clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Player Recap from Second Preseason Game

New, comments
  1 2 3 4 Final
Detroit Lions 0 10 6 0 16
Cleveland Browns 7 3 0 10 20
It always feels good to get a win under your belt, even if it is the preseason. The Browns defeated the Lions 20-16 Friday night, which was somewhat close to my prediction of 14-12. Most of us were very much pleased with what we saw against the Lions compared to last week's game against the Eagles, but there are still plenty of things to work on. With our more aggressive offensive style came several turnovers, but our defense picked up right where it left off last week.
Quarterbacks:
  • Charlie Frye: Last week, the offense was very conservative, and we knew we would have the chance to see Frye for a quarter and some change this week. Unfortunately, in that expanded playing time, we saw Frye throw an interception to Dre Bly and get stripped for a lost fumble. Although the interception was a bad read, Frye definitely knows how to evade defenders and still make a play out of nothing. He seems to be a little too focused on Dennis Northcutt though; I'd like to see him take a shot at Joe Jurevicius once or twice.
  • Ken Dorsey: Overall, our backup quarterbacks appeared much better than last week, simply because they were able to throw the ball more. Dorsey had two throws that were absolutely awful, including a rocket pass that was behind Lawrence Vickers on a slant. Not only is it risky running a slant with a fullback, but if you're going to run it, you better put the ball right between the numbers. Besides that play, he managed short passing game fairly well again. He can step in a game for a play or two, but he won't win us a game.
  • Derek Anderson: Like Dorsey, Anderson also looked better this week. He still threw the ball without a lot of touch though, and his botched handoff to Lee Suggs gave the momentum right back to the Lions after we were about to take control.
  • Darrell Hackney: I know he has his fans, but as a fifth-string quarterback, you're only going to get a play or two in the preseason to show off. Unfortunately for Hackney, both of his throws weren't the greatest, and he'll probably be in our first batch of cuts.
  • Grade: The quarterback unit earned a C+ last night, compared to a D from last week. The turnovers prevented a higher grade, but we managed the offense well on the night and had an outstanding completion percentage on third downs.
Running Backs:
  • Reuben Droughns: For the second week in a row, Droughns ran the ball very well. He knows how to get through a hole and bounce to the outside when appropriate. This isn't the worn-down Droughns we saw at the end of last year, and the only way to keep him fresh is to make sure we have a solid third-down running back.
  • William Green: Two carries for two yards. Well, I guess it's an improvement from last week.
  • Lee Suggs: The stats won't show it, but Suggs had two really nice carries where he slipped from a defender or spun around to pick up five extra yards. I realize that we still may be showcasing Suggs, but as far as a backup to Droughns goes, Suggs is leaps and bounds ahead of Green.
  • Jerome Harrison: After not carrying the ball last week, Harrison found his success on the ground and through the air against the Lions. He made quick decisions on the draw play and seemed to pick up at least nine yards every time. He ran the screen plays fairly well, and the only issue he had was stepping out of bounds twice, when he could've stayed in and gained an extra five yards each time.
  • Grade: The running backs' unit earned a B+ last night, compared to a D+ last week. Besides Green, the rest of our running backs ran the ball with great vision.
Wide Receivers:
  • Joe Jurevicius: The only time I saw him involved in a play was when he was blocking downfield. Besides that, it was a very quiet night for the possession receiver, who didn't even have a ball thrown his way.
  • Dennis Northcutt: Frye continues to try and force the ball to Northcutt, and this week it cost him with an interception. However, he showed nice concentration on the touchdown pass on a play I would expect from our slot receiver. That's what Northcutt is suited for, so hopefully we'll see that when Braylon Edwards is healthy.
  • Frisman Jackson: Once again, it was a quiet night for Jackson. On one throw from Dorsey though, he should have come back for the ball and recorded the first down instead of trying to do something more. He should have known better for being a veteran.
  • Josh Cribbs: He got the wind knocked out of him somehow after his punt return, so I don't think he saw any action as a receiver after that.
  • Brandon Rideau: For the past couple of weeks, I've written off Rideau due to a bad camp and dropping a wide open pass last week. He made two short catches by the sideline last night, but I'll need to see a lot more than that to restore faith in him.
  • Travis Wilson: The playbook really hasn't been expanded for the rookie receiver yet, but when the ball has been thrown his direction, he's snagging the ball out of the air and securing it properly. It'd be nice to see him moved up the depth chart next week and be involved in a few more plays.
  • Grade: The wide receivers' unit earned a C-, the same as last week. We saw receivers have some more opportunities to make a play on the ball today, but there weren't any catch-and-runs or deep balls thrown to test man coverage down the field.
Tight Ends:
  • Kellen Winslow: Take a look at both of Winslow's catches from Dorsey over and over again. Those are just small examples of what we'll be seeing all year from the talented tight end, and one of those times, he's going to break that tackle for six.
  • Steve Heiden: It seems a little weird when Heiden makes a catch, because you sort of forget he's on the team since our offense has three new weapons in a way (Winslow, Edwards, Jurevicius). Hopefully, that'll be the case for opposing defenses down near the red zone.
  • Grade: The tight ends' unit gets a C+, compared to a C from last week. The playbook was expanded slightly for Winslow, but once again, the overall group was simply slightly better than average.
Offensive Line:
  • Ross Tucker: For some reason, after the failure of Jeff Faine the past few years, any of the centers we've brought in (injured or not) don't look any worse than he ever did. Besides the low snap on the touchdown play, Tucker blocked well and played like we didn't have a problem at the center position. The penalty called on him was horrid though, and shouldn't be of any concern for the future.
  • Kirk Chambers: He still need to improve greatly, and the fact that he's starting due to Ryan Tucker being out means we lack depth on the offensive line. He'll be serviceable during the regular season if needed, but for Frye's sake, let's hope Tucker is good-to-go Week 1.
  • Dave Yovanivits: If you can play several positions on an offensive line, including the center position with our sorry state, you'll find a roster spot on the team. The Browns were definitely weighing their options with Yovanivits playing center for a small portion of the game.
  • Kevin Shaffer: So far, he's been bashed by fans for allowing his man to beat him several times. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't see a glaring weakness in Shaffer, even after watching the game again. Remember, just because he's a free-agent pickup doesn't mean he's going to dominate at his position.
  • Grade: The offensive line unit earned a C-, compared to a D last week. Frye was still pressured a couple of times, but there even our backup quarterbacks had time to throw when they were sacked. The line blocked well for the run game, but the thing that prevented a higher rating were the penalties called on screen plays.
Defensive Line:
  • Ted Washington: The Lions were absolutely stuffed on the run when Washington was in the game.
  • Orpheous Roye: On the left side of my screen, I saw the huge Ted Washington chasing down a run play. Then, out of no where, Roye shot through a crowd and absolutely bulldozed the running back. There's a reason he's been our most consistent defensive player over the years, and he'll only benefit from Washington's presence.
  • Babatunde Oshinowo: He had a sack for the second week in a row against Josh McCown. You may say that it's against third-stringers, but it's not a coincidence that he is the one sacking people, rather than guys like Ethan Kelley or Darrell Campbell.
  • Darrell Campbell: Speaking of Campbell, on a play late in the game, he fell down when the quarterback was in the backfield still. When McCown starting to run, Campbell barely got up, and made a horrible effort of trying to get back in the play.
  • Grade: The defensive line's unit earned a B-, compared to a C+ from last week. The Lions running game was shut down early, but without Washington in the game for the second half, the Lions had three straight running plays where they ran for big gains up the gut.
Linebackers:
  • Kamerion Wimbley: So far, the pass rush that Wimbley put on Jeff Backus is the play of the preseason for the Browns. I watched the play about ten times, because it's something I'm shocked to see in a Browns uniform. Usually, it's our linemen that are getting beat like that. Wimbley started the play lined up as a linebacker, and slyly snuck down as a pass rusher on the end.
  • D'Qwell Jackson: Of the rookie linebackers last week, Jackson was the quiet one. He changed that against the Lions, as he recorded an interception and forced a fumble. It's tough to say whether or not he should start ahead of Chaun Thompson to begin the season though, due to Thompson's experience.
  • David McMillian: It's too bad McMillian didn't turn see the dud that was thrown in the air, because he would have had a for-sure interception. He didn't record a sack this week, but he quietly pressured the quarterback around the edge on numerous occasions. It's a shame he didn't get more playing time last year.
  • Grade: The linebackers earned a B+, compared to a B from last week. Our rookies made the best plays defensively of the game, and we also flushed the quarterback to the sideline, forcing him to throw it out of bounds several times. Defending screen plays still needs to be worked on.
Secondary:
  • Leigh Bodden: I can't believe people were questioning Bodden's ability as a starter heading into training camp. He shut down the top receivers last year and is even more polished in the preseason. The quarterbacks aren't even throwing towards his direction on plays more than five yards. Bodden also shot through a crowd of people and tackled the running back in the backfield.
  • Pete Hunter: Hunter redeemed himself a little this week, but that's obvious since he didn't get beat. He made a nice deflection on an outside blitz later in the game.
  • Ralph Brown: He got the start, and missed an interception. He allowed a big play to Roy Williams, but he wasn't burned nearly as bad as Hunter was a week ago. Williams out muscled him on the play and adjusted nicely to the football. The ball hung up their long enough, meaning...
  • Brian Russell: ...should have gone for the football instead of the big hit in this case. Granted, I'm thrilled that he drilled Williams, but if he had his head towards the football, he could've broken the play up since it was under thrown somewhat.
  • Sean Jones: Finally, Sean Jones made a play worthy of mentioning on a safety blitz where he almost caused an interception. He looks to be a little ahead of Brodney Pool at this point, just like Crennel said.
  • Daven Holley: I'm glad that we got to see him pump his fist for the second week in a row after making a tackle.
  • Grade: The secondary unit receives a C-, which is down from a C last week. Brown did a little better than Hunter did in the starting role, but he still gave up the big play. None of our backup cornerbacks stood out though, which isn't a good sign since Gary Baxter and Daylon McCutcheon aren't ready yet.
Special Teams:
  • Phil Dawson: The wind was blowing, but it was nice to see Dawson's kicks heading a few yards deep into the end zone on a couple of kickoffs.
  • Josh Cribbs, Kendrick Mosley: Both players knew where to go based on their abilities. Cribbs relied more on speed, while Mosley relied on shiftiness with his blockers.
  • Kyle Basler: Basler blew it last week, but I'll give him his credit this week - he didn't shank anything.
  • Yuck: I'm sick of penalties on punt return touchdowns.
  • Grade: Last week, the special teams didn't play enough to warrant a grade. I still don't know how to grade the unit, since in reality, it involved several different positions. Instead of a grade, I'll say that everything was solid with the exception of the penalties on Cribbs' return. We had outstanding coverage on our punts.
Last week, we were upset that Maurice Carthon didn't open it up. He didn't air the playbook against the Lions, but I definitely liked what I saw, and not simply because we won. We are still missing several starters, but let's not forget - so are all the other teams in the preseason. After the game, I edited my 53-man roster projection. I removed Bob Hallen and Alonzo Ephraim from the main roster, and added Dave Yovanivits and Frisman Jackson in their places. I also got rid of Nick Eason on the defensive line to add Mason Unck as a special teams linebacker. The practice squad list was also updated.