Browns to go from 12 to 2

The Browns will face a very different quarterback when they travel to Oakland next week, as they look at the Raiders new signal caller, Andrew Walter...

The Browns go from facing Steve McNair, a veteran of 12 NFL seasons, to facing an inexperienced second-year quarterback in Andrew Walter when they head west to meet the Oakland Raiders.

Walter was a third-round draft choice from Arizona State in 2005 and never took a regular season snap as a rookie. Walter played after quartearback Aaron Brooks was injured last week and completed 10 of 27 passes for 162 yards. Walter threw three interceptions, lost a fumble and was sacked six times.

Oakland was on its bye last week. Walter subbed for Aaron Brooks in the second week when Brooks was injured. Now Walter will have more than one full week to prepare as the starter.

The Chargers and Ravens pummeled the Raider quarterbacks in the first two games. The Browns will have to do the same to win in Oakland for the second straight year. They beat the Raiders 9-7 last year on three field goals by Phil Dawson.

The lack of a pass rush was a major disappointment in the first two games. The Browns did not touch Drew Brees in the opener. Although they sacked Carson Palmer four times, the sacks were not meaningful ones. They occurred after the Bengals were in control but still passing.

They got more pressure on McNair but didn't get to him on the final drive.

The lack of a pass rush cannot be blamed on any particular player as much as on the injury situation in the secondary. Starting right cornerback Gary Baxter was inactive in the game against the Ravens because of a pectoral injury. He might not be ready against the Raiders.

Daven Holly started in place of Baxter and Ralph Brown lined up as the nickel back. Neither player was in the Browns' plans as late as June, but Holly was signed on July 13 and Brown a week after training camp started. Both were signed because of uncertainty surrounding Daylon McCutcheon. The concerns proved to be well founded; McCutcheon is on injured reserve because he has not recovered from knee surgery on Aug. 1.

Brown knows he will be a marked man whether he lines up in the slot or outside in nickel situations. Opponents don't have as much film on Holly because he was suspended by the NFL in the opener for violating the league's conduct policy. He played sparingly against the Bengals and was burned badly by McNair.

"I think that's going to continue the whole year," Brown said. "When you look at (left cornerback) you see Leigh Bodden. I think he's one of the best cornerbacks in the league.

"They look at Ralph Brown, Leigh Bodden or Daven Holly. They have their choices. Leigh Bodden is a proven cornerback.

A healthy Willie McGinest would help get to Walter and make the secondary look better. McGinest missed the game against the Bengals with a calf injury. He did not start against the Ravens but he came off the bench for three tackles, a sack and a quarterback hurry.

The OBR Top Stories