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View Full Version : Kirwan- Browns can go 9-7 and be "better"


tony hipchest
08-04-2008, 09:38 PM
to show kirwan doesnt have a steelers bias, he says some positive things about the browns. of course he wouldnt be a good analyst if he didnt analyze potential areas of weakness. most of this is stuff we, the most knowledgable fanbase of the nfl (his words, not mine :chuckle: ), already know-

http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d809ae9ba&template=with-video&confirm=true

Even with all the positives the Browns have going, there's a chance the team could go 9-7 and actually be a better than a year ago.

...

Here are some issues that have to be resolved for the Browns to meet their expectations:

1. Can the pass rush produce?
Kamerion Wimbley has to at least regain his 2006 form as an edge rusher and probably needs to get in the neighborhood of 12 sacks. Having Corey Williams on the opposite side will help, but in the end, Wimbley needs another presence. Outside backer Antwan Peek might have been the answer, but he had arthroscopic knee surgery to remove a piece of cartilage recently and is expected to miss the preseason. With Shaun Rogers on the nose and also working in the nickel package, there will be opportunities to blitz the inside linebackers much like the Steelers do. The Browns need the pressure to help the young corners on the field. The group will be better, but consistency is important.

2. Can Jamal Lewis deliver again?
Lewis came to Cleveland last year on a one-year deal and was a dominating runner. He got a big contract and came back even hungrier this year. He built a big sand pit at his home in Atlanta and worked extremely hard. He looks lighter and more powerful this season. I would be surprised if he didn't rush for more than 1,200 yards and add another 300 yards receiving. If he goes down with an injury, the Browns like Jason Wright and Jerome Harrison, but there would be a significant dropoff.

3. How do the Browns replace Leigh Bodden?
Bodden was part of the trade that sent Rogers to Cleveland and he has to be replaced. Eric Wright shined as a rookie last year and is on the verge of being a star. On the other side, Brandon McDonald is the current starter but that isn't a lock until he shows the organization he can do it every down. I think the Browns will continue to look for a trade to bring in another corner, especially one who can help with matchups against the taller receivers they defend. The nickel back right now is Terry Cousin, but that could change over the next month.


4. Will the Browns get any new contracts done?
The Browns have enough cap space left to do a contract extension or two this summer or fall. Kellen Winslow told me he has put his contract issues aside for the season and is focused on football only. I don't anticipate a new contract for Winslow during the preseason or regular season. Safety Sean Jones is in his contract year and has the size and numbers to warrant a new deal. I get the feeling the Browns will wait this one out until they see more from Jones, especially since the market for premiere safeties could be upwards of $6 million a year. Braylon Edwards could also be a candidate for a new deal, but there wasn't much talk about anything pending. At this point, it looks like there will not be any new contracts before the midseason mark, if there are any at all.

5. Who is the third receiver?
Joe Jurevicius is still out with an injury, and it may be a while before he returns. There's some question where he'll be back at all. Cleveland has to find and develop the third wide out for this offense. Although Kevin Kasper had the early lead, he's been nursing a hamstring injury. Josh Cribbs is an intriguing candidate, but how much do the Browns want to risk the great returner? Cribbs told me he wants in on the competition and figures the coaches will build a package for him. I suspect the coaches will develop a "Steve Smith" kind of series of plays for Cribbs. The next option is third-year wide receiver Travis Wilson. He got a vote of confidence from one front office executive, and Derek Anderson had nice things to say about his development. If there was a game tomorrow, I think the Browns might put Martin Rucker at tight end and work Winslow as the third receiver. That package might give Anderson the best set of weapons in a two-minute drill.

9-5
08-05-2008, 02:07 AM
Easy stuff.

1: Yes
2: Yes
3: With E-Wright and B-Mac.
4: Not until next offseason
5: Looks like Travis Wilson, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Martin Rucker and/or Josh Cribbs as well.

Galax Steeler
08-05-2008, 05:01 AM
Easy stuff.

1: Yes
2: Yes
3: With E-Wright and B-Mac.
4: Not until next offseason
5: Looks like Travis Wilson, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Martin Rucker and/or Josh Cribbs as well.

1: dream on
2: dream on
3: dream on

xfl2001fan
08-05-2008, 07:12 AM
1: dream on
2: dream on
3: dream on

1. The pass rush can produce. Will it on a consistent basis, that's to be seen. That depends on how our two new acquisitions this offseason work out, but all reports from TC are extremely positive.

2. With our offensive line and a motivated J-lew, why not?

3. They're young and athletic. They've got experienced safeties behind them. They've got a Pro's Pro in Terry Cousin playing the Nickel for us. Gary Baxter is out there making serious progress coming back. While he won't be a threat as a CB (he's a backup safety at this time) he can still help progress the learning of our young corners and blossoming safeties.

revefsreleets
08-05-2008, 11:17 AM
Hmmmmm, where I have I heard/ (cough cough typed) this before?

-Jamal Lewis will be fine, but there is a SERIOUS drop-off in talent after that.
-Anderson is being given a pass here, but...well, there are a lot of "but's" about him
-There is no way McDonald can replace Bodden
-There is also a big drop-off from Edwards and Stallworth to their 3rd. Losing Jurevicius hurts bad.

7-9 to 9-7 is where I see this team, and no better. The schedule will bite them, and that secondary is just not gonna be able to hold up against all the pass-happy teams it will face.

j-dawg
08-05-2008, 11:25 AM
Hmmmmm, where I have I heard/ (cough cough typed) this before?

-Jamal Lewis will be fine, but there is a SERIOUS drop-off in talent after that.
-Anderson is being given a pass here, but...well, there are a lot of "but's" about him
-There is no way McDonald can replace Bodden
-There is also a big drop-off from Edwards and Stallworth to their 3rd. Losing Jurevicius hurts bad.

7-9 to 9-7 is where I see this team, and no better. The schedule will bite them, and that secondary is just not gonna be able to hold up against all the pass-happy teams it will face.

:coffee: so you're saying some key injuries would make things difficult... like that isn't the most obvious statement ever written about a sports team. :flap:

revefsreleets
08-05-2008, 11:32 AM
I'm saying if you are planning on winning the division, you better field a little deeper team then the one you currently have. Kirwan is right, though...if the Browns go 9-7 that's a very successful campaign.....for them.

xfl2001fan
08-05-2008, 11:54 AM
Every team has depth issues somewhere. Our most discussed is our CBs and after that, (potentially) our HBs.

Nobody really knows how our HBs would play out if they had to be starters. There was this guy that used to play for the Ravens (a few years ago) that was a backup for quite some time. He turned into a pretty good HB for the KC Chiefs. Then, I believe, he was replaced by a guy by the name of Larry Johnson (due to injuries.) Something like that.

I'm not saying our guys are there, but we don't know where they are in terms of further development. Until the put the pads on and play on a consistent basis, it's hard to read how well they'll do.

Our secondary was playing better (for the most part) as the season progressed last season. How much they've progressed/matured this past offseason will determine how well (or poorly) they'll play this season.

Til we hit the field, it's all speculation.

I hope the Browns are planning on winning the division. What kind of professional football team would they be if they didn't believe they couldn't do it this year? There is a lot of talent on our team capable of doing a lot of good things. Every team has a weakness and every team (pretty much) knows what all of those weaknesses are. It's a matter of who is going to excecute/exploit the best.

revefsreleets
08-05-2008, 12:30 PM
Well, just to be clear, I am also questioning your QB and your DL, just so as not to have my posts taken COMPLETELY out of context (via j-dawg who tried to dumb it down as much as possible). So, to sum up, I question:

The schedule you play
Your starting QB
Your DL
Your depth at RB (unless you are planning on playing JL every single down this year)
Your entire secondary

That's some reason for concern, I think. Now, for my team? I question:
The offensive line.

RoethlisBURGHer
08-05-2008, 05:49 PM
Hey, I like Brandon McDonald! I think he has all the tools to be a fine #2 CB, he just needs to show he can consistantly make good desicions in a game on a play-by-play basis. He was very good last year when he got on the field.

xfl2001fan
08-05-2008, 06:43 PM
Well, just to be clear, I am also questioning your QB and your DL,

I know, but that's why I said most discussed. Though I could easily replace HB with DL (and probably should.)

just so as not to have my posts taken COMPLETELY out of context (via j-dawg who tried to dumb it down as much as possible). So, to sum up, I question:

The schedule you play
Your starting QB
Your DL
Your depth at RB (unless you are planning on playing JL every single down this year)
Your entire secondary

That's some reason for concern, I think. Now, for my team? I question:
The offensive line.

I would expect for you to question the Browns more so than your own team. Especially when we consider the site we're on.

I'm curious as to why you wouldn't question your own schedule, the hardest in the NFL.

Depth at RB is really only an issue if JL gets hurt. I think about guys like Turner (behind LT) and other HBs in similar situations. They tend to play better because defenses rest on their haunches when the backups come in. I'm more concerned with depth at WR than I am at HB at this time.

j-dawg
08-05-2008, 08:13 PM
Well, just to be clear, I am also questioning your QB and your DL, just so as not to have my posts taken COMPLETELY out of context (via j-dawg who tried to dumb it down as much as possible). So, to sum up, I question:

The schedule you play
Your starting QB
Your DL
Your depth at RB (unless you are planning on playing JL every single down this year)
Your entire secondary

That's some reason for concern, I think. Now, for my team? I question:
The offensive line.

:noidea: i don't think i dumbed it down, the things you question are grounded in your dislike of the Browns... i get it... wouldn't expect anything less. as a Browns fan, my only concern right now is cornerback.... Pool and Jones are part of the secondary, do you really "question" their ability?

just to flip it on you, and i write this with the full knowledge it will be torn apart, again, because it's a Steelers board and i respect that.

The schedule of play for your team is difficult as well.
The offensive line.
The ability to run because of that.
The ability to pass protect.
The overall ability to score...

i think just saying the offensive line kinda dumbs down the problem.

revefsreleets
08-05-2008, 08:19 PM
As a perennial winning team who routinely play in big games, the Steelers will be fine on the national platform...it's old hat for them. The fact is, the Browns are this years "sweetheart pick", and THAT should scare you more than anything, because those are the teams that start believing their own pub and fall flat on their faces.

And JL can't carry the load alone...you have no Mike Turner's on your team, either.

And I LOVE the Browns! What other team offers up two W's a year? It's like starting out 2-0 automatically...

j-dawg
08-05-2008, 08:27 PM
As a perennial winning team who routinely play in big games, the Steelers will be fine on the national platform...it's old hat for them. The fact is, the Browns are this years "sweetheart pick", and THAT should scare you more than anything, because those are the teams that start believing their own pub and fall flat on their faces.

And JL can't carry the load alone...you have no Mike Turner's on your team, either.

And I LOVE the Browns! What other team offers up two W's a year? It's like starting out 2-0 automatically...

:chuckle: you got a point on the sweetheart pick, but this team has enough veteran leadership who've been in the limelight to keep the younger folks in check.

i have a feeling you won't be loving the Browns as much this year though.

tony hipchest
08-05-2008, 09:34 PM
:noidea: i don't think i dumbed it down, the things you question are grounded in your dislike of the Browns... i get it... wouldn't expect anything less. as a Browns fan, my only concern right now is cornerback.... Pool and Jones are part of the secondary, do you really "question" their ability?

just to flip it on you, and i write this with the full knowledge it will be torn apart, again, because it's a Steelers board and i respect that.

The schedule of play for your team is difficult as well.
The offensive line.
The ability to run because of that.
The ability to pass protect.
The overall ability to score...

i think just saying the offensive line kinda dumbs down the problem.and just to address what you expect to get torn down anyways-

steelers with a supposedly horrible offensive line as compared to the browns world beaters were still 9th in the league in scoring to the browns 8th. despite being sacked so much, ben was 2nd in passer rating and 3rd in td passes (behind tom brady). despite the horrible line willie parker was leading the league in rushing up until week 16. going by najehs success against the rams, its fair to say willie woulda continued piling on those stats and rested the final week of the season.

so those problems that concern you have been addresed and are really no problem at all, as far as steeler offensive production is concerned. the steelers offense as a whole got better and younger.

i love how everyone wants to dismiss a unit under a whole new scheme and coaches. familiarity will solve alot of problems new people cant.