Browns - Steelers: Pre-Game Chat Transcript

Barry McBride (Browns) and Dale Lolley (Steelers) answer fan questions prior to Sunday's big game

<GDogg95> yo dale
<DaleLolley> What's going on guys?
<artbtz> Hey Dale
<BigBen7> So Dale - how is Big Ben doin?
<DaleLolley> Ben will be OK next week
<BigBen7> when will be see Frye in the Brown's lineup?
<BarryMcBride> BB7, there's a lot of speculation that we'll see him the week after next.
<BigBen7> I would like that - seems to be a lot of interest in seeing him play
<BarryMcBride> Crennel wants him to hold a clipboard as long as possible
<DaleLolley> Has Dilfer played that poorly considering the lack of a running game to justify playing Frye?
<BarryMcBride> Dale, Dilfer has not been good enough to keep those who want to see Frye at bay. He's struggling on long throws and holding the ball too long.
<DaleLolley> This wouldn't be a good week for Frye to play.
<BarryMcBride> There was no way he was going to be starting against the Steelers, but next week is a possibility if Dilfer struggles.
<BarryMcBride> Droughns has been running the ball effectively... several games at or above 100. The Browns actually run block pretty well.
<Guest29> Dave, I know the Steelers don't do business during the season.. so what are the chances we keep Randle El in the off season?
<DaleLolley> I'd say 50-50 on keeping El. They'd like to but they're not going to break the bank. He's proving that he's just an average guy on offense.
<GDogg95> who you got next week?
<BarryMcBride> Gdogg, the Browns play the Dolphins at CBS
<zoopnfunk> Dale, what do you think of their chances of being able to retain Hope given he is having something of a break out year.
<DaleLolley> I think they'll make Hope a priority
<GDogg95> think they can run on the steelers D?
<BarryMcBride> I think Droughns will be good for 70+ against the Steelers, if Dilfer is able to make them respect the pass.
<BigBen7> Dale, predict the outcome of this game
<DaleLolley> I like the Steelers 20-16
<BigBen7> Dale, can you give us your background/credentials?
<DaleLolley> I've covered the Steelers for the Observer-Reporter in Washington since 1993. I've been with since about four years ago.
<Guest29> Dale, I am surprised we lost Roper off the practice team..thoughts??
<DaleLolley> I'm not surprised. I like Roper. I don't know how he fits in a 4-3, though.
<GDogg95> think duce is ready for 20+ carries?
<DaleLolley> Certainly the Steelers will try to pound it. But the Browns should have nine in the box.
<DaleLolley> If they can hold the running game in check and make Batch throw it 25 to 30 times, the Browns can win.
<DaleLolley> They have to force Batch to beat them.
<Yipicya> Well, Batch had a Boller-esque game last week.
<Yipicya> I would slam 9 in the box
<BarryMcBride> The Browns have a nice week to study the game film of batch as well
<blitzx> The browns give up alot on the ground -i look for that to continue in a big way this week?
<DaleLolley> That's why I look for a close game, Barry.
<BarryMcBride> Dale, the Browns entire defense and offensive strategy is built around burning clock, keeping the defense off the field, and keeping games close until the fourth quarter.
<DaleLolley> Yeah, both teams are going to try to do that. But the Steelers stop the run better. If Dilfer can convert some third and 6s, they can keep things going.
<BarryMcBride> Yeah, but the Steelers personnel fits their scheme like a glove, based on my outsiders view. The Browns are still pounding square pegs into round holes until Crennel gets his type of players.
<DaleLolley> I agree Barry
<BigBen7> Dale, have you ever met Bill Cowher? How many times?
<DaleLolley> I see and talk to Cowher all the time
<GDogg95> he a spitter?
<DaleLolley> Yeah
<BarryMcBride> BTW, Fred wasn't able to be out at Berea today. I talked to Jeff S. and he told me that he feels it's doubtful that Suggs will play.
<Madelynn> they almost blew the titans game cause they don't know how to work the clock
<BarryMcBride> Madelynn, the Browns amassed 441 yards in total offense and only scored 20 points. They have real red zone problems which I don't see getting any better against the Steelers.
<Yipicya> So is Bettis definitely out
<DaleLolley> I think Bettis is going to play. Parker sits.
<steelblitzkrieg> The Steelers have been extremely stout in the red zone
<DaleLolley> They dominated Tennessee, Houston and Cincinnati. You'd better be able to stop the run or you're in for a long day.
<BarryMcBride> The Browns have been pretty effective against the run, but have shown vulnerabilities to cutbacks, particularly when in nickel and dime defenses.
<GDogg95> duce ready to carry the load?
<DaleLolley> Staley, in my opinion is their best cutback runner.
<zoopnfunk> duce might be our best back this year when healthy
<BarryMcBride> It's not that hard for an NFL-caliber back to be effective behind that line.
<BarryMcBride> Dale, have any of the Steelers backs been ineffective this year?
<DaleLolley> Bettis has limited carries, several of which are short-yardage. Parker's averaging over 4 per attempt. So is Staley.
<steelblitzkrieg> Bettis has been the least effective, at least YPC...he is great for getting the crunch time 1st's though
<DaleLolley> Bettis gets his yards at the end when they're grinding it out. Ward's healthy.
<Madelynn> if you don't make it on 3rd down then run it again on 4th down....
<Madelynn> screw passing the ball inside the five
<BarryMcBride> Madelynn, sort of on that point, the Browns have shown a tendency to pretty gimmicky around the goal line, and empty the backfield on third and short. Sort of too clever for their own good, IMHO.
<Madelynn> you tell them barry
<BarryMcBride> Oh, I would, but the team doesn't listen to me. Go figure.
<BigBen7> hine is playing and IMO will break the record for most receptions by a Steelers
<DaleLolley> Ward needs three catches to pass Stallworth. They'll get him that early
<artbtz> ...and then Theismann/Maguire will call him ""great"" 50 times in the next ten minutes.
<DaleLolley> Ward was open several times. Batch didn't throw him the ball
<ramllov> Hines had a poor game last week, was it due to his new QB?
<DaleLolley> Batch wasn't seeing the field well at first
<DrSteel> He's still pretty far from the receving yards record, isn't he?
<DaleLolley> Yeah. He's a different player in a different era.
<Guest24> What's Joey ""spit"" Porters' status
<DaleLolley> Porter will play
<DaleLolley> How's Antonio Bryant's attitude been Barry
<BarryMcBride> Attitude has been pretty good, Dale. Consistency hasn't been so good. Very good practice player prone to ill-timed mistakes on the field.
<DaleLolley> That's been his MO, Barry. Bad attitude guy, too. That's coming from the Pitt guys.
<BarryMcBride> Coming out of training camp, most of the media felt that Bryant was headed for a big season, but Dilfer has not been able to establish much of a downfield game.
<BarryMcBride> He's been pretty focused and has matured a bit, I guess, but that may be partly due to this being his contract year.
<DaleLolley> That always helps them focus
<DaleLolley> Yeah, I was on the Bryant wagon. Dilfer started out on fire, though.
<BarryMcBride> Dilfer started out very well by hitting quick slants and underneath routes that went for big yards after the catch. That has been taken away.
<DaleLolley> West Coast stuff.
<GDogg95> How has Braylon Edwards looked? Healthy?
<BarryMcBride> Gdogg, edwards is healthy and needs to get the ball more.
<BarryMcBride> He's essentially the #2 WR right now in everything but name.
<steelblitzkrieg> Who is the Starting TE for the Browns presently?
<BarryMcBride> SBK, Steve Heiden and Aaron Shea
<BarryMcBride> Shea is a better pass catcher but was invisible last weekend.
<Shakadawg> we've been knock on wood lucky about injuries so far, 'cept KW
<BarryMcBride> Very true, Shaka, which is why I think we'll avoid a death spiral this year.
<steelblitzkrieg> Thanks Barry, the names escaped me, and I wasn't sure if both were healthy
<BarryMcBride> Both are ready to go
<GDogg95> ike on bryant?
<DaleLolley> I think they'll play it straight up this week with the corners.
<BarryMcBride> Are you allowed to watch practices, Dale?
<DaleLolley> Yeah we can watch practice. We just can't talk about what we see unless it's an injury
<DaleLolley> They get very touchy about that
<DaleLolley> That will get you a spit bath
<BarryMcBride> Dale, we are allowed to see ten minutes of stretching and then are escorted out.
<Shakadawg> fingers crossed
<BigBen7> how did charlie look>\
<Yipicya> this year SBK, Willie Green ran for big yards in the past too.
<Madelynn> still have the same o line..some QB..same rb....onley one starter out on defense
<ramllov> With the many injuries at LB for Pittsburgh, who are the starting four lbs for the Cleveland game?
<DrSteel> Haggans, Kriewaldt, Foote, Porter
<ramllov> Kriewaldt is he any good?
<DaleLolley> He doesn't have the speed of Farrior, but he reads things well.
<ramllov> What about Foote, any good?
<DaleLolley> Foote's played well IMO
<DaleLolley> If the defensive line keeps guys off of them, which they have done a great job of, they can win with Foote and Kriewaldt
<BigBen7> Dale, do you live in the burgh?
<DaleLolley> I live in Washington, Pa, about 20 minutes south of Pittsburgh
<Guest126> Brownies, how is your quick slant throwing game this year?
<BarryMcBride> 126 - it was terrific until teams noticed that Dilfer had trouble throwing downfield. Now the safeties creep up a bit and there's a focus on taking that part of Dilfer's game away.
<BarryMcBride> If it's taken away, our passing game becomes ineffective, IMHO.
<zoopnfunk> Dale - what has been the biggest suprise to you this season... either a player exceeding expectations, or someone not doing as well as you'd expected.
<DaleLolley> I'd have to say the inconsistency of the offensive line in general. Hasn't played as well as last season.
<ramllov> Is the secondary becoming the strength of the defense?
<DaleLolley> Then again, they had three Pro Bowlers last season, so it's tough to match that
<DaleLolley> Taylor's up and coming. Townsend's OK
<DaleLolley> Taylor's got great size and speed
<Guest126> Hopefully McFadden gets a couple nods as the CB. This rookie is showing a lot.
<DaleLolley> McFadden will start next season
<Guest126> Our corners are the best they have been for a long time, but our LBs are suffering. Odd for us
<DaleLolley> They need to get James Harrison on the field more
<Yipicya> I just have a feeling that Braylon has a big game. I don't know why. It isn't like I have faith in Trent or anything
<BarryMcBride> You feel that way because I predicted two touchdowns during the radio show. Blame me when it doesn't happen ;-)
<DrSteel> Who's starting for Gary Baxter?
<BarryMcBride> Leigh Bodden, Dr. Steel
<BarryMcBride> Undrafted free agent out of Duquesne who has been pretty effective to date. But last week he faced some pretty bad receivers .
<Guest126> Which is softer on the Cleveland D line, center or edges?
<Shakadawg> Browns seem soft on runs up the middle
<BarryMcBride> Agree Shaka
<ramllov> Does Pittsburgh have a dominant run defense this year?
<DaleLolley> The Steelers have been very solid against the run except in the first quarter. They get better as the game goes on for some reason.
<GDogg95> only time we get beat consistently is when we give 10 yard cushions
<Madelynn> don't bet on braylon breaking out sunday night...browns will run it into the ground
<BarryMcBride> I'd look for a couple of screens early to try to slow down the blitz.
<DaleLolley> Heiden should catch four for five passes
<Shakadawg> Barry- do you think we'll go after Batch hard?
<BarryMcBride> I really don't Shaka. The Browns are pretty risk averse on defense and will probably focus most of their energies on stopping the run and keeping the ball in front of them.
<Shakadawg> Isn't that maddening, that we don't attack the QB?
<BarryMcBride> Shaka, just remember they blitzed Peyton Manning once and it went for 50+ yards. This is a disciplined defense, but not one that will make a lot of big sacks.
<Guest24> Maybe a safety blitz once or twice?
<BarryMcBride> 24, you might see it if Batch gets into an obvious passing situation, like we did against Orton.
<BarryMcBride> I don't think they're worried about having to sack Batch. They're worried about stopping the Steelers run. I just don't think we'll see more than a handful of blitzes.
<ramllov> Dale how do you like the new Pittsburgh TE?
<DaleLolley> Miller has been outstanding. He's like having a 6-5 receiver who can catch the ball consistently. Oh wait, they had a 6-5 receiver before, he just didn't catch the ball consistently.
<DaleLolley> But he still needs to get better as a blocker
<GDogg95> Miller gets open and has great hands, loves to run over people
<DaleLolley> Miller's an average blocker
<Guest126> Penalties will be clutch for the Browns. We are having a tough time on 3rd, don't help us.
<Madelynn> we win on defense score adn special teams score and the offense not turning the ball over
<BarryMcBride> Browns special teams have been a weakness this year. We have good return guys, but are penalty prone and have made a number of coverage mistakes.
<ramllov> Dale how are the Pittsburgh special teams, Punter is not doing so well, how about the return games?
<DaleLolley> Morgan has been outstanding as a kickoff return man. The Browns should be kicking themselves for not using him there
<BarryMcBride> Dale, they used Andre Davis, who is faster than Morgan but prone to injuries. Morgan did get a couple of opportunities.
<GDogg95> zing
<zoopnfunk> roflmao
<Guest126> Miller is a great blocker.
<BigBen7> and a great beer
<DrSteel> He made a nice block on Duce's TD last week. I'd say he's been up and down.
<howldawg> I was late so i have to ask ...How do you guys like Quincy?
<zoopnfunk> didn't madden call him one of the best all round TE's in the league on the monday night game?
<GDogg95> madden is a drunk
<Madelynn> we just have to teach them not to ""hit the guy if you can see the numbers on his back""
<howldawg> maddedn says that about 3 players every week
<zoopnfunk> yeah true
<Yipicya> Is Pittsburgh's ""dominance"" on stopping the run more a factor of teams being to pass on them? (210 ypg) or having less than great rushing attacks against them (Sam Gado GB, 8ball), I mean by your own admission your LBs aren't as good as they have been in the past
<howldawg> no thanks Dale not with his fumble hands
<Shakadawg> Manning I can understand. But Wright? Batch?
<Guest126> Miller is a better blocker than any TE that can catch.
<howldawg> Q would fumble when he thought about someone hitting him
<Yipicya> I mean Sam Gado ran for 60 odd some yards and a score. Dude was 4th string RB at Liberty 2 years ago
<Madelynn> they have to use ""run blitzes""...all night long
<zoopnfunk> Barry, what will the browns offensive game plan look like?
<BarryMcBride> Zoop, the Browns offensive game plan is theoretically one focused on establishing the run and using short passes, but Carthon has been making a lot of - let's be kind - unusual play calls.
<BarryMcBride> We have an OC who has never called plays before, and we've seen some odd tendencies in the playcalling, particularly on third down and near the goal.
<Madelynn> agree with you barry..but it can be fixed
<Shakadawg> Barry you are too kind in that description.
<BarryMcBride> LOL, yeah, just trying to be nice.
<howldawg> i hope it's a plan but i don't think he knows how to read it yet
<BarryMcBride> Howl, you know, I think a lot of us are still trying to figure out what the identity of this offense will be. By the Browns own admission, they haven't found it yet.
<ramllov> Browns biggest disappointment this year is their offense
<BarryMcBride> And biggest surprise their defense, eh?
<Madelynn> Dilfer is so inconsistent is hurts to watch him
<BarryMcBride> Madelynn, I think he's been consistently off-target downfield, but he knows his limitations, it seems.
<Shakadawg> wtf is 'three wishes'??? I only have one.
<Yipicya> I think that our QB is better than your QB at this point
<GDogg95> 1 wish, a real browns team ;-)
<howldawg> Madelynn some Qb some Coordinator
<Yipicya> Even at his inconsistent best, he beats Batch every time
<Madelynn> you can fix the coordinator
<Yipicya> I'd almost take Boller over Batch
<Guest24> suggs can cut back...if he were playing
<Yipicya> ALMOST
<howldawg> yes say way as QB get a new one lol
<GDogg95> i miss boller
<GDogg95> haha
<DaleLolley> Suggs would give the steelers much more trouble
<Koesters> ha... just thought i'd give the heads up. i've got one eye on the TV the other on this chat.
<Yipicya> Suggs = could cut back if he didn't hurt himself tripping over the grass
<Madelynn> he is young the qb is old
<blitzx> If browns stop steelers run they can/will win.
<Yipicya> Suggs is the glass RB
<BarryMcBride> 24, Crennel said today that having Wright gives him the option of being ""cautious"" with Suggs. So, we figure that's him saying that he'll keep Suggs out if there's a sliver of doubt in his mind.
<GDogg95> Who is in the brownies secondary? how have they been playing?
<howldawg> Suggs is Offensive version of C Brown
<BarryMcBride> Gdogg, Browns secondary has been one of the strengths of the defense. McCutcheon is having a terrific year.
<Koesters> boo boo suggs?
<Yipicya> Suggs is the offensive version of Glass Joe
<Madelynn> agree barry...but to bad the defenses around the league know that also
<DrSteel> How's the Kenard Lang experiment been working out? Wasn't Romeo moving him to OLB?
<Yipicya> Chaun Chaun
<BarryMcBride> Bodden has been pretty good in replacement for Baxter. Our safeties have both had bad moments, but play smart. Brodney Pool is an up-and-comer who gets more time each week.
<Shakadawg> gotta go tivo three wishes. brb
<GDogg95> thanks barry
<Madelynn> just keep poole off of special teams
<BarryMcBride> Dr.Steel - prior to last week, I would say the Lang experiment was a failure, but he got to the quarterback a couple of times. He looked good last week, but I still don't think he's going to be a long-term success at OLB.
<GDogg95> how has been the pass rush threat?
<ramllov> There is no pass rush threat
<BarryMcBride> Pretty darn non-existent Gdogg...
<GDogg95> NICE
<BarryMcBride> It's the biggest weakness on the Browns defense. We don't hafve a pure pass rusher. Thompson has some potential, but our defensive line doesn't gobble up blockers enough.
<Koesters> barry are you trying to say that fisk doesn't control the middle?
<BarryMcBride> He gets pushed around a bit Koesters... doesn't gobble up as many blockers as you would want a NT to occupy.
<BarryMcBride> He rotates with Ethan Kelley, who many think is already the better player.
<howldawg> Dale why do you think Suggs would give Pitt problems?
<BarryMcBride> Orpheus Roye - ex-Steeler - is having another excellent year, but Fisk and McKinley are not the type of players you want in a 3-4.
<DaleLolley> Suggs is a quick, cutback guy. He's given them fits in the past
<Madelynn> its to soon to judge the lang experiment ...give it another year
<YSUfan> This was the one opponent that COURTNEY BROWN always palyed well against
<DaleLolley> Yeah, Courtney Brown had like half of his 14 career sacks against the Steelers. It was amazing
<ramllov> Roye always has great games against Pittsburgh
<BarryMcBride> Orpheus is a real pro.
<DaleLolley> Orpheus is a good guy
<ramllov> Art/Barry thanks for the chat
<BarryMcBride> np, Ram... Dale and I just figured it might be fun.
<Yipicya> <-- is off.... like the wheels on a Pittsburgh Mansion
<YSUfan> How is the playing surface holding up in that dump this year?
<DaleLolley> Playing surface is fine. Better than New England's did you see that mess last week?
<Madelynn> we need a couple of lbs that are feared
<BarryMcBride> Savage is already out there scouting, Madelynn
<BarryMcBride> We have tracked him scouting two Lbs already
<blitzx> Dale do you think steelers win if batch passes 30 times?
<DaleLolley> I don't see the Steelers winning with Batch throwing 30. Anything above 25 is trouble
<DaleLolley> Roethlisberger has only thrown it 30 times once
<ramllov> Who ever would have thought Big Ben would be so good so soon.
<BarryMcBride> Not to slam Roethlisberger, but playing behind that line, with that running game, is a veeeery nice situation for a rookie. Far better than Frye will get.
<Madelynn> to be honest barry, I am less the impressed with phil so far
<BarryMcBride> Give him time, I think. This is a big jump for him, but he's a smart guy, a hard worker, and pretty impressive in person.
<YSUfan> Hey, is Rothliswhatever still gettin' it on with Natalie Gulubis?
<DaleLolley> No, that's over
<YSUfan> Poor Ben
<BarryMcBride> Dale, is Ben still obstinate about riding a motorbike without a helmet?
<DaleLolley> Yeah. He's a rebel Barry.
<BarryMcBride> Thin line between rebel and stupid to paraphrase ""Spinal Tap"".
<OkiBrown> Madelynn stated that Reuben has a drinking problem. that's a little far fetched isn't it. he blew a .08.
<Shakadawg> NOT a drinking problem.
<DaleLolley> Apparently his problem was that he didn't drink enough.
<DaleLolley> Just kidding
<Madelynn> stating facts is not slamming
<BarryMcBride> Droughns isn't an off-the-field problem
<DaleLolley> No. Everything I've seen and heard about Droughns is that he's a standup guy.,
<DaleLolley> Everybody makes mistakes. Heck. .08 is like three beers
<GDogg95> any good return men on the browns?
<BarryMcBride> Gdogg, yes!
<BarryMcBride> Josh Cribbs ruturns kickoffs and is very good.
<BarryMcBride> Dennis Northcutt is the punter returner and would have a couple of Tds if there weren't penalties this year.
<BarryMcBride> Problem is the return unit, not the return men.
<DaleLolley> Watch the Cincinnati kid Andre Frazier and Akron's James Harrison on kick coverage for the Steelers. Animals
<DaleLolley> Both good guys.
<BarryMcBride> Dale, the Browns tossed away some pretty good special teams guys last off-season, which left them open for questions... Brant Boyer, Barry Gardner, and now Leigh Bodden starts so he doesn't do much special teams.
<BarryMcBride> We've got guys like William Green on kick teams, and he didn't play special teams since junior varsity, LOL...
<Koesters> talking about northcutt having a few punt returns called back makes me wanna see him pull a Metcalf and break TWO this weekend.
<BarryMcBride> Well, if he breaks two, then one of them might count with this group.
<DaleLolley> Good one Barry
<DaleLolley> It was fun folks. That was one quick hour.
<BarryMcBride> See ya Dale
<DaleLolley> We'll do it again before Christmas
<BarryMcBride> see ya!
<Koesters> Barry... what change should be made with the browns starting line-up to make the team better?
<BarryMcBride> Koesters - Start Edwards
<Koesters> figured. thanks barry.

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