Browns-Dolphins: Report Card

The grades are in for the Browns 22-0 defeat of the Miami Dolphins

Trent Dilfer said he supports every decision Romeo Crennel makes "wholeheartedly."

But he sure doesn't agree with Crennel's decision to slide rookie Charlie Frye into games the rest of the season. Frye played three series in the 22-0 win over Miami, and Dilfer didn't like it.

"If you've ever played quarterback in this league, rhythm is one of the biggest parts of it," Dilfer said. "When you take a guy's rhythm away, it makes his job that much harder.

"But at the same time, life's full of hard things. If you can rise above the difficulties, I think there's more satisfaction in that."

Dilfer told Crennel the same things before the game, and Crennel said he had no problem with Dilfer's thoughts.

"He's a competitor and we're professionals," Crennel said.


PASSING OFFENSE: B-minus -- The Browns got Braylon Edwards involved in the passing game at long last, and that was a good thing. Trent Dilfer was efficient with 137 yards and one touchdown on 11-of-18 passing. Charlie Frye got his first game action and played fairly well. The Browns weren't scintillating throwing the ball, but they were running so well they didn't need to be.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- Reuben Droughns has been the team's best player all season. Droughns runs with hustle, heart and desire -- and his 75-yard touchdown run to start the game showed all three character traits. Droughns' 166 yards gave him three 100-yard games this season, and they were the reason the Browns beat the Dolphins.

PASSING DEFENSE: A -- Hard to argue with the results: Miami threw for 67 yards and had 55 net yards passing. The Browns were helped by the fact that Sage Rosenfels struggled, but Daylon McCutcheon put it well when he said defenses are supposed to dominate an inexperienced quarterback. The Browns did just that.

RUSHING DEFENSE: C -- Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown both ran well. Williams averaged 6.4 yards per carry, Brown 4.7. The Browns didn't exactly bottle up the Dolphins running game as much as hold their own. With the inept passing of Rosenfels and Gus Frerotte, that was enough to win.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Good day. Punter Kyle Richardson seems to have bounced back completely from his off games a few weeks ago. Richardson had one punt downed inside the 20, and another that would have been were it not for a penalty. Phil Dawson made all his field goals, continuing his strong season. And Dennis Northcutt chipped in with two punt returns for 47 yards.

COACHING: B -- The Browns looked very bad in losing to Pittsburgh, and it would have been easy to fold. But they did not. They played their best and most spirited game of the season in beating Miami. That's to the coaching staff's credit. Too, the Browns finally turned to their two best playmakers on offense -- Droughns and Edwards. The two responded with 259 yards in offense. That plan made a lot of sense.

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