Behind Enemy Lines: Cleveland Browns Part 2

When Romeo Crennel returns to the field at Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots, he will contend with not only the good memories of the past, but a formidable team guided by his friend and long time head coach Bill Belichick. Barry McBride shares some insights into what the season means for Cennel in this his third year away from Foxboro.

 

Continued from Part 1 Behind Enemy Lines with Barry McBride,

Is the starting QB role one for Derek Anderson to lose or will Brady Quinn see some action this season regardless?

BARRY MCBRIDE: The Browns would love to see Anderson continue to play well (if not improve) so that Quinn could spend the entire season on the sidelines. The offensive line is protecting him well and hasn't allowed a sack in their last three games. With the great protection and weapons Anderson has, there's a fair chance that he could continue as the team's quarterback through the season. If he starts throwing more interceptions or the team drops out of the playoff race, Quinn will get his chance.

What was your take on the Browns 2007 Draft? Did they get what they needed or did they overpay for the talent they acquired?

BMc: Joe Thomas has graded out well, and has solidified the left side of the Browns line. He looks like a good investment of a No. 3 pick. The Browns draft, however, will be judged based on the play of Brady Quinn and how high of a pick the Dallas Cowboys get from the Browns based on their record this year. At this point, Quinn seems to be picking up the offense quickly, but it's going to take several years to determine if the Browns overpaid or not. Quinn looked sharp in pre-season opportunities and the buzz from the team's closed practices remains positive.

Romeo Crennel hasn't had a lot to cheer about since joining the Browns. Is he on the hot seat this season?

BMc: Crennel needs seven or more wins to survive, and the team needs to be competitive throughout the season. Owner Randy Lerner has seen too many empty stadiums during the fourth quarter of home blow-outs, and the team's recent strong showings at home help Crennel. If RAC can somehow figure out a way to stop the bleeding with the team's run defense, he can survive. If he can't, he's got problems.

Has Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards become the type of impact players the Browns envisioned when they drafted them, or is there still a lot of upside for them?

BMc: There has been significant improvement from Edwards both on and off the field in 2007, as he has now come all the way back from an ACL he suffered as a rookie. Winslow still isn't 100%, but is a force of nature who is emerging as one of the top tight ends in the game. There is some upside for both still, but the Browns are finally now seeing what they hoped they would get when drafting both with top ten picks in 2004 and 2005.

What do you think the Patriots biggest strengths are?

BMc: Everything. I picked the Patriots to win the Super Bowl before the season, and see no reason why they shouldn't be one of the top teams of the decade. While they face some tough away games in the coming weeks, don't be fooled if they lose to the Colts or Cowboys. Barring an injury to Tom Brady, this is the team to beat.

Barry McBride is the editor-in-chief of the The Orange and Brown Report (TheOBR..com), the Cleveland Browns affiliate on the Scout.com network.

 

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