Lane Adkins: Direct Hits

How is the QB situation resonating in the locker room? What should Browns fans take away from the team's "win" over the Bengals? That, and more straight talk, from the voice Browns fans have trusted since the team returned...

THE QUARTERBACKS

- Via a text message during the game, a member of the Browns organization relayed to me that unless the Browns were being steamrolled or Anderson was giving the game away, Brady Quinn would not see the playing field. Unless Anderson was woefully bad - which was the case for the better part of three quarters - he wasn't being removed. 

- Monday morning a member of the Browns' roster discussed the locker room mood and QB situation with this column. While stopping short of saying 'everything is now good' within the team, this past week has brought a reality back to those within the locker room. According to this player, the subject of Brady Quinn playing was not a factor. The belief in the locker room was that the head coach was going to let his guy (Anderson) play until the option was taken from him. This option became close to a reality midway through the third quarter according to the player, as the offense remained in a funk and the QB wasn't responding to the moment.

- QB Derek Anderson's performance was miserable - until the latter stages of the second half. Anderson is obviously Crennel's guy, but when is enough really enough? Watching off-target passes fall to the ground and the QB playing with the spark of a water-soaked firecracker, one has to question whether the loyalty the head coach displays in certain players has taken its toll.

- In the week leading up to the Cincinnati game, the Browns' offensive coaching staff sought to minimize the opportunity for error, not only by the QB, but the offensive unit as a whole. Citing a lack of focus which created difficult down and distance issues for this offense, the head coach felt a week of intensity and discipline was in order.

- While the play of the offense and QB in general has sparked much debate outside of the organization, it has not been the issue many want to believe it has been within the organization. The front office and coaching staff has discussed at great lengths the issues on the offensive side of the ball and agree that execution is the primary culprit, as well as lingering injury issues. At this time, neither the GM or anyone else associated with the decision-makers has called for QB Derek Anderson to be benched.

- There's been a lot of discussion on the OBR forums concerning the notion that Quinn did not have a clipboard or headset on during the game against the Bengals. In truth, Quinn did have a earpiece on at times during the game and was never called upon to be ready once the game started. Quinn did spent a great deal of the afternoon attached to the hip of QB coach Rip Scherer, and had constant dialogue with the coach, starting QB Derek Anderson and third QB Ken Dorsey.

- This organization is banking on a return to health to help elevate the offensive woes. The bye week should certainly help on the injury front, as well as giving the starting QB time to settle in and relish the grand opportunity he has been provided.


THE PLAYERS 

- Hats off to the yeoman-like effort of offensive lineman Eric Steinbach on Sunday. Steinbach is not nearly 100%, but the lineman was workmanlike in his performance, which helped solidify the left side of the Browns offensive line. Some of the same can be hoped for in a couple weeks, when offensive lineman Ryan Tucker is expected to return to the field. The right side of the Browns' offensive line is terribly inconsistent, with Rex Hadnot and Kevin Shaffer taking turns playing matador.

- A spirited ground attack provided more than a slight glimpse of RB Jerome Harrison on the field. Outside of dropping a pass, Harrison performed as expected - even counting a five-yard loss on a rushing attempt when the RB didn't cut-back inside LT.

- The more I watch NT Shaun Rogers, the more I like the off-season trade that brought the big man to Cleveland. Rogers is talented enough to play in a 3-4 or 4-3 defensive scheme and has offset his uncertainty at times in the defensive sets with pure power and athleticism. Where Rogers has done well, the Browns other off-season acquisition along the defensive line, Corey Williams, has struggled to make plays. Williams is slowly improving in the new defensive scheme, but still looks every bit a 4-3 lineman to this eye.


THE GAME

- The Browns won a woeful battle of distress on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. No matter how inept both teams may have looked, the Bengals were unable to capitalize on the numerous opportunities they were provided.

- This Browns victory certainly keeps the hotplate from exploding under the backside of the head coach; however, one has to wonder how content those ultimate decision-makers within the organization should be following a game that could have just as easily been a loss.

- Most fans aren't fooled by this Browns win; the offense did very little and appeared to be staggering around throughout the contest. The commitment to the run prolonged the ability of this offense to stay in the game, with a couple favorable bounces going the way of the Browns. Without a doubt, this game looked like two winless teams battling through execution issues and uncertainty.

- The commitment to run the football even caught the players off-guard. Throughout the week the team practiced in a normal manner, though there was intensity in the surrounding atmosphere. The expectation was to be physical and get after the Bengals; however, 40 rushes on the offensive of the ball and numerous blitz packages on the defensive side was a grand - and welcome - surprise - to the players.


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