Yesterday, ESPN's AFC North blogger, Jamison Hensley, said that he would go into more detail eventually about why he said the Cleveland Browns wide receiver position remained a glaring weakness. This afternoon, he did just that.
Hensley echoed what the local media stated yesterday: that there were at least six dropped passes. Considering that Hensley only had a two-day stay in Berea and already (understandably) believed that the wide receiver position was a weakness for the Browns, I can't fault him for his assessment. Six drops is a lot when you consider the fact that contact is not permitted in these practices. It's also not as big of a deal when you consider that many different personnel groups are forming quarterback/receiver combinations that may not even be seen on gameday. Nonetheless, Hensley seemed to be particularly disappointed with receiver Mohamed Massaquoi:
The biggest disappointment was Massaquoi, who has been getting pumped up in the press by team president Mike Holmgren and coach Pat Shurmur. On Tuesday, Massaquoi gave up on a deep pass to the end zone after getting bumped by a defender. Instead, he went to his hip and acted like an official pulling out a flag. On Wednesday, another deep pass went to Massaquoi, who watched it into his hands before dropping it. "Come on, We’ve gotta catch that one, Mo.” senior offensive assistant Nolan Cromwell yelled after that drop. I'm not sure Massaquoi is past the vicious helmet-to-helmet hit from James Harrison five games into the 2010 season.
The emphasis on the word "deep" was inserted by me.
Rule No. 1 if we want Massaquoi to perform like a decent receiver: minimize the amount of times you go deep with the guy. I remain a fan of what the guy can do on the quick hitters right off the line or some intermediate routes, but he has never looked very comfortable fighting for or catching the ball deep. That doesn't mean he should be one-dimensional, but you also don't play to his weaknesses on gameday (...I hope not).
At least Hensley felt that Weeden was "putting the ball on the spot, for the most part" during the two days he witnessed.