Monday night was awesome.
Zero punts. A ton of yards. Clock-devouring drives. 35 points. What contributed to our offense? Are we back to where we were a year ago? Here are some things I saw that I loved on Monday:
-Jerome Harrison. He got the ball several times. He got big chunks of yardage. He even was in on several special teams tackles.
-Moving Jerome Harrison TO or FROM the wide receiver position. I have been looking for this for weeks. His versatility is huge, and because he can make explosive plays happen anytime he gets the ball, opposing defenses look for him. He can be part of a personnel package that really makes the opposing D guess if we are running or passing. The substitution packages that are so popular now are limited if we use these types of pieces. Speaking of...
-Steve Heiden. He blocked well (taking out Justin Tuck on a key Jamal Lewis run comes to mind). He caught the ball. We flexed him in to the slot. We put him in...
-Motion. The Browns' offense was practically based on motion and formation shifts last year. We got back to it tonight, confusing NY, and using our role players and their versatility.
-Stallworth. He was in motion a LOT. I hope the motion and shifts were a function of getting Donte back, and not having 2 weeks to prepare (meaning that the motion will continue). I also hope he doesn't miss more games. I am OK with Steptoe as our 3rd WR. I would love it if he barely broke in to the top 4. Having a legit WR opposite Braylon appeared to help. He also blocked surprisingly well.
-Our offensive line is really good. Tucker=huge. If Joe Thomas isn't the best LT in the NFL, I don't know who is.
-Jamal Lewis repeatedly running through 5+ guys to run out the clock. Gotta give a lot of credit to the Oline, but Jamal was looking quite nimble for being 29ish and 230+ lbs.
-The WIldCribbs package. The read-option worked really well once. We need to continue using him in multiple ways.
-Overcoming penalties. We had FAR too many flags. Thankfully, they were for not much yardage and we were able to make plays to overcome them.
-Shaun Rogers. I could clearly tell when he was in the game versus when he wasn't. I could not clearly see his number due to my crappy DVR.
-The healthy members of our starting secondary and Dline. I don't know if Corey Williams just needed to talk a little bit to get himself fired up, but he actually did some positive things tonight which has not been the case in other games. Wright clearly had a good game, Pool had a nice pick, McDonald continues his great play. Our depth in both of these areas is not good. Mike Adams was so-so and I think we could replace him with a late-round pick. Daniels and Cousin didn't look too hot. Sorensen looked ok. Louis Lenoard and Rubin didn't show me anything.
-The re-emergence of Good Derek and the DA to Braylon connection. He took some risks, and maybe a throw or two of his should have been picked off. He made up for it, however, by being agressive down the field and connecting on deep passes. He got the "reward" part of the equation to go along with his "risk" tonight. Braylon only missed one pass, and it was a zinger. He also made big plays. BIG plays. I honestly don't care if these guys don't have the highest completion %, as long as they capitalize on valuble opportunities and big plays. Derek could have been 2/30 with Braylon dropping 8 passes against pitt, but if those 2 were for 150+yds and TDs, we win that game. I'd feel a lot better about games with 2 or 3 INTs if they were also games with 4 or 5 TDs. I still would like to see Quinn at some point (garbage time if DA continues this), but DA is driving up his worth to us or someone else and I am fine with that for now.
I'll save the negative for another time. Imagine the Browns with Shaun Smith, Robaire Smith, Kellen Winslow, Martin Rucker, Sean Jones, etc. all back...
Is our offense officially "back"?
Absolutely. (2 votes)
For the most part. (6 votes)
No, not close to last year. (0 votes)
I am holding out until I see another game. (20 votes)
28 total votes