|EVENTS AND INFORMATION|
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The Hard Facts
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Last year, the Lions pounded the Browns 38-17 in Detroit, with Cleveland being victimized repeatedly by long passes. The lions won their first exhibition game by defeating the Pittspuke Steelers 27-21. The Browns were thrashed in Tennessee, 24-3. Both teams stumbled to 5-11 records in 2003. The Browns traded their second-round pick in this year's draft to the Lions to move up one spot and select TE Kellen Winslow.
|Morning Reading List
Garcia hoping for more passing - Lorain Morning Journal
Browns expect to play better -Yahoo Sports
One Down, One Downer - Cleveland Plain Dealer
Browns expect to play better - Akron Beacon Journal
Detroit Lions at Browns - Canton Repository
Browns looking for better results - Warren Tribune Chronicle
Browns in search of breakthroughs - Canton Repository
Barry's Game Preview
Check for live in-game updates from the press box: CLICK HERE
Watch your blood pressure. There is no reason for it to be any different at the end of this game than it was at the beginning. This game means nothing. Starters will likely stay in for 15-20 plays.
Remember how the defense wound up in 2003? Pretty decent against the pass, but occasionally non-existent against the run. This little bit of history should help you avoid taking the game too seriously.
Here are some things to watch...
The Browns weak pass-blocking in the first exhibition game and scrimmage has resulted in a change on the offensive line as Paul Zukauskas replaces Enoch DeMar as the starting left guard. DeMar replaced Chad Beasley. Zukauskas brings greater bulk and a more physical style to the position, but has played mostly right guard in his career. Fans should hope to see better pass blocking and a greater ability to run to the left. If that is not seen, look for the Browns to become increasingly aggressive in looking for an offensive guard to bring in. Zukauskas is their third new left guard in as many games.
The team will not run some plays that were successful last week against the Titans, but will be trying additional plays as the team installs their offense. This slow pace of installation is caused partially by a new offensive coordinator, as Terry Robiskie will be bringing a more run-oriented offense to Cleveland, and partially due to new players on the team, including the unit's quarterback.
Also, expect more activity by the team's first-round choice, Kellen Winslow, who got a much-increased level of reps during practice in the last week. Winslow was the target of only one pass against the Titans, and should be more integrated into the offense as he becomes more familiar with the playbook.
Also, look for the Browns to get a number of carries for both James Jackson and Dee Brown. Both players - not just Jackson as reported by most of the Cleveland media - have been the subject of inquiries by other NFL teams.
The Browns hope to make a noticeable improvement on defense after last weekend's poor showing overall by the unit.
Ben Taylor, Andra Davis, and Warrick Holdman are expected to be the starting linebackers. The linebacking corps did not make a good impression against the Titans, and the team worked on tackling drills last week. Chaun Thompson is still out due to an injury to his hand.
Given last week's game against the Titans and last year's game against the Lions, the Browns are concerned about their ability to protect against the deep ball. Despite a cover-2 defense designed to take away the long pass, the Browns struggled against the Titans. Head Coach Butch Davis blamed this on a lack of practice time on the defense for deep pass protection, and gave the subject extra attention this week. Michael Lehan will return to the secondary, which should help, but Roosevelt Williams will miss the game due to a sprained ankle.
Also keep an eye on how the safeties are used. Rumor has it that the Browns are continuing to evaluate the safety position, with both Earl Little and Robert Griffith under some scrutiny while receiving praise in public from the Head Coach. Chris Crocker could push Earl Little, but has yet to receive much time with the first unit other than as a nickel back. Griffith has looked very good at times during Training Camp, which has done little to quiet whispers that the team is looking for a younger, more physical strong safety. Both starting safeties need a solid effort today.
Game Guide: Browns - Lions
The OBR Top Stories
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