With Charlie Frye getting beaten more than a rented mule carrying Greg, Peter and Bobby, much of the focus on the offensive line has been on their lack of pass protection.
However, the Browns inability to run the ball with any type of consistency has been just as glaring. With no need to respect the running game, opposing defenses have been allowed to pin their ears back and attack the second-year QB.
Head coach Romeo Crennel took his offensive line—specifically the run-blocking aspect—to task yesterday when asked about Reuben Droughns' performance this year compared to last.
"I've found this about running backs: When there is no hole, they all kind of look the same. Maybe that's why he doesn't look like he did last year," Crennel said.
To his credit, Droughns refused to single-out the OL for the running woes. Instead, the veteran back talked of the line being relatively new and needing some time to come together as a unit.
"Oh, wow. I'm not going to say that, I'm going to let Coach say that," Droughns said. "The line, we're still jelling. We did mix a couple new players in there."
In the first two games of the season, the only thing about Randy Moss that has not been kept under control has been his ‘fro.
With a meager six catches for 79 yards, Moss is on pace to have the worst statistical season of his nine-year NFL career.
Enter second-year QB Andrew Walter, who will make his first NFL start this weekend.
Walter, drafted two spots lower than Frye in the 2005 draft, is not known for his mobility, but he does have a Howitzer firmly attached to his shoulder. One of the Raiders' hopes for this Sunday, in addition to looking like a real NFL team, is that Walter's presence will allow them to stretch the field vertically.
Moss, of course, has been the dictionary definition of vertical throughout his career.
The combination of the two will have the Browns keeping more than a watchful eye down the field.
Russell, who was with Moss in Minnesota, was even more effusive in his praise for what his former teammate can still bring to the field.
"Randy hasn't lost a step," Russell said.
"Randy can still run with anybody, if not run by anybody. He makes great catches when he gets the chance. I'm sure they're working on being more efficient and getting the ball more to Randy …so we have to be ready for his best game."
Do not be concerned over the Browns listing Kellen Winslow Jr. as "questionable" for this Sunday's game or reports that the tight end has been limited in practice.
The Browns are simply doing their due diligence and being rightfully cautious with Winslow's surgically-repaired knee.
Coming off back-to-back years of injuries both football and non-football related, the organization was well aware that Winslow would need to be "massaged" throughout the season if they wanted him to make it through relatively healthy.
Part of the massaging, of course, is watching his time on the practice field if/when the knee begins to show signs of pain above and beyond the norm. The knee has and now the Browns are acting accordingly.
This was expected and there is no cause for concern.
Not yet, at least.
As it so happens, two of the people who actually have a more-than-rooting interest in this game are currently members of the Cleveland Browns: former Zip Charlie Frye and former Golden Flasher Josh Cribbs.
And, as so often occurs in NFL locker rooms, the two are making a friendly wager as to the outcome of the contest. The loser will be forced to wear the winner's collegiate jersey all next week during team meetings.
While it may not have seemed that way to the reporters who were actually there on the "front line", their encounter with Ted Washington was downright hilarious reading.
According to multiple stories appearing in this morning's papers, a group of reporters approached Washington—"cautiously" as noted in one story, as if the media were on safari and had a rhino in their scopes—at his locker yesterday in an attempt to get an interview with the mammoth nose tackle.
As the reporters neared, Washington—whose dislike (contempt) for the media has been well-known for years—whipped out a can of disinfectant and sprayed a semi-circle around his locker in an attempt to ward them off.
Additionally, Washington bellowed out a couple of "don't come near my locker!" blasts as further warning to the media horde.
Suffice to say, the writers paid heed to the warning, although the veteran defensive lineman did eventually allow them the privilege of hearing his insights a little while later.
The OBR has gotten word that Paul Warfield, special assistant to general manager Phil Savage, was in El Paso earlier this week to attend a UTEP practice. We were told that Warfield was there specifically to scout quarterback Jordan Palmer and linebacker Troy Collavo.
FAST FACT: The Browns have the second-fewest penalties in the league with eight, trailing only the Steelers and their six flags.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I might even paint it orange or something"—running back Reuben Droughns, on his new Grizzly Adams look.
QUOTE OF THE DAY, THE SEQUEL: "A guy like Orpheus, I can vent to. Say I'm having difficulty with this or that and he's like, 'When I was in my second year, this is how I kind of handled it.' We lean on each other, we help each other out."—defensive end Simon Fraser, on how veteran Orpheus Roye has helped him progress.