From the forums of The Orange and Brown Report, my PM (private message inbox) has been filling up with questions regarding the team, specific players, and what is transpiring with the team, as the regular season is right around the corner. Here are Quick Hits from those the PM messages:
Q: Heading into the opener it appears Charlie Frye is going to get the nod to start the game. If he does not play well early and the team looks like it could use a spark, do you think Crennel would consider bringing in Anderson or Quinn to get the team on track?
LA: Yes, I could see the head coach shaking things up if the offense is not playing well, is not responding to Frye, or Frye is just playing badly. The organization does not want to get off to a bad start and will do what they need to do to be competitive and put them in a position to win the game. I could see Anderson being called upon to relieve Frye, this is why he is on the roster, and insurance you could call it. In any event, don’t expect to see Brady Quinn come in and relieve Frye, if he is pulled.
Q: You, John Taylor, and maybe a couple others at best, prior to the draft noted how Brady Quinn could be a major player in the league. Being said, what are your thoughts today and when do you see Quinn playing?
LA: Thanks, John and I are on the same page on many of these type issues. I believe if Quinn would have been in camp on time, he would have made the decision process much tougher for the organization in regards to the starting quarterback position. He has shown some significant promise in practice and preseason game conditions, but he has not had the entire offense thrown his way in practice and game settings, which keeps him slightly behind Frye and Anderson. His on-field presence is outstanding, his awareness and recognition are ahead of the other QB’s on the roster. I think we’ll see Quinn later as the season progresses. There is really no need to thrust him to the forefront at this time, as he is being groomed as the franchise quarterback of the future, which is not too far away.
Q: I read where you noted in spring practice and at the beginning of training camp you see something in Jamal Lewis’ game which has hampered his ability. Can you elaborate a little further on the issue?
LA: Back in the spring, in watching Lewis you could see he did not hesitate when getting the football. Early in training camp, when Lewis would take a handoff, he was decisive and quick. As training camp wore on, Lewis began to do a little stutter, a small shuffle with his feet, losing his power and decisiveness to the hole, which we verified by watching some coaches film from the Ravens. I do not know if he reverted back to this form due to habit, comfort, indecisiveness, or just being a little worn down due to a long training camp, but this is certainly something to keep an eye on, especially if he is not hitting the hole come Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Q: Over the past couple weeks you have had plenty of good things to say about nose tackle Babatunde Oshinowo. If he were playing that well, why did the team not keep him, especially as we all know we can’t stop the run?
LA: Great question that I do not have answer to. When asking the team the same type of question, the response was we kept the players which we believe can help us win right now. I am not impressed with the practice or play of the players at the position and believe the defensive line is going to be the weakness once again of this team in the 2007 season.
Q: Now that the team has finished training camp and is getting ready for the season, who are the biggest surprises and disappointments along the offensive line?
LA: The biggest surprise has to be the health and solid play of starting right guard Seth McKinney. The team did not know what to fully expect once the hitting began in camp, as McKinney was coming off neck surgery. In all, McKinney did a solid job and is a significant upgrade over the previous starter at the position. I would like to add that center Hank Fraley has done well and looks much more comfortable and in tune to the new offense and coaching. The biggest disappointment has to be the injury to starting left guard Eric Steinbach. Though he is expected to be ready in the regular season opener, just mot having him on the field to work next to and with rookie Joe Thomas was disappointing.
Q: I don’t understand the Browns position of waiving players that can help the team, but keeping guys like Baxter and McGinest who haven’t done anything and can’t for awhile?
LA: In hindsight, I think the Browns would have handled the Baxter situation differently, if they did not expect him to be able to participate at the start or near the start of the season. He is an amazing story and the Browns are being very patient with his recovery, but it is costing them a spot on the roster. In the case of McGinest, he is only expected to be out a few more weeks, tops. Being the case, the team felt he would be able to come back and be productive in the 2007 season. The only option the team really had was to keep him on the roster, place him on IR, or attempt to come to an injury settlement with him, which was going to happen in the case of this veteran.