be willing to surrender a mid-round draft pick.
So, unless Anderson gets hurt, expect Quinn to stay on the bench. The offense isn’t going to all of a sudden start putting up 30 points a game if he starts. They’re starting two rookie wide receivers, a rookie center, and no reliable receiving tight end.
Which leads me to one of those rookie wide receivers, Brian Robiskie. The Chagrin Falls native has one catch for 23 yards and doesn’t seem to warrant the attention that fellow rookie Mohamed Massaquoi is getting from Anderson. It could be that Anderson knows that Massaquoi has big-play potential, or it could be that Robiskie just isn’t getting open.
Mangini will continue to play both rookies and allow them to grow together. It just makes me wonder if Robiskie would be where Massaquoi is right now had he arrived to training camp on time.
Finally, the second weakest position on this team next to the quarterbacks has to be the secondary. The cornerbacks and safeties looked lost on long touchdown passes to Green Bay’s fullback and wide receiver Donald Driver.
I understand Eric Wright could have lost his life last weekend in a car accident, but he cannot give up those types of plays to opposing wide receivers. He and Brandon McDonald are not physical, they cannot tackle on a consistent basis, and you hardly ever see them play bump-and-run to disrupt the receivers’ routes.
The coaches need to find out if Coye Francies is any better than McDonald, who is better suited for a nickel role.
Safeties Abram Elam and Brodney Pool were also nowhere to be found on those touchdowns until Green Bay’s fullback and wideout were arriving at the end zone.
It’s almost impossible to think what they are looking at before and when the ball is snapped. There is absolutely no help over the top for the corners, and you hardly ever see either safety deliver a hit over the middle like an Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu.
The Packers probably have the best cornerback tandem in the league with Charles Woodson and Al Harris. They also have an underrated safety in Nick Collins, who is always around the ball.
When Mangini was with the Jets, he helped turn safety Kerry Rhodes into a Pro Bowl ballhawk and drafted cornerback Darrelle Revis out of Pittsburgh, who has transformed into a shutdown corner. It’s hard to think that Mangini believes he has either of those right now on the Cleveland Browns.
Unless these defensive backs start playing like they care about football, expect a complete personnel makeover this offseason.
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