Cleveland Browns Sunday Scrimmage: Non QB Competition Oberservations

Daniel WolfSenior Writer IAugust 10, 2009

The Brown Team, led by quarterback Derek Anderson, successfully defeated the White Team, led by quarterback Brady Quinn, 17-14, but the victory was in typical Cleveland Browns fashion with an offense that sputtered and could not get into a rhythm until late in the game.

The main source of the information that is in this article was provided by Browns web site, Dawgs By Nature, who had a detailed account of the offensive series during the entire scrimmage.

That report can be read here.

In this detailed reported it needs to be said that since the scrimmage was a two-hand touch tackle type of game, the running game could not really get going like in a real game situation because as soon as the back would go between the tackles, a referee would see two hands touch the runner only after a few yards and the backs couldn't really break tackles like they're paid to do.

Nevertheless, the passing game was able to show off the quarterback competition that has been one of the hottest position battles in almost all of the NFL, and even ESPN analyst Chris Mortensen and SI.com's Peter King made visits to Browns Stadium to report on and watch the full team scrimmage on Sunday.

1. Quinn looked hot right away, silencing many critics with his ability to throw the deep ball, by tossing a bomb to wide receiver Lance Leggett in which the ball was in the air for approximately 60 yards and on target.

2. Anderson did move the ball on offense, but not until until the fourth quarter and since this journalist doesn't like to get involved in "the debate," let us talk about another quarterback.

3. Surprisingly, backup Brett Ratliff raised many eyebrows with his ability to throw the deep ball to receiver David Patten on two different plays of 46 yards and 71 yards, with the later being for a touchdown.

Ratliff also showed good leadership in the huddle and despite being the predicted third string quarterback for the Browns, he does look to have a bright future in the NFL (especially if Quinn or Anderson cannot take this team to victory).

4. Another mention needs to go out to cornerback Eric Wright, who was exclusively covering receiver Braylon Edwards all day, and kept Edwards playmaking abilities in check.

This may be a sign of what's to come with Edwards in 2009, or a sign that Wright is a shut down cornerback and may ready to step into the spotlight as one of the better cover corners in the NFL.

5. Running back James Davis did more signs of flash, but again with the inability to break real tackles, Davis' performance could have been better on gameday.

Still Davis was showing tremendous ability on the plays where he got his hands on the ball whether is was running or catching the ball.

6. There were several defenders that were able to sack the quarterback, which this stats is also handicapped with the inability of the offensive line to truly block the defensive lineman, but here are several defenders that were able to get a sack or two: LB David Bowens, DT Shaun Rogers, LB Alex Hall, DL Louis Leonard, and DE Robaire Smith.

7. Reveiver Josh Cribbs showed that he has put a lot of work into becoming a better pass catcher and route runner. Cribbs was able to get open from coverages and catch a half dozen passes from Quinn during the game. Both Cribbs and Leggett were Quinn's favorite targets throughout the scrimmage.

Since Cribbs was showing a facet of his game that many Browns fans have not seen too much (he only has 16 career receptions). He is really gunning for that No. 2 starter slot opposite Edwards.

8. Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson was all over the field getting in on almost every touch tackle, breaking up passes and intercepting Anderson at the goal line ending a promising drive.

Jackson has been seen always near fellow linebacker Eric Barton and it really looks like Barton has got Jackson to really take control of the defense and become a true leader.

9. A quick final note, punter Dave Zastudil got many punts in during the scrimmage with one particular punt going about 70 yards downfield.

In conclusion, again this was more of a backyard football game, but with Eric Mangini simulating this as a real game there were similar elements just like on a fall Sunday game.

In the reality of the game of football this was just a pre-preseason game warmup and based on the quarterbacks performances so far, Quinn may get the starting nod for Saturday's first preseason game at Green Bay.

Article originally posted on Dawg Scooper: An Unofficial Cleveland Browns News Source


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