Random Thoughts of a Wandering Mind

The Browns were beaten soundly, but that is just a small problem in the grand scope. Some young players are making a run at making the team, while others regress.

-- The Philadelphia Eagles defensive line came out with angry intentions against the Browns and it showed throughout the first half. The Eagles second team defensive line gave the Browns starting offensive line fits. It wasn't only the wide-nine that created problems for the Browns, as the internal pass rush of the Eagles penetrated often.

-- Starting left guard Jason Pinkston was beaten worse than an old dog toy against the Eagles. Right guard Shawn Lauvao actually played fairly well, while LT Joe Thomas was beaten and rookie RT Mitchell Schwartz was chasing down the DE all evening.

-- Don't worry, rookie RB Trent Richardson will be physically ready for the opener – if not sooner, as we have noted for weeks.

-- The ankle sprain suffered by RB Chris Ogbonnaya couldn't have come at a worse time.

-- RB Montario Hardesty looks like he may have cut a little too much weight this past offseason. The RB wanted to be quicker and more explosive, which he is, but the issue is he is taking hits well (fumbles) and his yardage after contact is minimal.

-- RB Brandon Jackson had his best preseason performance and is a steady contributor. For the first time in preseason action he had a nice burst and bounce to his step.

-- Rookie RB Adonis Thomas is quick and shifty, I am most curious to see if the Browns find a way to get him to the practice squad. Teams are always looking for speedy RB's that can play special teams and help in the return game. Thomas is in a good spot right now.

-- Rookie RT Ryan Miller performed well. Miller after being blown-up during his first series against the Lions a couple weeks back has done well and on-target to make this team.

-- Backup LT Oniel Cousins………….no.

-- Rookie QB Brandon Weeden needs to secure the ball. The rookie will learn how to secure the ball when in the pocket, but the preseason game against the Eagles is an easy indicator that the QB is a rookie and mistakes are going to be part of the process. I will say, Weeden has made some nice throws and reads. Also, Weeden has a bad habit of carrying the ball low while making his reads, which leads to defensive players having an excellent opportunity to knock the ball out of his hands.

-- Colt McCoy should be the number-two QB. McCoy has looked better this preseason than at any time since coming to Cleveland. McCoy is throwing the ball much better and isn't laying nearly the number of floating passes as in the past. The problem remains, teams continue to squeeze the field against the Browns offense with McCoy on the field due to the lack of a threatening passing game downfield and outside the hashes.

-- Very little is mentioned about how well OL John Greco and rookie OL Garth Gerhart have performed.

-- Greg Little, where have you gone. Plenty of work needs done between Little and Weeden prior to the season opener. The QB and WR have not been on the same page on the check-me and timing.

-- FB Owen Marecic has displayed the ability to block. The problem comes down to the FB getting to the hole a little to slow. Also, Marecic is not a threat coming out of the backfield, unless it's a swing pass.

-- The screen pass? Come on, everybody can run a screen – except the Browns. I'm not too sure I have ever viewed a slower developing screen pass, depending on the lumbering Pinkston, Lauvao and at times C Alex Mack……….terrible, terrible terrible.

-- WR Jordan Norwood may be small, may not be the fastest guy out there, but he plays hard and has a knack of getting open.

-- Why does it appear WR Rod Windsor is more disciplined when running routes than the vast majority of Browns receivers getting playing time ahead of him?

-- TE Evan Moore lined-up as a flanker to see what he can do. It can't be any worse than some of the execution by others at the WR position.

-- Every year TE Alex Smith is expected to be jettisoned from Cleveland. Every year Alex Smith finds ways to keep his job due to his ability to block, catch the ball and special teams play.

-- TE Dan Gronkowski isn't Alex Smith.

-- Rookie WR Josh Gordon is gaining ground and is starting to look the part as a big WR at this level.

-- Young and developing DE Emmanuel Stephens should keep his eyes focused on veteran DE Frostee Rucker. Rucker can play the run and will be an upgrade over the likes of Jayme Mitchell, etc from a season ago.

-- The Browns will go into the season with two rookie defensive tackles getting reps. There is no doubt John Hughes and Billy Winn have the tools to be solid players at the pro level. In the case of Winn, he is light years ahead of where he was when coming to rookie camp.

-- DT Ahtyba Rubin looked great against the Eagles. I was most impressed on how he held his gap responsibility on most occasions, as Winn penetrated. Watching this was a thing of beauty.

-- The Browns have to enter the season with L.J. Fort, James-Michael Johnson and Craig Robertson on the roster. I know, that's some serious youth, but these three young men can play the game. And it definitely helps an area which has been speed and quickness deficient for a long time.

-- I think we may be seeing a case of cat and mouse occurring with rookie LB Emmanuel Acho. He has gotten better as training camp progressed and looked better in each preseason game, but appears to be a little short of being ready for primetime. I am really questioning whether the Browns have held him back on film in an effort to slide him to the practice squad.

-- S Usama Young returns to practice. Yay………….I still keep S David Sims, the young man is aggressive and has the knack of being around the football.

-- Rookie CB Trevin Wade continues to practice and play well. Wade is close to making this team.

-- Rookie S Johnson Bademosi has caught the eyes of the coaching staff with his special teams play. This may not be enough to secure him a roster spot, but the practice squad could be a good possibility.

-- Veteran PK Phil Dawson just gets better with age and is as dependable as it gets.


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