Hanford: "A Classic Shootout"

Ever wonder what an all-time great defensive back thinks of a big aerial show like Sunday's 51-45 Browns win? Here's Hanford's take on the offensive explosion Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium...

Lemme tell you something, for all you fans, what the Browns did against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, that is what we've been waiting for. We have been waiting a long time for this team to respond the way it did. Thoroughly enjoyable. 

We were a week late, but that's all right. We'll take it. It was a team in our division and we played well. I've been telling you guys all along that Derek Anderson was the guy. Sure, it's only one game. But he's the guy who should have started this football season. And boy did he come out. He was a little rusty early, but played well overall. 

The big difference? It's a lot different when you know you're the man, when you go into a game taking pretty much all the reps and know you are the starting quarterback. Derek had no idea during the exhibition season that he was going to be the man. He was fighting for the job with Charlie Frye

He knew going into this game that he was the starter and responded. It was a little disappointing early in the game. He threw a couple of passes behind the receivers, but overall, be made the right reads, showed poise, showed us that if we give him enough time and put a lot of trust in him, he can get the job done.  

I must admit I was surprised at how poorly both teams played on defense, especially the way our football team played on defense. Who would have thought that we would have put up as many points as we did that the Bengals, as good as they are on offense, would have put up the number they did? That's unbelievable. 

When you look at it, when was the last time we had a guy go over 200 yards rushing? Jamal Lewis was fantastic. I believe the last guy to do that was Greg Pruitt and that was more than 30 years ago. Great offensive effort, great team effort, great win. 

What surprised me the most was that neither team made the defensive adjustments to what the other club was doing. It was a classic shootout.  

The most important thing when you look at it is we wanted it more than they did. The Bengals thought they could ride into town and just beat up on our football team and thought they had a win. But boy, were they wrong.  

I don't think what we saw against the Bengals was an aberration. I hope it's a sign of things to come. You hope a win like this is not a fluke. We've got the Raiders next Sunday in Oakland and hopefully, we can go in there and can play well in all phases of the game and come back with another win. Wouldn't that be something? 

Then we all know the Ravens come into town the week after that. Hopefully, this is a sign of this football team coming together because we all know we have talent on this team. It's just a matter of everybody playing together.  

This victory had to be a big boost for Romeo Crennel. He understands and knows he's a good football coach. Everybody's putting a lot of pressure on him, but he knows he can coach in this league. 

I think what happened today is good for his psyche. A lot of people are giving him a lot of problems. They say his team hasn't been ready to play, especially in the home opener. But I don't look at Romeo for things like that. I look at the players.  

These guys are professionals. They're getting paid big money. They have to take it upon themselves to get ready. It's not like high school or college where a coach should get the players ready to go. This is a professional football team and each guy should be ready to go each and every week. 

Winning the Bengals game could be a very big building block for next Sunday. It was really big. If we build on it and play defense they way we're supposed to, not the way we played against the Bengals, and if we continue to grow on offense and do the things we're supposed to do and put some points on the board, who knows where this team can go this year? 

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