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Moral Victory?

October 5, 2009

As NFL fans, we root for shirts. My favorite NFL color scheme is orange and brown. Nevertheless, I confess I woke up Sunday morning (barely) and part of me wanted the orange and brown to lose. I thought it would be better for the team. Even though Brady Quinn has played like garbage, I think he still has potential. 6 NFL games is not enough time to pass judgment on a first round pick who started for four years in college, and played well there. So that's how I was feeling when I sat down to watch the game.

Then the game started. I saw brown shirts. What can I say? I wanted Cleveland to win. Badly. I wanted to see DA succeed. I wanted him to shut me up. Ultimately, I can feel how I want but I can't make any decisions for Cleveland. If DA is starting, so be it. Show me thirteen games of good DA and who knows what happens. I still think playing Brady Quinn is the better long term strategy for this franchise. I now believe that, at this juncture, DA does give the Browns the best chance to win.

DA makes horrible decisions, and yesterday he got lucky a few times. He didn't finish off drives, which is what lost the game. He can also throw all day. When he has time, his deep ball is one of the best in the league and the prettiest to watch. His thrown to Mohamad Massaquoi down near the goal line was absolutely perfect. I don't know if Brady Quinn can make that throw. I don't know if many NFL quarterbacks can put it up as beautifully as DA did there. Plays like that are what make coaches think DA can be the guy, and fans too. Plays like that are why DA gives us the best chance to win right now. The question is, does it matter?

The defense had a great game yesterday. They came up time and again, even in overtime, giving the Browns chances to put the game away. Kamerion Wimbley's overtime sack was a great culmination of a very good day from Wimbley. In my preview, I wrote that Brodney Pool was good, but you felt like he should be better. He was better yesterday. Flying all over the field in the second half breaking up passes. Shaun Rogers pushed the pocket all day and owned the middle of the field. His two blocked kicks yesterday were not accidents, Rogers is that big and that good. Jerome Harrison gave the Browns a very good ground game. Eric Mangini finally let Mohamad Massaquoi play more than 7 snaps, and shockingly it was a good idea. I know, playing second round picks in the NFL is rare. Mangini took a big chance letting the a guy drafted at number 50 overall play in his fourth NFL game. It was a desperation move. It payed off. Massaquoi was the best skill guy on the offense yesterday. Braylon got all the attention and Massaquoi reaped the benefits.

The Browns did not quit when they were down 14-0. DA certainly kept going, even after starting 3-11. He got hot and the Browns came back. The team had a 20-14 lead later in the fourth quarter. It could have been a lot more. DA threw a pick in the end zone from goal to go, and two other drives stalled out close ending in field goals. Cincy wouldn't have been that close if not for Jerome Harrison's fumble. The defense had played great and the offense never quit. Even in overtime, the defense had their backs to the wall more than once and didn't give in until the last drive, four hours after they had started playing football.

Josh Cribbs needs a paragraph here. I'm glad he's not the number two wideout anymore, it seem Massaquoi took that spot. I still think he needs the ball on offense, see the nice reverse he ran yesterday. His return game is breathtaking. Cribbs is completely unselfish. He does whatever he has to in order to help the team win. Please pay Josh Cribbs. He deserves more money. Pay him. Pay him. Pay him ManKok. Pay him. One more quick tangent, love the team first attitude of Mike Furrey, playing defensive back late in the game. Love the unselfishness of guys like Cribbs and Furrey.

Digression over. DA isn't going to be a lot better than you saw yesterday. He still does dumb things, like running himself into a sack when Joe Thomas had his blindside protected, or throwing the pick in the end zone. DA is not very good in the red zone, because if the field isn't stretched DA struggles mightily. He can fit balls in tight spots and he isn't very good at seeing what the defense is doing and where he can take advantage. This is true of his pre-snap reads as well. DA gave the Browns their best quarterback start of the year yesterday, by far. However, he isn't going to get much better. He has a pretty clear ceiling. He's really fun to watch, and I think I will enjoy the ride. However, this team isn't going anywhere this year. Playing Quinn all season and seeing what we have is the better choice. There may be some growing pains. So what. DA isn't the long term answer. Nothing he did yesterday changed my opinion there. DA did pretty much what I thought he would yesterday. He had a pretty good game. He deserves praise for that. He didn't win. Quinn has time and potential to get better. DA does give the team the better chance to win today. If Quinn had more time to play, that could change tomorrow. Or next week, or next month, or never. We won't know unless Quinn gets to play. Anderson is a stop gap at best. Quinn is still at least a maybe. That's how I see it.

To wrap this up, I want to give kudos to John St. Clair for have a good game yesterday and shutting me up (not that anyone on the Browns or affiliated with the Browns reads what i have to say). Mohamed Massaquoi, Josh Cribbs, Kamerion Wimbley, Shaun Rogers, Brodney Pool, and Mike Furrey all deserve another shout out for good games. The team showed definite improvement for the first time all year. It wasn't just DA. Massaquoi finally got to play. Wimbley continues to improve. The right side of the offensive line had its best game of the year. Jerome Harrison was an effective runner. Brandon McDonald was solid after being benched. Brodney Pool was excellent. I'm actually excited to watch next week. I still think the best thing to do long term is to play Brady Quinn. Go Browns.

Jack Bacevice

1 comment:

  1. Stop it, stop it, stop it!!! We might as well change our team name to the homers. Uhhh, DA is at his cieling, uhhh he wont get much better, uhhh Quinn only has 5 starts, uhhh Quinn needs a reacharound in the pocket to throw well. Maybe it is because being in the Navy, I havent been in the Cleveland area for a while, or maybe it is just that I'm the only Browns fan that is not an idiot. STOP THE MADNESS!! DA can get better. Is it going to take him winning a Super Bowl with another team to get you to realize that...this is only his 3rd year as a starter. Look how long it took Brees to be so awesome. Not everybody is P. Manning and will be able to pick every defense apart before the game even starts. Derek will continue to get better every game, he is our franchise man. Get over it!!! Stop rooting for the hometown hero and realize that we need to give Anderson the tools he needs(including a little f'ing support) and sit back and watch the show. Or maybe we should scour the NFL and CFL and Factories for that matter to field a team of nothing but northern Ohio natives, I dont know, you people get under my skin...