Sunday, March 11, 2007

Secondary Concern

According to Profootballtalk, Brian Russell has signed with the Seahawks, making it official that he won't be coming back to the Browns.

Russell has been decent. Not great, but he was one of those "veterans" that everyone is always talking about. Seemed like a good teammate, and he had some memorable hits. He wouldn't have been expensive to bring back, even as a backup, so the fact that we didn't resign him must mean that Savage and Crennel think that Brodney Pool is ready for the other safety spot. He did a good job as a spot CB last season, so I look forward to seeing what he does full time.

Pool and Sean Jones give us a set of quality, quick, young safeties. If our CBs can prove reliable in single coverage and don't need the safeties to back them up, we should expect to see some exciting defensive play, like we saw at the beginning of last season.

But will the CBs be able to hold their own? Leigh Bodden is plenty good when healthy, but he hasn't proven to be an iron man. Right now it looks like Daven Holly will start accross from Bodden. Holly has looked pretty decent at times, but he doesn't shut down opposing receivers, and he can get beat on big plays, too. But he is still maturing, so we could see an even better player next year.

But who's behind Bodden and Holly? Gary Baxter, even if he does manage to walk again this season, most likely won't be able to run fast enough to fill in as nicklel or dime. New free agent Kenny Wright sounds like he might be a Ray Mickens. Better than Ralph Brown, hopefully, but still a career backup. We also might see 06 draft pick Demario Minter, or an 07 draftee.

So we are nowhere near set at CB. If we had one more solid starter (like Gary Baxter, if healthy) we would be looking pretty set. But now, we might have enough to survive, but if we see any injury problems like last year, it could term ugly quickly enough.

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