Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why Steve Doerschuk is the best beat reporter.

Where other beat guys just wave their arms and say "The line is terrible, the season is doomed, fire Mo Carthon", Steve Doershuk just goes and talks to Kevin Shaffer and Romeo Crennel about what went wrong.

Nothing can sugarcoat what we saw on Sunday. But based on the way Shaffer and Crennel talked about it, it sounds like its more a problem of the line not gelling, and them just not being prepared. So, hopefully a couple games into the season, it'll start looking more respectable. Then we can start worrying about all our other holes.
Yesterday's TMQ said:

"Braylon Edwards -- the Next Charles Rogers? Nothing makes a quarterback wince more than the well-thrown pass that caroms off a careless receiver for an interception; the pick is the receiver's fault but is charged against the quarterback. The Saints leading Cleveland 19-14, the Browns had first down on the New Orleans 45 at the two-minute mark. Charlie Frye threw it perfectly to Edwards, third overall choice of the 2005 draft. Edwards carelessly allowed the ball to carom off his hands; the deflection was intercepted by New Orleans, ending the game."

While I'm not ready to give up on him, I also don't want to defend Edwards. His non-catch cost us the game.
I know that I give the coaches the benefit of the doubt, perhaps longer than is justified. Last year I didn't complain about Carthon too much, because I thought that it was worth trying alot of his "trick plays".

That being said, even I was disgusted by the fullback pitch out on 3rd and one.

But listening to Grossi's chat on Monday, you'd think that Carthon was the guy out there who couldn't hold his blocks. Grossi wants him fired right now. But then again, Grossi's idea of a game plan is run up the middle, run up the middle, run up the middle. So I'd rather see Carthon fail with his trick plays than to try Grossi's idea of banging his head against a wall for four quarters.
I still think that alot of the problems we saw on Sunday should be fixed by the end of the season. The problem is that, with a 16 game schedule, you don't have time to learn on the job. In Marvin Lewis' first two seasons with Cincinnati (going 8-8 both seasons) they started off slowly, and then came on towards the end of the season. At the beginning of last year, Lewis' whole training camp was focused on winning game 1, so that they could get off to a fast start.

Thats what we're going to need next year. Crennel's going to have to start running his real offense during the preseason, because it doesn't matter if the opponents don't know what to expect if you can't execute for lack of practice.

Another big contributor to the Bengal's success is that they have had the same 11 starters on offense in 2004, 2005, and now in 2006. That kind of continuity can't be overlooked. As it stands now, four of our offensive starters never took a snap with the Browns last year, and two more didn't start the season and only had limited playing time when they were in there. If we can have more consistency next year (maybe a guard will be replaced, and of course center will be replaced when Bentley is back), we will be on much better footing to start the season on a strong note.


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Hornless Rhino said...

I'm a big Doerschuk fan too. The guy just always seems a step ahead of the other Browns writers.