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At Least the Cavs Open Training Camp Today

September 28, 2009

Oh god.

Oh my heavens.


That was really bad.

The Browns are the worst team in the NFL.

Pulling Quinn for Anderson really was brilliant.

Just like leaving 2nd round pick Brian Robiskie inactive as the offense flounders is brilliant.

Okay, let's try to talk about this "game."

So Quinn struggled to get points on the board. He was usually good for one first down and that was it. Brady actually does a good job of getting the Browns in thrid-and-managable. It's just that the third down is usually a disasaster, regardless of the distance. The first half interception was both very bad by Brady and a very good play by Domonique Foxworth. Foxworth could sit on that throw because Brady doesn't go deep enough. That's a big problem. It allows the defense to focus on short passing and running. Brady needs to learn he has to take some chances down the field, if for no other reason than keeping the defense honest. I watched the game with my buddy Ted and my dad. Both heard Bernie Kosar say on the radio this week, the rule of thumb is a quarterback has to throw downfield at least twice each quarter if for no other reason than to keep the defense honest. Kosar learned that at Miami. Kosar never had a big arm, but he won football games. Hmm. Maybe Brady should think about following that twice per quarter rule. He has a lot of room for improvement, but yesterday was his sixth career start. Maybe with some halftime adjustments, Brady could put together a decent second half and build from this. Playing a tough defense like the Ravens is usually ugly for an inexperienced quarterback who is playing with few weapons around him, but it can be a good chance for growth. So in the second half...


That's Derek Anderson. Apparently Mangini told DA he'd be going in the second half, as they jogged out onto the field. Awesome. As if the quarterbacks haven't gone through enough head games.

So DA had a very DA like half. He led(?) the Browns the three points! All right! That's as many points as picks DA threw in one half! Ladies and gentlemen, Derek Anderson!

DA isn't getting better. He is a good "lightning in a bottle" kind of QB who can catch fire and be effective until the inevitable happens. Defense pressure him and he turns the ball over. Or he throws incredibly inaccurate short passes and turns it over. Or he gets frustrated and throws the ball into triple coverage and turns it over. See a theme? Now that there's a good amount of film on DA and defenses know how to handle him, "the inevitable" comes on very quickly.

So maybe you should have tried to help your former 1st round pick making his 6th career start grow from a rough first half. There's no nice way to put it, the Browns offense sucked in the first half. Brady sucked. He didn't go down field, which he needs to do (see above). He did complete 6 of 8 passes. He is a guy who needs a chance to grow. But, no. The Browns went to DA. Why? DA is certainly not the answer at quarterback nor is he the future. Quinn is at least a maybe. His future looks less and less bright every week, but at least there's still some potential there.

Speaking of potential, why aren't Massaquoi and Robiskie the number two and three receivers? Is it because they make rookie mistakes? Okay, I can see that. If they screw up too many routes or miss too many blocks downfield it could cost the Browns the game. The running backs are constantly breaking into the secondary and the receivers have got to make that block! Obviously, letting the two rookies who this very Browns regime felt possessed enough talent to be worthy of 2nd round selections play through their rookie mistakes could be majorly detrimental to the team. We're trying to win football games here. So what if Massaquoi and Robiskie have talent and might be able to make a few plays? They may make game costing mistakes! The Browns have been right there every week! One mistake could cost victory! Really, considering how tight every game is, the question isn't why is Robiskie inactive? It's how can Mangini let Massaquoi dress knowing how many mistakes he may make?

Speaking of second round picks, the word is the Browns are still unsure whether David Veikune should be used as an outside or inside linebacker. As a result, the Browns have decided to not use him at all on defense. That makes sense. You spent a second round pick on this guy. Don't screw up his development by letting him play outside linebacker when his future is inside or, God forbid, vice versa. The positions are so completely different, they may as well be different sports! We sure wouldn't want Veikune trying to learn the pro game by actually playing or worse yet, making plays. That'd be a big problem.

At least the Browns were smart enough to get rid of Martin Rucker last week. Even the Browns admit, the guy had pass catching ability. However, he didn't fit in with the ManKok philosophy. Tight ends need to block, and it's integral for ManKok. Don't believe me? Look back at the Denver game. John St. Clair was getting manhandled by Elvis Dumervil on the edge to the tune of four sacks. A lot of teams would have wanted to help St. Clair against the smaller and quicker Dumervil by using a tight end to chip the speedy pass rusher and slow him down or disrupt the rush. The Browns couldn't do that though. Third string tight end Martin Rucker, who was inactive, is not a blocker. Blocking is so important for Browns tight ends, Mangini wasn't going to let any tight end help in the blocking if one of them, even an inactive one, was not up to snuff as a blocker. Thankfully, Martin Rucker is gone. Philadelphia scooped him up. That team has no idea what's going on. They never do anything like win games or make the playoffs.

So where does the good ship Browns and it's captain/first mate ManKok go from here? I don't know. Who starts at quarterback next week? I don't know, but my guess is Quinn. Both quarterbacks have huge flaws, but Quinn's issues are much more fixable. In addition he has more potential. However, the sound reasoning for starting Quinn next week may preclude the ManKok brain trust from making that decision. Derek Anderson had about ten good games two years ago when weapons like Kellen Winslow Jr., Joe Jurevicius, 28 year old Jamal Lewis, and Pro Bowl Braylon Edwards were around him. His college track record, a four year starter who only completed over half of his passes once in four season, plus his excellent professional track record of hitting his receivers makes him the logical choice. Plus, he never throws crazy, absurd, I-want-to-punch-a-puppy-now interceptions.

There is one silver lining that came out when talking with my dad and my buddy Ted at halftime yesterday. There is no more frustration watching the Browns on Sunday. Sure, the personnel moves and drafts and the success of other franchises may drive you nuts, but watching the Browns is stress free. We all know they are awful. We expect awful. The 2009 Browns never fail to deliver. Awful.

Jack Bacevice

1 comment:

  1. DA gives the Browns the best chance of winning because he can stretch the field, force the defense to respect the pass. At least he's not afraid to take a risk. BQ is horribly inaccurate; he can't even hit a basic slant or out route...