Instead of having someone who’s clueless when it comes to the Cleveland Browns trying to deliver a good preview of the team, I went out and spoke with a well respected blogger for Dawg Pound Daily, Steve DiMateo.
Continue reading to see the Q&A!
1. Now that you have a legitimate quarterback in Jake Delhomme, how do you Cleveland’s passing offense going about? Also, what is the deal with rookie Colt McCoy… did he do that bad in the preseason?
The addition of Jake Delhomme adds a great deal of respectability to the Browns’ passing offense, as was evidenced during the preseason, though it will still experience some growing pains. Delhomme’s biggest influence will probably be felt off the field, as his leadership and experience will be essential to the development of the team’s young receivers and its rookie quarterback Colt McCoy. As for McCoy’s preseason, I think it was simply the case of a rookie being a rookie. It wasn’t pretty for the most part, but his last game was impressive and should take the pressure off of him. That and the fact that he won’t be seeing regular season action for quite a while.
2. Jerome Harrison, James Davis, and Peyton Hillis. All pretty good running backs, but still are all young. Do you believe Cleveland will be effective on the ground against Tampa Bay’s new look defense, including the addition of two rookie defensive tackles (McCoy and Price), and throughout the season?
Despite a new-look defense, the Buccaneers should be very concerned about the Browns’ running game. Tampa Bay had the worst rushing defense in the NFL last season, and Jerome Harrison will be looking to continue his impressive hot streak that helped the Browns close out the season on a four-game winning streak. It’s just not likely that the Bucs will be able to fully contain Harrison, and Hillis was channeling his inner Mike Alstott during the preseason, giving the Browns a pretty formidable running game.
3. As an outsider, I actually enjoy watching your young receivers, Cribbs/Robiskie/Massoquoi. Which one of these guys means more to your team, and how would you rank these three guys?
If you’re talking overall meaning to the team, Josh Cribbs and his versatility and game-changing talent certainly means the most to the Browns. As for receivers, Mohamed Massaquoi means the most to the team, as his second year will be vitally important to the success of the team. Brian Robiskie also has a great opportunity in front of him, as he is finally going to be given the playing time he deserves.
4. The Browns acquired two defensive starters in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles involving cornerback Sheldon Brown and linebacker Chris Gocong. What’s your opinion on these two guys so far, and what are your expectations for them this season?
Let’s face it, the Browns were terrible on defense last season. The secondary was in ruins and there just weren’t enough talented linebackers on the roster to make much of a difference. Gocong and Brown bring a veteran presence to the team and will help shore up some gaping defensive holes, Brown especially. His presence pushes everyone in the secondary to a position they are more suited to play.
5. Give us one or two “surprise” players on Cleveland that the Tampa Bay fans should be aware of.
Be on the lookout for WR Brian Robiskie and rookie CB Joe Haden. Both Robiskie and Haden had impressive camps and will be given plenty of opportunities to make plays.
6. It’s that time, give us your prediction of the game.
Browns win, 24-14