2005: Orpheus Roye
2006: Orpheus Roye
Is it time to start referring to Roye as one of the most underrated Browns of all time?
Through all of the tumult of numerous regime and coaching changes, all the veteran has done is make plays on a consistent basis and given 100% effort on every single play nearly every single game, having only missed a total of five games in his six years with the club.
If he were playing in a major media market, or in a winning organization, he would have at least a couple of Pro Bowls to pump up his resume'.
At 33 years of age, Roye is coming off arguably the best of his eleven
seasons in the NFL and shows no signs of slowing down at any point in the near
future. The addition of
EDGE: 2006 Roye
2005: Jason Fisk
2006: Ted Washington
Do I even need an explanation here?
2005: Alvin McKinley
2006: Alvin McKinley
Yes, he led the team in sacks last year (tied at five with Chaun Thompson),
but it is still somewhat of a surprise that McKinley remains the starter at this
position. Then again,
What's somewhat frightening is the glaring lack of quality depth behind him.
Optimally, the Browns would like to add another starting DE and allow McKinley to provide that quality depth by swinging between both end positions and spelling Roye on occasion without a tremendous drop-off.
Look for that to be a primary area of focus next off-season.
SS OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
2005: Matt Stewart
2006: Kamerion Wimbley
Much like Heiden, Stewart is a solid, dependable veteran.
However, much like Winslow, Wimbley has shown flashes during his first pre-season of being a game-changer and a playmaker on passing downs.
Wimbley, still adapting from college DE to NFL LB, must work on pass coverage and his play against run, which is why it's likely that Russell will begin the season as the starter.
Even given Wimbley's weaknesses, the
So, since this is my article and I have the power, I choose to go with Wimbley as the starter from the get-go and give the advantage to the rookie.
SS INSIDE LINEBACKER
2005: Ben Taylor
While we may miss those precocious little moments of
And that's all the analysis you get.
Davis, Chaun Thompson, doesn't matter. Two words.
WS INSIDE LINEBACKER
2005: Andra Davis
2006: Andra Davis
There are many players who will benefit from the presence of Ted Washington,
but no one more so than
One of the knocks on
While some are predicting a Pro Bowl season for
WS OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
2005: Chaun Thompson
2006: Willie McGinest
Provided McGinest stays healthy and has fully recovered from off-season elbow
surgery, this is an upgrade along the lines of
The Browns aren't getting the sack machine from the latter part of last century and the early part of the new one; what they are getting, however, is an experienced veteran who knows the 3-4 defense like I know beer and can impart that wisdom on players like Wimbley.
Additionally, if last season's post-season is any indication, he's not running on fumes and still has at least a little left in the tank.
2005: Gary Baxter
2006: Gary Baxter
This will come down to one simple question: can Baxter stay healthy and play in 16 games?
If so, it will be an upgrade simply due to the fact that a.) he will be on the field for more than five games as he is a quality corner, and, b.) it will prevent the pabulum that represents the depth at the corner position from ever seeing any meaningful minutes.
If not, Lord help us all and this position becomes skews heavily in favor of '05 Baxter.
EDGE: 2006 Baxter
2005: Daylon McCutcheon
2006: Leigh Bodden
McCutcheon and Bodden entered Training Camp 2006 in a virtual dead-heat for the starting position opposite Baxter. An injury early on in camp took out any drama in the competition, although it was likely to end just the way it did with Bodden supplanting McCutcheon.
Bodden grew by leaps and bounds after replacing Baxter in the starting lineup last season. He is bigger and more physical than McCutcheon, thus allowing him to take on the bigger WRs that used to eat McCutcheon for lunch and dinner and have enough left over for a midnight snack.
The talk of Andra Davis having a Pro Bowl year may be superfluous, but the
whispers around Bodden and
Provided Baxter is healthy, McCutcheon will able to assume the position that best suits him at this point in his career: nickel corner.
2005: Brian Russell
2006: Brian Russell
The veteran DB will more than likely begin the season on the sidelines as he recovers from surgery to remove a burst bursa sac in his elbow. He is, though, expected to return in time for the second game of the season against the Bengals.
However, should the injury linger and Jones—who will take over for Russell if he's unable to go—and Pool—who will take over for Jones at SS—progress during whatever time he may miss, Russell could find himself losing his starting job and looking for time coming off the bench.
The Browns ultimate goal would be for both Jones and Pool to grab starting jobs, which would give them veteran depth as insurance should anything befall the two former second-round draft picks.
2005: Chris Crocker
2006: Sean Jones
The Browns traded Crocker to the Falcons early on in the off-season in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick, which the club turned around and used on guard Isaac Sowells.
Only time will tell if they gave up on Crocker too soon, but the early indications are that Jones is beginning to live up to his second-round draft status.
Jones outlasted Brodney Pool in a camp-long competition, and will start the season as the starter. However, Crennel feels like he "has three starters at the position", so the safety positions could involve a rotation of Jones, Pool and Russell throughout the course of the season.
2005: Kyle Richardson
2006: Dave Zastudil
He is no Kyle Richardson, which, in this case, is a good thing.
A definite upgrade, but he still needs to work on knocking balls dead inside the 20.
2005: Phil Dawson
2006: Phil Dawson
Good old solid, steady Phil. He's been consistent for the better of seven
years, so there's no reason to expect the 31-year-old
Here's a quick fact that shows exactly why I'm picking the 2005 version of Phil Dawson over the 2006 model, though: In the last two even-numbered years, he has seen his field goal percentage go down from the previous season.
(He has. Look it up. See that science I'm droppin'.)
Since this is 2006, I'm going with the younger
2005: Ryan Pontbriand
2006: Ryan Pontbriand
As long as he doesn't screw up a snap, does it really matter?
(I still can't get my hands around the fact that Butchum used a fifth-round draft pick on a one-dimensional player whose one dimension is long-snapping. And he was one of his better selections.)
2005: Dennis Northcutt
2006: Dennis Northcutt
If a good portion of penalties on special teams were eliminated, we'd give the edge to the current ‘Cutt version.
However, after viewing the pre-season games, it looks like they're not.
2005: Josh Cribbs
2006: Josh Cribbs
One year of experience plus his natural athletic ability equals an improvement on his finishing eighth in the AFC in kick return average.
It's a simple formula, really.
EDGE: 2006 Cribbs