What We've Been Told

Will there be changes in the defensive backfield? Lane provides the status, plus more on the Browns hoping for better results in the passing game...

What we've been told, as the Browns hope to take another step forward this weekend...

- For now, CB Eric Wright will remain a starter. Despite coming out on the short end against talented wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Terrell Owens the past two weeks, the coaching staff does not plan on sitting the starter. Look for the coaching staff to alter the blitzing scheme somewhat, which should provide additional over-the-top help in the defensive backfield. This, it's believed, could help Wright regain the consistency lost in recent weeks.

- Rookie CB Joe Haden has had an impressive start to his professional career. After being beaten for a 30-plus yard touchdown in the season opener in Tampa, Haden has played very good fundamental football, his technique has been solid and he has been physical with receivers as he splits wide, with Wright covering the slot receiver. After an up-and-down start in rookie and training camp sessions, Haden has exceeded early expectations and could gain an ever-greater role as the season progresses.

- The Browns organization was not too happy with the lack of responsibility taken by the referee group Sunday against the Bengals. On numerous occasions, Bengals WR Terrell Owens pushed off a Browns defender in coverage, one time of note being on a 78-yard touchdown reception against defending CB Sheldon Brown.

- A vocal display of anguish was evident on the Browns sideline during the win over the Bengals. Head coach Eric Mangini was not too pleased with the defensive backfield being beaten for another long TD reception, when the CB had no over help on a blitz package situation. Mangini would rather force a team to make numerous plays to keep a drive alive or score, which enables opportunities for his physical defense to create a turnover. In each game in the 2010 season, the defense has been beaten over the top for a TD score.

- A week ago all systems appeared to be a ‘go' for QB Jake Delhomme, according to various media outlets covering the team. Another week, and we have more reports that Delhomme is expected to be starting for the Browns. This week, though, we're on the same page as the media reports. Unless Delhomme re-injures the ankle or suffers another injury, he will start at home Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons (except in the case that the Browns open the game in the Wildcat or Cyclone offensive package).

- With Delhomme rejoining the starting line-up, the Browns anticipate that their passing game should improve. Back-up QB Seneca Wallace performed adequately, but Delhomme looks to get the ball into the hands of wide receivers more often than Wallace did when replacing the veteran. The vertical aspect of the passing game is sure to be attempted, which has been a struggle in recent weeks, as the tight ends and running backs were consistently targeted by Wallace.

- TE Evan Moore has lined-up often on the flank, notably in a wide receiver role. Moore provides a large and reliable target for the QB. His ability to run solid routes, create separation and make tough catches appeal to the Browns coaching staff.

- As RB Peyton Hillis continues to gain a stranglehold on the Browns starting RB spot, former starter Jerome Harrison and second-year RB James Davis look to be left out of the equation. With Davis, the staff likes his contributions on special teams and he works hard in practice sessions, which may enable him to see some meaningful opportunities down the road. For Harrison, fumbles, missed opportunities while on the field and injury issues again have left the staff dumbfounded.

- When TE Ben Watson was signed by the Browns as a free agent this past off-season, some viewed the signing as the organization simply looking to add another average talent to the roster. While a member of the Patriots, some close to the New England organization questioned Watson's desire and ability. Now, six months into his time with the Browns, Watson has been a model citizen, been very solid in the locker room and has been everything the organization anticipated on the playing field.

-  Upon the signing of offensive lineman Tony Pashos as a free agent, many wondered what the Browns could see in the injured lineman (shoulder). In the camp setting, Pashos missed practice time due to illness and a shoulder issue, which left him as a backup on the depth chart. In recent weeks, Pashos has practiced at a high level and stepped in at right tackle against the Bengals and played well. Known as a strong run-blocking lineman, Pashos' physicality helped anchor the right-side of the offensive line, as the Browns ran the ball well and pass-blocked effectively against an aggressive Cincinnati defense.

- Much has been made of the huge hit rookie safety T.J. Ward laid on Cincinnati WR Jordan Shipley. Ward has been aggressive and plays at full speed from the snap to the whistle, which is how the coaching staff wants him to play. Despite the hit, which resulted in a key defensive penalty, the coaching staff has not done anything to prohibit Ward from continuing to become the presence which has been emerging.

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