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Three & Out
Three & Out
After witnessing one of the most systematic Sunday afternoon destructions of the past decade, and based on the looming sense of frustration and slight contempt that he currently feels towards his beloved Browns, Dave Kolonich feels it is only fitting to base his Week Three analysis upon the following mantra of ineptness emanating from Berea: Three & Out. Dave delivers a scathing analysis of Sunday's mess in his latest column for us.
After witnessing one of the most systematic Sunday afternoon destructions of the past decade, and based on the looming sense of frustration and slight contempt that I currently feel towards my beloved Browns, I feel it is only fitting to base my Week Three analysis upon the following mantra of ineptness emanating from Berea:
Three and Out
For all those Browns fans out there who still clung to some desperate hope that Derek Anderson could revive a struggling offense, or at least deliver the unit to a somewhat legitimate realm, all I can say is...wait until next week. And for defenders of Brady Quinn (and you know who you are), perhaps it's best for all parties involved to enjoy a little space...call it the Taking a Break Theory...
Unfortunately, every scrap and tittle that was uttered during the preseason QB controversy will shortly reappear. This resurgence from the media swamp will be great for gossip hounds and bloggers - not so much for the likes of depressed fans who have finally realized the limits of each competitor.
While Brady Quinn gives professional, impressive sound bites throughout the week and appears to relish the idea of playing quarterback for the Browns, through two games it has become obvious that he is unsure of himself in this wreck of an offense. While Quinn talks a great game, at this point in his career he is probably closer to Charlie Frye in terms of development. Basically, Quinn is indecisive, doesn't see down the field well, can't throw deep, is turnover prone and holds onto the ball far too long.
Call it the Ghost of Maurice Carthon, but Quinn also is not succeeding thanks to narrow-minded, toothless play calling and protection that channels the spirits of Enoch DeMar and Joaquin Gonzalez.
So if not Quinn, then is Derek Anderson the answer?
Yes and No.
Much like in 2007, Derek Anderson appears light years ahead of the Browns starter, in this case, Quinn, in terms of making quick decisions and getting rid of the ball. Obviously, these are great attributes for an NFL starting quarterback to possess; however, rapid fire decisions made by Anderson usually lead to a string of turnovers. Witness DA's 3 interceptions...which easily could have been 4 or 5.
However, in stripping the team down to its bare essentials - more on this tomorrow - it would appear that DA is the best option for the team moving forward. Now, the logical question is this: the best option to do what? If your answer is consistently win games, you have just been eliminated and you lose all your winnings. If the answer is occasionally move the ball downfield and possibly score a touchdown every few games, then you are now on the right track.
Using the 2007 season as a painful flashpoint, consider that yet again, Anderson remains the quarterback best equipped to handle the starting job, thanks mainly to his NFL arm and carefree, or mindless - depending on your perspective - style of playing. While Quinn's mind seems to be overloading every time he drops back to pass, Anderson could easily give the team a better shot at actually making a play - simply by getting rid of the ball.
Which will no doubt be picked off approximately three times on a given afternoon.
So, Cleveland Browns fan, you lucky so and so...here is your choice: do you want to play cautiously for the next thirteen games or do you want to just go all Brett Favre and flame out?
Is Richard Bartel still on the roster?
As I've stated before
, the Browns defense can dream up all the schemes and exotic blitzes it wants, but until the overall level of talent improves, the team is going to be carved up like William Green on Valentine's Day for the rest of the season.
Much like the offense, I'm not sure what to make of Rob Ryan. Certainly, he's an improvement over Romeo Crennel's seven different defensive coordinators, at least in terms of effort - but until the defensive personnel is upgraded, the losing culture that the Browns have been bathing in for years now will not change.
With the exception of Shaun Rogers, who it seems more clear by the week is playing in a scheme that does not fit his unique talents, there is no one - absolutely no one - on the defense who is anything more than a complimentary player.
Witness the likes of Eric Wright, Brandon McDonald and Abe Elam. Oh, and throw in Robaire Smith, D'Quell Jackson, Kamerion Wimbley and Kenyon Coleman. And add Eric Barton, Brodney Pool and Corey Williams. And if we're mentioning all those players, we may as well toss Mike Adams and David Bowens into the mix.
Basically, the Browns feature ten defensive starters who will never stand out in this league, but could become solid contributors if lined up with the likes of some premier NFL talent. For example, how much better would Eric Wright look if he played with someone the caliber of Darrelle Revis? Or, just imagine D'Quell Jackson if he had a player like James Farrior beside him?
As of right now, the Browns do not feature any player, with the very slight exception of D'Quell Jackson, who can run laterally across the field, provide backside pursuit or even simply take on blockers without being plastered to the turf. The defense also cannot - for the eighth year running - pressure the quarterback or maintain quality coverage down the field.
Which brings me to this...
In case you haven't noticed,
the Browns are rebuilding...again.
And you also probably have grasped the idea that the Browns are indeed the worst team in the league. And yet, this was probably the plan all along, since our new architect is basically tearing the team down in order to build it back up again.
And in the most blindingly optimistic manner I can possibly assume, I agree that this process, however destructive, depressing and hateful it may be, is the most necessary thing our franchise needs. Obviously, the results of this total makeover will not be seen for years - in fact, the entire process is now entering its eleventh year....and just wait until it's finished - but unfortunately, this is the reality of the situation.
And the reality is Eric Mangini has inherited the most difficult construction job in the NFL. Although it is incredibly doubtful that Eric Mangini is the type of architect who would pick and choose from the best parts of other buildings, let's hope he saw something of a blueprint while watching the Ravens dominate his team this afternoon.
Without even mentioning the Ravens defense, which is brutal in terms of planning and execution, the offense that torched the Browns for over 400 yards offers plenty of material to begin with. For example, the Ravens don't have an abundance of premier offensive talent, but they do feature the basic tenants of a successful, consistent attack.
Baltimore has a strong, but not dominating offensive line, which helps to enhance the team's three effective runners. All three backs can run long and short, can catch and most importantly, are skilled blockers. The tight end consistently stretches the field and the wideouts are usually reliable playmakers. Led by a smart, decisive, athletically gifted quarterback, the Ravens have essentially become a model of offensive consistency. Throw in smart playcalling and some occasional well-placed creativity, and the Ravens have a chance to win every Sunday.
And considering that we are a lump of clay right now, in so many respects, it almost seems laughable to compare ourselves to a likely playoff contender. However, since we are again muddling in the depths of despair - something that I have now fully realized - this team has to start somewhere. And if the Browns are going to continue to get pummeled throughout the season, the least we can do is hope that one day our franchise can emulate the strengths of these teams that are blowing us out on a weekly basis.
Since this is the down that the Browns usually punt, I will do the same and again repeat my all too familiar Sunday evening mantra, which states that for the rest of the evening, I refuse to think about the Browns.
Sep 26, 2009 7:00 PM
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