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Falcons' Pass Defense Gives Browns a Chance

It's a nice, warm November Friday here in Cleveland. Two weeks from today, all of us will be at the stores already, shopping for the best deals of the season, right? Maybe that Friday wouldn't be so black if the Browns could get their act together with a win over the Atlanta Falcons and the Pittsburgh Steelers before then. Here are some news tidbits regarding the Browns:

  1. Linebacker Willie McGinest was in the Browns locker room by the media on Friday, a sure sign that he's going to play this Sunday against the Falcons. Although he hasn't made the type of impact we envisioned when the Browns signed him, he's still clearly a player than can help the Browns in certain situations, as well as the veteran presence he brings to the table.
  2. Cornerback Daven Holly is still questionable for this week's game, but he's almost certain to have a roster spot on the Browns next year. The Browns will have to make decisions on Gary Baxter and Daylon McCutcheon after this season, and if the Browns choose to get rid of one or both of them, Holly will be next in line as a starter or primary nickel back. Holly credits the success of the secondary to defensive backs coach Mel Tucker Jr., who does indeed deserve a lot of credit for getting his guys to never allowing the big play.
  3. Remember rookie cornerback DeMario Minter? Although he's still on the PUP list, he had his first full-speed practice on Wednesday since his knee surgery before training camp. According to Crennel, Minter "looked like he was out of shape".
  4. Maybe Kellen Winslow needs to recheck his question on "the best tight end in the league" again. Alge Crumpler, the Falcons starting tight end, is on pace for his best season ever. He currently has six touchdowns and is averaging 14.3 yards a catch.
  5. Roger Brown of the Plain Dealer believes that the next two in line of Maurice Carthon to be gone following this season will be tight ends coach Ben Coates and running backs coach Dave Atkins. People hate Roger Brown, but I think we'll all miss reading his columns when he's gone.
  6. The Browns have faced two teams with major weaknesses on defense this season, and have won both of them. Those wins came against the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders, teams with horrible run defenses. So, how will the Browns fair against a team with a horrible pass defense? The Falcons are currently ranked 31st in the league in that category, and are giving up about 333 yards passing on average over their past three games. The Falcons also have numerous defensive questions after injuries to Kevin Mathis, John Abraham, and Ed Hartwell. The Falcons are a team anyone can pull an upset on, but the Browns would have to do something positive against Warrick Dunn to have any chance.
I'm going to try and have the game-day preview online on Saturday night this week.