In the physical AFC North division, the Cleveland Browns have been a finesse team with very little success. Under second-year coach Eric Mangini, that’s changing.
Forget all the talk about the Browns switching to the West Coast Offense. It’s not happening—at least not in 2010. Sure there may be a few West Coast plays but the Browns' bread and butter will be their running game.
While finishing the 2009 season on a four-game winning streak, the Browns did it solely on the ground. Cleveland’s passing game bordered on the ridiculous. Gone are last year’s quarterbacks, Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn. Taking their place are Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace.
When looking at the Browns new quarterbacks, both are capable of making plays, which will help the running game even more. That’s something they missed last year.
In 2009, after Jamal Lewis suffered a season-ending injury, Cleveland found a workhorse in Jerome Harrison. This year, Harrison won’t be asked to shoulder the majority of carries. Rookie Montario Hardesty, Peyton Hillis, James Davis, and possibly Chris Jennings will be there to share the load.
Along with Cleveland’s vast stable of running backs, the Browns still have Josh Cribbs. Mangini has already said Cribbs will team some with Wallace to form a deadly duo in the wildcat.
Cleveland has invested a lot of money and effort in putting together an offensive line. Left tackle Joe Thomas is as good as there is. Left guard Eric Steinbach and center Alex Mack aren’t too bad either. On the right side, the starters will probably come from Tony Pashos, Floyd Womack, and rookie Shawn Lauvao. Fullback Lawrence Vickers, whose blocking is second to none, also returns.
For all you Browns fans that can remember Marty ball, get ready for Mangini ball.