Adkins: Quick Hits from the In-Box

Lane takes on your questions about the Browns and what's next. Here's the latest scoop on whether Derek Anderson is for real, what's going on with the pass rush, and the team's challenges in the defensive secondary...

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. Here are Quick Hits from those the PM messages:

Q: As the Browns continue to have struggles stopping the run, why hasn't the team signed someone like Tank Johnson or made changes with the players on the roster at this time?

LA: Some people associated with the organization went to bat for Johnson last week and were attempting to have Johnson visit. The problem was Phil Savage was not interested in Johnson. As for the roster, I expect to see more of Shaun Smith in the coming weeks, and the team may look to utilize more of the 4-3 short yardage defense in the front seven if the issues against the run continue.

Q: I keep hearing Andra Davis could be moved the second team defense with Leon Williams taking his place. Is this something which we may see happening anytime soon and would this be the answer against the run?

LA: Leon Williams is a physical presence and does possesses the ability to make plays, but the team is not sold on his play against the pass, which is why he is playing behind Davis and D'Qwell Jackson. For all those who keep saying Davis is going to get the boot - better not wager on it. Davis graded fairly well against the Bengals and there is no intention at this time to remove him from the lineup, according to a coach with the team. Inserting Williams will not solve the issues against the run, the front three must play better, especially whomever is manning the nose tackle position, as Robaire Smith and Orpheus Roye played fairly well this past Sunday.

Q: Was Derek Anderson that good against the Bengals or was it a bad Cincinnati defense which made him look awesome?

LA: Anderson played pretty well against the Bengals, so let's take nothing away from his effort and performance. Cincinnati does not have a good defense, but many were building up the Bengals defense due to a pretty good outing against a Baltimore offense which is out of whack. Once the Browns proved they could handle the limited blitz Cincinnati threw at them and Anderson gained confidence, the Browns offense was able to make plays they left on the field against the Steelers a week prior. Anderson should improve with the reps in practice, the security of knowing he is the quarterback until Quinn is inserted, and the up-close coaching he is receiving. Still, Anderson does need to improve his reads and the dangerous throws in double and triple coverage we have viewed. His accuracy needs work, if it was not for some tremendous grabs by Winslow and Edwards, this would have been an entirely different game.

Q: There have been numerous reports and rumors as to who in the Browns organization wanted Frye and who wanted Anderson, what is the deal as you know it?

LA: I don't know where everyone gets the information they put out there for the fans/public, but my source is as close to the team as it gets without having an official title. Savage was looking for Frye to succeed, while Crennel was leaning toward Anderson, as the head coach likes the ability of the quarterback to get the ball down field and attack the defense. As Anderson disappointed in the unreasonable training camp competition, it left little room but for the team to keep Frye and start him. When Frye bombed and appeared to lose all confidence in his game, as well as some uncertainty amongst his teammates, the choice to trade him became an easy decision.

Q: If Anderson plays well does it keep Quinn on the bench and prohibit him from growing as a player?

LA: If Anderson plays well, it will keep Quinn on the bench and provide Anderson further experience, which increases his value. Keeping Quinn on the bench in this his rookie season is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the team is progressing with him there. I do expect to see Quinn get some snaps at some point this season, but hopefully it will not be due to Anderson failing.

Q: Was the Jamal Lewis against the Bengals the player we should expect to see, or was the Lewis that played against the Steelers closer to the player we have to depend on?

LA: When provided the ability to get into space, Lewis still has the wheels to make things happen. He can still run well and once he gets moving, he is difficult to bring down. While I do not expect to see him run for 200+ week in and week out, I do see him as a significant addition to this offense and will put up good numbers if the line blocking is above average and the passing game is effective enough to keep teams from loading the box consistently.

Q: Where has the pass rush been during the first two weeks of the season? Kamerion Wimbley and Antwan Peek have been non-factors?

LA: Wimbley is often doubled at some point during a play, while Peek has been getting chipped by a tight-end or guard often. Despite this, I do not think either player is close to hitting their stride yet. The thing I do not like about what I am seeing with Wimbley is he is being taken very wide on most pass attempts and he is generating little inside pressure off the tackle.

Q: What is the deal in the secondary? Last season the Browns defensive backs appeared to play the pass much better, what happened over the off-season?

LA: The Browns defensive backs have not played well in the zone or cover-two type defense. Lapses in responsibility are the greatest concern and area which needs to be improved. The team appears to be playing a little more man-to-man, which can be costly if there is not a pass rush, giving the opposing QB too much time to survey the field and wait for a receiver to come clear of the coverage. Also, the communication must improve, far too often during these first two games, the defensive backs are looking at one another questioning "what happened"? 


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