Some Random Cleveland Browns Thoughts With One Game in the Books

Daniel WolfSenior Writer ISeptember 14, 2009

If there are any NFL schedule makers out there reading this, can you please give the Cleveland Browns a road game to open the 2010 season so they can actually have a better chance to win their first game of the season?

Eleven straight home openers and now 10 home opener losses.

Sunday's game versus the Minnesota Vikings kind of felt like it was still the 2008 season, didn't it?

It was only the first game, and hopefully the Browns have gotten a lot of bad out of their system.

Remember back in 2007, the Browns were destroyed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the home opener, but they went on to finish the season an exciting 10-6 and almost made the playoffs, so don't put too much thought into game one.

Hopefully, Brady Quinn got all the backwards passes and double pumps out of his system, the offensive line got all the holding penalties out of their system, and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll got all the conservative play-calling out of his system.

Regardless, there were a few good things that came out of the game.

Josh Cribbs is the best at what he does.

Okay, so he is the new No. 2 starting receiver, but it may take several games for Cribbs to make an impact as a pass catcher, but one thing is certain, he can not be stopped as a return man.

Yes, he made a mistake when he fumbled a kickoff in the end zone then decided to run it out anyway, he should have took the touchback, but made up for it by returning a punt 67 yards for a score.

Let's just hope the Browns can get him some more money very soon to keep him happy.

The defense got four sacks!

They also hit the quarterback two other times for a total of six times they made it to the quarterback.

That is excellent progress!

The only thing that I could see was that when defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, brought pressure via blitzes, the defensive backfield needs to have tighter man-to-man coverage.

With four sacks in the first game of the season, the Browns defense are easily on their way to attaining many more team sacks than the 17 they had all of 2008.

Robert Royal is just an adequate addition at tight end.

Royal was Quinn's favorite target all game long and ended up with four receptions for 60 yards and one touchdown.

He was able to fight for yardage, he can block, but he did drop passes which the Browns do not need another player doing that at all.

Jamal Lewis showed he still has gas left in the tank.

It's a shame that the play-calling did not favor getting the ball into Lewis' hands more, since he had a solid performance.

He may not have run for over 100 yards, but he did run the ball 11 times for 57 yards (which is a 5.2 yard per carry average) and caught three passes for 47 yards.

There were moments were Eric Mangini put in rookie runner James Davis with the first team, but after he took a really hard hit, Lewis was placed back into the game.

Davis may have been shaken up not only by that hard hit, but by the car accident he was in on Saturday, but the Browns coaches need to figure out how to get a better running game out of their back and a more consistent play-calling for the running game too.

Braylon Edwards seems like he has no clue what he is doing on the football field.

Edwards seems like he is always at the wrong place at the wrong time.

It could be going inside when he was supposed to go outside on his route, or not getting both feet in bounds, or not making enough effort to fight for the ball.

Seems like Edwards just doesn't have a love to play football anymore.

You would think that he would be playing at a high level since it is his last year on his contract, but he is just playing without any fire.

How long until Mangini gets feed up with Edwards' performance until he brings in either Mohamed Massaquoi or Brian Robiskie?

If Edwards doesn't start contributing on offense, his one catch for 12 yards didn't help, then look for a change soon.

The defense needs to tackle.

So Adrian Peterson threw Browns defenders around like dummies in the second half, but you have to give credit where credit is due, and he is an amazingly talented running back.

That still is no excuse for the fact the the Browns could not tackle him.

Just square up and wrap your arms around the ball carrier while hitting the guy as hard as you can.

Everyone needs to practice their tackling for at least 10 hours during this week of practices.

There were some positives that came out of the game Sunday, but the team will need to really play perfect football week in and week out to compete with the better teams in the NFL.

I have read many reports from NFL experts and writers saying that the Browns do not have enough talent to compete in games this year, but in the early 2000s, the New England Patriots won a championship with a bunch of no-name and mediocre players.

There is no reason that Mangini and this team cannot compete with the players they have, they just have to play better as a team.

(Article originally posted on Dawg Scooper)


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