Behind Enemy Lines, Part 2

To find out about this week's Dolphins opponent, the Cleveland Browns, we checked in with the Orange and Brown Report's Barry McBride to ask him some questions about the team and this week's matchup. Part 2 focuses on the Browns defense and special teams.

Q. Jamal Lewis was injured in the loss at New England last Sunday; would you anticipate him playing on Sunday; and what kind of season is he having?

McBride: Whether or not Lewis will play is still up in the air, but with the nature of his injury (foot sprain) and a bye week coming up, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see the Browns rest him and give him a couple of weeks to come back. Lewis lost some weight and has some of his burst back when he gets through the line, but he hasn't been a dominant force except for his amazing game against the Bengals.

Q. Looking at the defense, the Browns don't look very good from this vantage point; is that pretty accurate?

McBride: That's accurate, although the Browns have shown great resiliency in the red zone. The statistics don't lie, however, and the Browns defensive statistics are among the worst in the league. The Brown have some real problems on the defensive line, although Robaire Smith has played fairly well, and the defensive line problems have exposed some other issues the team is facing up the middle of their defense, at inside linebacker and safety. Teams have been able to run on the Browns very effectively, and fantasy football players will want to start whatever running back is facing the Browns each week. The Browns have allowed opposing teams feature backs to gain 5 yards or more per carry since the pre-season. Willie McGinest's return helps, but the poor run defense and absence of a pass rush have meant that the team's offense will have to remain very effective for the Browns to win.

Q. OLB Kamerion Wimbley was a find as a rookie; has he picked this season where he left off?

McBride: Wimbley is a genuine talent, but he's not catching anyone by surprise this year. With the team's other defensive issues, Wimbley winds up getting a lot of attention from opponents and his effectiveness has been reduced as a result, although the linebacker has added some tricks to his repertoire since last season. Wimbley can put real pressure on quarterbacks, but he'll need some more talent around him before he can really show everything he can do. The Browns are hoping to take greater advantage of Wimbley's ability by moving him around more and having him attack from the right or left.

Q. How concerned should the Dolphins be about kick returner Joshua Cribbs?

McBride: Very concerned. Cribbs is fast, fearless, and elusive. His kick returns have been a key element in the Browns becoming a more competitive team, as he gives the team good field position frequently. Opponents should simply keep the ball as far away from him as possible. It's hard to understand why teams kick to him.

Q. What is the view of the Dolphins out in Cleveland?

McBride: As Browns fans have learned, other fans and media judge you by your won-loss record, and the Dolphins record right now means that the expectation is that the Browns should be able to beat the Dolphins, particularly playing at home. It's even being referred to as a "trap game" at times, something that Browns fans haven't had to hear about in quite a few years. The Dolphins' biggest opportunity probably comes running the ball against the Browns defense. Ronnie Browns' ability and Cleveland's porous run defense could result in big problems for the home team on Sunday. Against the Ravens, the Browns were able to build up a big lead and take the Ravens out of their game plan. Against the Bengals, the Browns simply out-scored their opponent. The Raiders showed how to beat the Browns: Run, run, run, and then run some more.


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