Hanford: A Challenge Awaits

The Lions (including Calvin Johnson, pictured) will be a real test for the Browns secondary. Here's Hanford Dixon's take...

Hey, dawgs, I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to this week's preseason game against the Detroit Lions because I think it will be a much stiffer test for our defense.

Last week against Kansas City, the Chiefs were pretty much vanilla on offense. They didn't have their star running back Larry Johnson. And when you look at their quarterback position, it's in disarray.

This next game is going to be a test for the entire defense because let's face it, you look at these Lions right now and there's a lot of buzz, not only in Detroit, but around the league with this team.

I can't wait to see how the defensive backs, especially Eric Wright, are going to carry themselves out on the field in man-to-man coverage against these Detroit wide receivers. Guys like Roy Williams have come into their own and Mike Furrey was a nice surprise for them last year. And then there's Calvin Johnson, their No. 1 draft pick. I'm anxious to see how we do against this guy. A lot of people think he's going to become a superstar.

When you look at the Lions the past few years, they've not had a good team in any phase and it's reflected in their record. Now with Mike Martz as their offensive coordinator, it wouldn't surprise me to see his guys run up 500 yards or more. I hope they don't do that against our defense, but that's what they're known to do with that style of play.

What Todd Grantham has got to do is pretty much keep his guys fresh and get them off the field. It is a preseason game and a lot of the starters are not going to play a lot, but while they're out there, each and every game right now is a fine tune-up getting toward that opener Sept. 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

They have to show well. They have to play well. They have to try to hold these guys to three and outs and get off the field. They can't let them get any drives going down the field because if any of that happens, it's going be a major, major disappointment.

Getting back to the victory last Saturday over the Chiefs, I wasn't surprised our defense played well. The defense doesn't concern me. I wasn't surprised because when you look at the Chiefs right now, who do you see on the opposing side? Sure, these guys are professionals, but nobody who will put fright in you.

I was extremely pleased with the way Antwan Peek played. I think he sees that he has a great opportunity here to do something with Willie McGinest out of commission for six weeks and he's doing everything he possibly can to step up and take advantage. If he continues to play the way he's playing, that's going to be what the doctor ordered.

But the key is going to be the line of scrimmage. That's where the game of football is played, that's where it is controlled. On the defensive and offensive lines of scrimmage. Those guys up front have to – have to – protect that defensive line.

I'm a little bit concerned with the linebacker position because Andra Davis has a high ankle sprain. He sat out of practice Monday, but he was out there. Whenever they say high ankle sprain, that's a concern.

And you know what, guys, I'm trying to figure out where this term came from. When I played, there was no such thing as a high ankle sprain. Either you had an ankle sprain or an ankle sprain. Now, it's a high ankle sprain. What's with that?

Before we wrap it up this week, I've got to say something about the offense. I've got a problem with it. We just have to get something going. It's the biggest concern I have. One main area I was concentrating on last week was the offensive line. I thought Joe Thomas played extremely well. He had a couple of holding penalties, but that's all right. I'll take those. I thought the line played well overall.

Where I have a problem is with the quarterback position. Nobody has stood up and taken over. Any time you've got a head coach who's got to flip a coin to decide who's going to start, we have a problem.

You look at Charlie Frye's numbers and Derek Anderson's numbers and nobody's lighting it up. One of these guys has to take control. What they're doing is leaving the door wide open for Brady Quinn to step through and perhaps take over the position. All we want is somebody, anybody, who we can say is our starting quarterback.

Frye and Anderson aren't rookies anymore. That's what's so disappointing. When Charlie's had as many games as he's had under his belt, when he has an opportunity like we had down at the goal line late in the first half and we came up with no points, that's just uncalled for.

He's got to understand, and I'm sure he does right now, he's got to know that you've got to throw that ball away. I think he made the comment that he was surprised that they closed on him so fast. C'mon, Charlie. This is the NFL, my friend. We all want to see you do well. If you want to be the starting quarterback, take charge of this thing. Show us you can do it.

And this Saturday night, both will get another chance against the Lions. Hopefully, we're going to see Rob Chudzinski open up this offense a little bit more. It was vanilla in the first preseason game and we understand that. But now, we have to see more.

We'll talk again next week, dawgs.

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