I know Browns fans might not want to hear this, because they’re probably not enjoying all the losing, but I really think this team is on the right track.
Eric Mangini and his staff coach this team very well. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is doing a nice job working with what he has. I know the defense plays well, and plays hard, under coordinator Rob Ryan.
I was on hand to call the Browns against the Falcons in Week 5. The Falcons did go up and down the field, but the Browns made it difficult on them. The Falcons had some very long drives, including back to back 12- and 14-play drives, but couldn’t get in the end zone. The Falcons got six points out of those drives, and then had a field goal blocked on the ensuing drive. I love the way the Browns fight on defense.
Josh Cribbs, of course, is a playmaker. And Peyton Hillis has become a HUGE fan favorite, because his style of play embodies what the city of Cleveland is all about — that gritty, tough, never-give-up attitude. Cleveland loves the way Hillis plays. I feel like Hillis running over people is more fun for Browns fans to watch than scoring touchdowns. It’s how Cleveland likes it, and Hillis fits that persona perfectly.
The quarterback position is the one that has to get the most attention after the season. Jake Delhomme is the near the end of his career and is hurt again. Is Colt McCoy the answer? Do the Browns have to go get someone else?
Seneca Wallace played very well in the first half against the Falcons before getting hurt. If he’s healthy, Wallace gives the Browns the best chance to win this season. He’s mobile, he’s pretty accurate with the ball and the offense seems to flow better with him in the game.
Offensively, the Browns just can’t close the deal. They’re a ground-and-pound team, but they can’t finish teams off through the air. There isn’t much production on the outside, and tight end Ben Watson and Hillis are the top two receivers. The Browns haven’t been able to stretch the coverages of opposing defenses.
I get that Mangini has Mike Holmgren looming overhead, and it very well might be true he is a lame duck coach, but he and his staff are coaching very well. I’m bullish on the Browns eventually getting back to being a good football program under Holmgren and Mangini.
– Charles Davis