Browns vs Bengals
Last week you had to take a number because there was a long line waiting to jump off the I90 bridge after the Browns lack of offense. In that line were several of the Browns defensive players and coaches.
Week 2 took the team to Cincinnati to face the division foe Bengals. The offense looked much better. While the team ended up losing the second straight game, both QB Brandon Weeden and RB Tony Richardson showed the talent you hope every first round draft pick has.
The lack of coverage by the defense allowed the Bengals to win the game but for the first time in a long long time there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And I do not believe it is an oncoming train.
The first great sign is the new owner Jimmy Haslam. One of the things that I have talked a lot about on my radio show is the organizational lack of urgency to win. My Dad was a smart guy. One of the early lessons he taught me was there is a fine line between being laid back and laid out. And you better know which side of that line you are on.
I am sure that Holmgren is a great guy. But he has never proven his ability to lead an organization to win. He was hired by the Seattle Seahawks as the GM and head coach. He was relieved of his GM responsibilities due to a poor record of drafting quality players. Before he was hired in Cleveland as team President, I warned my readers about his lack of success as anything other than head coach.
I believe that Mr. Haslam will inject the entire organization with an urgency to win. That will be a gift to the long suffering Browns fans.
Weeden looked a lot better against an under rated Bengal defense. He threw for more than 300 yards for 2 TDs and no interceptions. He still makes great throws that get dropped by the young wide receiver corps. But both the QB and the WRs are getting better. With good coaching, Weeden has the talent to become a good NFL QB.
RB Richardson has extraordinary talent. When I rated him as a potential draft choice, he ranked just behind Adrian Peterson overall. Sunday, he gave us a glimpse of that talent. He caught the ball, made tacklers miss and got into the endzone twice. He also provided a running threat. The West Coast Offense depends a lot on play action. With no running threat last year the opponent linebackers laughed when Browns’ QBs faked to the RB. Now they have to respect the running game. That allowed the middle of the field to open up for Weeden.
So while the Browns are 0-2, there is for the first time hope of brighter days ahead. Give the new group a little time to get things turned around. It looks like we are finally headed in the right direction.
That is what I think. Tell me what you think.
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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com and was a senior writer for . He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.
He edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.