Browns lose to Jets: Lots of positives in pre-season opener

Johnny FeverContributor IAugust 8, 2008

In a pre-season game that featured Brett Favre on the Jets sideline, the Browns gave the coaching staff a bit more insight as to where they are at.

The Good

The O-Line: The first team was impressive. They started with a bang blowing the Jets off the line as Jamal Lewis scampered for a quick 11 yards. The Jets never got close to Derek Anderson in his lone drive.

QB: Derek Anderson looked good. He is in control of the offence and moved the ball around nicely. It was good to see him hook up with Donte Stallworth a couple of times.

Brady Quinn was very impressive in his two quarters of work. He threw a pick but it was off Steptoe's hands and should have been caught.

Ken Dorsey looked like a 3rd string QB - I'd like to see a new face as the 3rd stringer.

RB:Jamal Lewis came into camp in better shape than he left off last season. He looked like he could start the season this Sunday.

Jason Wright and Jerome Harrison are both very capable backups and both looked very good on this night. I like Harrison as the better runner but Wright excels at Blitz pickup.

Free Agent Travis Thomas did not impress me at all. Slow hitting his holes and he missed a blitz pickup as well. a nice story as a converted LB but his NFL career should end soon.

TE:  Rookie Martin Rucker was very impressive in his pro debut. He led the team with 5 receptions for 70 yards. Darnell Dinkins may have a more difficult time keeping a roster spot after Ruckers performance. Rucker showed good hands and some good RAC skills. Kellen Winslow did not dress. (hamstring)

WR:Starting to look like a strength. Braylon Edwards made a highlite real catch as did Paul Hubbard. Donte Stallworth showed he still has skills and will help this team. Travis Wilson looked like he and Brady Quinn have been working together for years rather than weeks. Wilson is starting to look like prospect the Browns envisioned two years ago. He would be my number three WR right now. ( Jurevicius injury) Cribbs looked good but is too valuable as a KR guy to give him too many plays during the game. He will go in for a few special packages designed for him. It will be interesting to see how the WR depth chart plays out.

D-Line: Like night and day compared to a year ago. Shaun Rogers is a load and blew up  a couple plays and he only played one series. He helps free up Linebackers to make plays...they did.

LB:They are probably a happy group. It was nice to see them flying around making plays rather than trying to escape double teams.

CB: Both the young kids impressed me. Both McDonald and Eric Wright made plays. It was nice to see a bit more tight coverage off the line too.

S:A solid nights work. Brodney Pool made a nice play on 4th down to help stuff a QB sneek.

Nickel: Terry Cousin looks to be a reliable 3rd CB. A bit loose on one play in front of him.


The Bad

Depth on defense:The backups on the D-line and backfield were just flat out awful. The DB's and safety's were burned badly twice for 70 yard plays. The backups on the D-line had zero push or pass rush making it even tougher for the LB'ers and DB's.

Special Teams: They were looking great until they gave up a long punt return TD. The blocking on KR is just plain outstanding.

QB: Dorsey is not an NFL QB: I'd like to see a young kid come on board and start learning the system for the day when either Brady or Derek is gone.

To sum things up, the starters on both Offense and Defense were very good. If the Browns can stay healthy on defense it could be a fun season to watch because the Offense is just plain good.