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O-Line Needs Help

The Browns' release of offensive lineman Kevin Shaffer at right tackle is not just a matter of dollars and cents. It is a sign that the new regime appreciates the problems with our offensive line.

Last season failed for many reasons, but one of them was our very poor pass protection. Our quarterbacks were punished in the pocket on a regular basis. They had very little time to throw, even when there was no blitz from our opponent.

Shaffer's release saves the Team 1.5 million dollars in cap space. Kevin was due a 1 million dollar bonus plus 2.65 million dollars in salary for 2009.

Our offensive line in 2008 was imbalanced which caused havoc in play calling and gave our opposition an edge in predicting where we would run the ball or throw short passes out in the flat. The left side of the line with Thomas and Steinbach played well. Those fellas are more athletic and better blockers against both the pass and the run compared to their counterparts in the middle and on the right. We cannot deny any longer that veteran center Fraley has lost a step. The blitzes up the middle last year were fast and furious and almost always successful. The same goes for the right side of the line, where Shaffer started and played. This is not a blame game - the facts speak for themselves.

We have many priorities in 2009 which must take precedence over the offensive line, most especially the linebacker and secondary positions. But make no mistake - we will not succeed this coming year without a much improved performance from our guys in the offensive trenches.

Go Browns!

Devo's Cleveland Browns

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