The Browns have certainly played better than most would have thought, especially considering they were almost universally tabbed as one of the teams that would suffer the most because of the lockout. But through two games their 1st teamers have decidedly out-played their two opponents, one of which is the defending Super Bowl champs.
It would appear that the team, especially the offense, is ahead of schedule. Colt McCoy looks like he has ran Pat Shurmer’s offense for years, and despite a lack of weapons, he has moved the ball effectively and gotten the ball into the end zone frequently. The defense hasn’t looked as dominate, but it has faced two potent offenses in the Lions and Packers.
What has been apparent as the games have gone one is that the Browns may put a decent front-line on the field, but there is very little depth anywhere on the team.
Take this past Friday for example. With starting outside linebacker Chris Gocong out (who isn’t really a stalwart himself) as well as Scott Fujita the Browns were forced to start seldom used Kaluka Maiva and Brian Smith. Raise your hand if you knew that he was even still on the team, or that there was a player named Brian Smith on the team. With Marcus Benard moving do DE (and all but disappearing) there is little in the way of reserves behind the starting 3 at the linebacker position.
But their problems don’t end there. Free agent pickup Usama Young has yet to see the field. With him and TJ Ward gone on Friday the Browns started utility man Mike Adams and special teams star Ray Ventrone at the Safety position. Neither one gives you a ton of confidence if their facing a strong passing game.
And those are just the players that were out on Friday. It’s tough to imagine what the team will look like if faced with a string of injuries late in the season. The only positions on the team that have decent depth are QB with Seneca Wallace being a very serviceable backup, and at Tight End where they have a good mix of veterans Watson and Moore, along with young hopefuls Jordan Cameron and Alex Smith.
But outside of those positions, you have to hope the Browns will be scouring the cuts that will be starting this Tuesday. As I outlined in a previous article, it’s very possible that this team could be a contender at mid-season with a soft schedule and a good young core, so it would be very disappointing to see that potential squandered by not participating in Free Agency or making any attempt to fill holes by picking up players that have been released.Back to the Cleveland Browns Newsfeed