With the San Diego Chargers coming to town, Eric Mangini is searching for some healthy bodies. Jamaal Lewis, D’Qwell Jackson, Eric Barton, Shaun Rogers, Brodney Pool, James Davis, Ryan Tucker, Dave Zastudil and Steve Heiden are all on injured reserve. With a 1-10 record, Eric Mangini, Brady Quinn and the rest of the Browns are in survival mode. Mangini and Quinn have their futures with the team at stake while many are waiting for the season to end. For players like Coye Francies, David Veikune, Brian Robiskie and Ahtyba Rubin, these games are a chance to prove they belong.
Beating the 8-3 Chargers will be a monumental task. San Diego is playing well. Having won six straight games, they are playing their best football. Maybe Cleveland can catch them looking past this game to Dallas the following week. If the Chargers have all their focus on the Browns, it will be ugly.
If Eric Mangini’s fate has not already been sealed, as many think it has, a win over San Diego would help his cause. Quinn also needs a good game. He may or may not be back with the Browns next year and needs to prove his game against Detroit wasn’t a fluke.
Can Cleveland’s defense slow down Phillip Rivers and company enough for the offense to scratch out a win? It will be extremely hard without Rogers and Pool. It will take all of Rob Ryan’s trickery and motivation to accomplish this task. If Cleveland can hold the Chargers to 20 points, Ryan should be given a pay raise.
Offensively, who is going to motivate this bunch? Daboll? Quinn? Manginni? They’d better, since their futures are at stake. It’s time to get Robiskie on the field. Mangini has said in the past that Robiskie needs to be able to contribute on special teams to be active on game day. The special teams aren’t the problem. The offense is where help is needed. Also, I’ve been saying this all year, put Cribbs at running back.
Pre game analysis. With just five games to go, it may be getting too late for Mangini but several Browns players still have something to prove. That may not be enough for a win but could make it interesting.