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Browns 2011 Preview: Optimism vs. Skepticism

Last year we previewed the 2010 season from a optimistic and pessimistic viewpoint. There have been many changes throughout the browns organization, all which will have considerable effects on the product that is exhibited on the field, if they get a chance that is. Today we're going to look at the upcoming season from both sides of the spectrum...

QB

Colt-mccoy_medium

Colt using telekinesis to improve his throw distance 

 

 

Optimist:

McCoy, one of the most successful and celebrated QB's in NCAA history, is entering his second year as an NFL QB. He has shown great leadership skills in his first year, and has seen some success. He lead the team to victories against New England and New Orleans, two of the best teams in the league last year. He ran the offense effectively and has shown some potential. His stats weren't too far off of those from Josh Freeman's rookie year, who was one of the best QB's in the league last year.

Pessimist:

When it boils down to it, Colt is still a third round QB. He's short, weak armed, and has to learn and entirely new system which kinda makes him a rookie again. Last year he had 2 good games, 3 games where he was irrelevant and 3 games where he sucked hard. And any time a QB is irrelevant, that essentially means he sucked. 

My Stance: Pessimistic. I would have to be proven otherwise in this situation, because Colt had an almost mirror year of Brady Quinn. Colt has many hurdles to overcome: his size, arm strength, crappy WRs and now a completely new system. It's a positive we have some serviceable backups.

 

RB

Peyton-hillis_medium

Even Alex Mack is scared.

 

 

Optimist:

Killis was amongst the leagues best in YPC and touchdowns. Montario Hardesty is coming off injury so will be able to take a tremendous load off Killis. Vickers may or may not be back, but regardless the team picked up arguably the best FB in the draft to plow a hole for whoever has the ball, and he can also catch out of the backfield.

Pessimist

Hillis wore down during the year, and became ineffective later in the year. Only averaged 75 YPG, and had a severe case of fumblitis. No one expects him to have the same production as he did last year, and if Hardesty gets injured again his playing style won't allow him to dominate in the second half of the year. Fan expectations for Hardesty are too high for the fact that he's done nothing so far in the NFL. Mike Bell sucks.

My view: Pessimistic

I really don't think Hillis is nearly as effective this year, and I don't have any high hopes for Montario. 

 

WR

Mohamed_massaquoi_cleveland_browns_v_tampa_a_n6-y43y9gl_medium

In predicting MoMass's production, Shurmur will have him work out with CBs in training camp

 

 

Optimist:

Another year, another year of experience. With Robo and MoMass now having another year of experience, it ups the chance of them having a breakout year. Heckert added Little to the group, a player who had a productive year before his suspension. Carlton Michell has another year under his belt and Watson lead the team in yards last year. The rest of the TE group produced when it was necessary.

Pessimist:

Lets be real here. The WRs on this team are horrible. Robo and MoMass combine for a one-two punch of mediocracy. Greg Little is a bust waiting to happen with the hype he's been receiving around here. He has the ability to make spectacular catches I admit, he doesn't have the ability to separate, and his route running is atrocious. Played more as a gimmick for North Carolina than a true WR. Carlton Michell embarrassed himself every time he got on the field in the pre-season of last year, and didn't show anything during the season in the little opportunity he was afforded.  Watson will be turning 31 and I've shown as much ability to play TE in the NFL as Jordan Cameron has.

My View: EXTREMELY pessimistic

Greg Little is a hot head, loud mouth and doesn't have much class and played as a WR for one year in his entire life. I personally don't judge players on attiitude, but anyone justifying his behavior shouldn't judge Braylon Edwards because they both carry the same demeanor. Not much has to be said about Mass and Robo, probably was the worst starting WRs in the league, tied with Carolina at least. 

 

Offensive Line

Joe-thomas-inside_medium

Patty cake, patty cake.....

 

 

Optimist

There is nothing else that has to be said about Joe Thomas. Alex Mack is still learning and doing a great job, Steinbach didn't suck last year as much as he did in '09, and Pashos is coming off injury and couldn't be worse than what was placed at RT last year. 

Pessimist

The front office actually contemplated placing a wooden door on the right side of the line, as the time it takes to turn a knob is shorter than the time it took to bullrush the players who held the right side down last year. No intriguing line prospects were added from the draft, and Lauvao didn't impress.

My Stance: Optimistic

The ride side can't be worst than last year at least. Not a fan of Pashos or Lauvao but I expect them to be better at minimum.

 

Defensive Line

Phil-taylor_medium

...about this long................with pickles, tomatoes and mustard. 

 

Optimist

Ahtyba Rubin led the league in tackles amongst defensive linemen. Phil Taylor was drafted in the first round of the draft, giving our interior line 700 pounds of meat. Depending on who helms the DE positions, we have players who played in the 4-3 scheme on other teams or in college. 

Pessimist

Line went from a 3 man front to a 4 man, and we may not have the players necessary to run it effectively. Got rid of Rogers, who thrived in the 4-3 in Detroit, and even though they may be good at the run, neither Rubin or Taylor are good pass rushers. Taylor was a 4th round talent who was taken in the first because of a lack of heavy DT's in the draft. It's nice to have a young DE in Sheard, but his impact is unknown. People question the need of another huge DT in our scheme, and other than Sheard the DE prospects look sickening unless someone is acquired in FA

My Stance - Pessimistic

The line will consist of 2 rookies plus either Jayme Michell or Matt Roth. May grow to be good in the future, but can't expect much this year.

 

Linebackers

Dqwell-jacksonjpg-62bd0bc97a738b1c_medium

I want THAT hospital bed!

 

 

Optimist

Scott Fuijita came on the team and made an immediate impact. Even though he wasn't much of a pass rusher, he was the most experienced of the group and was the leader of the defense. Jackson is coming off injury and would probably be a better middle linebacker in the 4-3 than 3-4, and Gocong played in a 4-3 in Philly.

Pessimist

Being the best player on a bad team doesn't make you a good player. Fujita played in the 4-3 with the Saints, but his biggest downfall by the NO fans was said to be his liability in coverage. Q'qwell can stay out of an ambulance, and Gocong isn't anything special by any means. Group also lacks depth.

My Stance: Optimistic

The group isn't great by any stretch of the imagination, but they aren't horrible either. Would have liked to pick up a nice prospect in the draft. If the line plays well, the group shouldn't have trouble doing their job.

 

Secondary

Joe-haden-varejao-crowjpg-1974c9df5f0bcc36_medium

 

Optimist

Joe Haden had a solid rookie season, and so did TJ Ward. With a year under their belt, they should step their game up considerably next year. Sheldon Brown was great at what he was supposed to do, play nickel mentor the young'ns. Picked up Skrine in the draft and even though he wasn't anything special in college, adds some incredible speed in the secondary.

Pessimist

TJ Ward played well in the beginning of the year, but became invisible near the end. Haden had an overrated season. Many of his picks were garbage picks from mistakes by the QB, hail maries at the end of the game, or being at the right place at the right time. Elam still sucks and Sheldon Brown is getting old. Eric Wright regressed and played pee-wee football last year. 

My Stance: Optimistic

Don't think Haden will ever be a dominating CB, but solid enough and with good pieces the secondary could be effective. Need to pick up a safety in FA. Eric Wright isn't as bad as the flip floppers make him seem. I think he was put in some bad situations

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