I was pleased to be joined by Matt Infante of The Phinsider this week to help preview tomorrow's game against the Miami Dolphins. Miami is 0-5 and without Trent Green, but the Browns have been known for letdowns against teams playing poorly.
Chris Pokorny: Trent Green was brought in to stabilize the Dolphins' quarterback position. With the Dolphins winless at this point, was it a mistake not to draft quarterback Brady Quinn?
Matt Infante: That's hard to say. Sure, the Dolphins are winless and haven't gotten much from Ted Ginn Jr, who they selected over Quinn. But you also need to remember that the reason they passed on Quinn was because they had John Beck rated higher, just as high, or just below (depending on who you talk to) Brady Quinn. Luckily, they were able to land Beck at pick #40. Until he gets some experience, we simply won't know if passing on Quinn was a mistake. I'll tell you one thing, though. Beck has been saying all the right things off the field and some Miami writers tall me that just being around this kid, they get the feeling he's going to be a special player. Hopefully, they're right.
Chris Pokorny: Ted Ginn Jr. recently caught his first pass if I'm not mistaken. Is the team finally ready to incorporate Ginn into the offense, and if so, why has it taken so long?
Matt Infante: Correct. Ginn has two catches. One was a few weeks ago on a WR screen that he took for 15 yards. The second was last week on a 36 yard crossing route in which he made a nice little move after the catch to pick up a few more yards. Is he finally going to get involved? I'd say that he is. He was targeted 3 times last week alone, which matched his season total at the time. Also, Derek Hagan is suffering from a hamstring issue, meaning Ginn will see the field more often in the 3 WR set. But the biggest reason as to why it's taken so long and why he's likely get more involved now is because of Trent Green. All training camp long, we heard that Green's long throws looked terrible. People said that he simply didn't have the arm strength he once did. That could be why Ginn only once saw a deep throw with Green under center. Enter Cleo Lemon last week, and he immediately looks to Ginn deep and just missed a big play. His 3 targets last week were from Lemon and it's likely Lemon will look to Ginn a lot more often than Green did, which makes me very excited for this week's game.
Chris Pokorny: Ronnie Brown looks to be on pace for a career year. What has been the difference maker for him this season?
Matt Infante: Well, before I talk about Ronnie (and yes, I have a man-crush on him...not in that way, though), I have to just talk about the job this offensive line has done. These last 3 weeks, Ronnie has actually had holes to run through rather than getting hit behind the line of scrimmage half the time. So kudos to them!
Matt Infante: As for Ronnie, the first thing that stands out is that he's a bit slimmer and it really shows. He's looked quicker with the ball in his hands but hasn't lost that great power he's always had. But the most important factor is that he is finally seeing the hole and hitting the hole quickly with a burst. In the 2 years past, Ronnie had a tendency of dancing behind the line rather than going right through the hole. This year, whether it was Cameron getting through to him or Ronnie just growing up, he's not hesitating and is, instead, going north and south and making things happen. Oh, and you can't forget about Ronnie's presence in the passing game, which can be accredited to Cameron taking advantage of his great hands. That's a big reason why Ronnie leads the NFL in total yards from scrimmage by over 100 yards.
Chris Pokorny: Cam Cameron has provided some offense to the Dolphins, but that has failed to result in a victory. Have the losses been attributed to anything poorly done by Cameron?
Matt Infante: Yes, Cam has made some rookie mistakes. Poor clock management in certain situations have hurt the Dolphins. There's also been a few questionable play calls. But, unlike many, I don't blame Cam for the losses. He's done what he was brought in to do. He's made this offense better. Last season, if the offense played like it has this year, this team would have been battling for a playoff spot. So what I'm getting at is that I blame this defense for the 0-5 start. The offense has played good enough to at least be 2-3. But the defense hasn't held up it's part of the deal.
Chris Pokorny: The Dolphins' defense is getting healthier. How much will that improve Miami's horribly ranked run defense this Sunday?
Matt Infante: Hopefully it improves it a lot. But I'm not holding my breath. This defense was healthy for the first 3 weeks of the season and still couldn't stop the run if their lives depended on it. Then last week, they do stop the run and then the secondary, which isn't very good to begin with, gives up big play after big play. I seriously don't know what to think. They commit too many penalties and too many mental breakdowns. And Joey Porter has been completely invisible. I could invest $32 million in horse sh*t and get the same production out of it on the football field as the Dolphins are getting from Porter. Sadly, this is the first season in a long, long time in which I'm more comfortable having the offense on the field than the defense. My, how the mighty have fallen.