Browns Beginnings

By Michael Reghi

Tough to make legitimate evaluations of an intra squad scrimmage that didn’t allow tackling. Makes it impossible to  judge the running game, and the backs carrying the football, as well as those on the other side looking to defend it. Blitz packaging was minimal, and qb’s were not hit of course. So, was anything gained from the glorified touch game in the stadium?

Given where the Browns are in the NFL pecking order heading into 2010, and that still in the bottom third of the league in most observers eyes, and with so many new faces who’ll play prominent roles, the search for establishing a tempo, rhythm, and establishing coninuity is vital.

Given that, it was a positive for Jake Delhomme to show accuracy with throws, which he did in hitting 10-15 for 78 yards, and looking to establish rapport with receivers like Ben Watson and Mohammed Massaquoi, which went smoothly. Do see both Watson and Evan Moore as extremely valuable to Delhomme as their idenities in the pass game surface. Remember..huge keys for Delhomme this season,,,his completion percentage…60% a must, 62-65% the desired, especially with an offense that won’t challenge the oppositions db’s vertically very often, and his td/pick ratio…has to be a ‘plus’ on the td side.

Do enjoy the ‘big league’ arm of Seneca Wallace! Man has some sizzle on the football, with accuracy. Two throws he made in a 4th quarter drive were stellar..first to rb Chris Jennings on a ‘wheel route’ out of the backfield for 33 yards. Pretty! And a bullet in traffic to Evan Moore, who caught 6 balls for 62 yards from Wallace. Between the pair of te’s, Watson and Moore, 9 receptions for close to 100 yards. Keep that stored away! TE’s will be huge in this teams pass game.

Brett Ratliff and Colt McCoy were both shaky. Large learning curve there for McCoy, who nade a terrible read and throw into coverage that was swipoed by Brandon McDonald for a ‘pick six’, Looks to me that McCoy stares receivers down, and in the NFL, Db’s salivate over those opportunities for quick reward. More on McDonald and his fellow corner Gerard Lawson, in a moment.

We’ll get a volume more to evaluate this weekend after the trip to Green Bay, and preseason game 1. Defensive improvement is a must for the Browns. Linebackers and DB’s need to attack the football and make some plays of difference, front three must be more stout around the line of scrimmage then years past. Counting on Rob Ryan’s unit to show the aggression necessary to no longer be the bottom feeders among NFL defenses. A must for team improvement!

Indians skipper Manny Acta taking off the ‘kid gloves’ with his Indians. After the loss to Carl Pavano on Saturday, Acta let his team know excuse making for their youth and inexperience at the big league level would not be an option! Love that approach! What he’s letting the young Tribe feel is….’this is the major leagues’, and they are expected to approach and perform at this level every night against veteran teams in playoff contention. Pavano overmatched them Saturday night, yet Acta doesn’t want them to fall prey to using the ‘hey, we’re just kids’ excuses. Battle every night. and with so many games left against Chicago and Minnesota, they could have a loud say as to how the AL Central ultimately winds up!

Former Indians slugger Jim Thome, who unloaded his 578th career home run in the Twins win yesterday was in the ballpark as the Indians brought Kenny Lofton into their Hall of Fame this weekend. Both such key components to the Tribe’s resurgence in the 90’s. Thome’s going to play next year at 40 years of age, and with 4-6 more homeruns this season, will head into next year less then 20 away from 600. As long as he doesn’t show up on any HGH or steroid lists, Thome will be a Hall of Famer, in the top 10 history with home runs and rbi’s. Will he go in with an Indians hat? Think so…Thome’s formative years here were brimming with power production.

Lofton was the ultimate catalyst, who ignited the Indians offense, and dictated how pitching staffs and defenses had to approach the Tribe lineup. While a .299 career hitter, Lofton wrecked havoc on the base paths and with his glove and speed in centerfield, and still cointends that it was the umpires large strike zones that benefitted Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz in the ’95 World Series that beat the Indians. Sorry man, can’t go down that road with you..Indians were beaten by the vastly superior pitching staff that outpitched theirs. No disgrace. Now, the ’97 World Series vs. Florida, no Lofton, but a stronger team then the Marlins? That’s the one that shouldn’t have gone the other way!

Brandon McDonald ‘tweeting’ smack at Terrell Owens, after the Bengals signed the vet. McDonald, who lost his starting spot, and is fighting for a roster spot, called out Owens with vulgarities, derrogatory names for women, and what the Browns will do to him during the season. Simply amazing! McDonald, an average NFL’er at best, just another guy, not able to control himself, wihile jeopardizing his already shaky staus with Eric Mangini and the Browns organization. Did rather enjoy the Owens reply…who said he didn’t know him..and asked if ‘Ronald McDonald’ is now playing db for the Browns. Concentrate on making the roster first! Same applies to Gerard Lawson, picked up for drunk driving and a ‘hit skip’ early Sunday morning. Fellas don’t get it! Mangini will get you out of here for these very episodes! Lawson will probably be seeking other NFL employment as cut downs begin soon, if not before!

Follow Afternoon R & R on Twitter @ReghiAndRoda

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