The best way to defeat your enemy is to know more about him.
In an effort to get to know a little more about what the Chiefs will be facing today, I spoke to Steve DiMatteo who runs Dawg Pound Daily. DPD is a great resource for any Browns fan it is one of our more popular NFL blogs. If you know any Browns fans, God help them, send them to Dawg Pound Daily.
Let’s get to know the Browns.
1. I thought Holmgren was a brilliant choice by the organization but I firmly believed Mangini should have gotten the axe. After a tough loss to a not so good Bucs team, how are Browns fans feeling about their coach?
Browns fans are already on rocky terms with Eric Mangini, and the loss to the Buccaneers didn’t help matters much, but I also don’t believe it made the tension any worse either. Fans will put up with the early disappointment, but a loss to the Chiefs will make the anti-Mangini sentiment intensify. Unless the Browns somehow win seven to nine games, few expect Mangini to be around much longer, anyway.
2. Last week I thought the Browns secondary was showing a lot of promise. What are the overall impressions of the group and Joe Haden in particular?
What was arguably the Browns’ biggest problem last season was one of the bright spots last week. The secondary is much-improved, especially with the addition of cornerback Sheldon Brown. His presence gives the Browns two formidable starting corners, including rookie Joe Haden as the nickel. Both he and rookie safety T.J. Ward were impressive against the Bucs, and I’d expect them to only get better. Teams will find that passing against the Browns is not as easy as it has been in the past.
3. I thought the Browns looked really good in the first half of last weeks game. I couldn’t figure out why they couldn’t seem to make the proper adjustments to stay ahead in the second half. Part of that was because of bad decision making by Jack Delhome. Do you think your chances are better or worse if Seneca Wallace gets the start?
Part of it certainly has to do with Delhomme’s poor decision-making, but the bigger problem is one that plagued the team last season as well. In fact, it seems to plague the Browns every season. The coaching staff simply does not make the necessary adjustments at halftime, making it extremely difficult on the players. Conservative play-calling puts the defense on its heels and, despite a valiant effort, can only hold for so long. The Browns’ chances might be better with Seneca Wallace under center if only for his added mobility in the pocket. If the Browns were smart, they would utilize Wallace’s versatility and implement the Wildcat with Josh Cribbs more effectively than last week. And whatever your reservations are regarding Jerome Harrison, he has to touch the ball more than nine times.
4. Going off the preseason and the first week, what are the biggest strengths and weaknesses of the team at this point? Both position groups and players.
Biggest strengths – Running back depth (Jerome Harrison, Peyton Hillis, James Davis), the secondary, rookie contributions (Joe Haden, T.J. Ward, and Shawn Lauvao when healthy)
Biggest weaknesses – Coaching staff’s inability to make adjustments to go along with the flow of the game, defensive speed, lack of true pass-rushers
5. Other than Cribbs and Harrison, who should the Chiefs be most afraid of this Sunday?
Running back Peyton Hillis should frighten the Chiefs even more than Jerome Harrison. The coaching staff has taken a real liking to Hillis, evidenced by the fact that he had the same amount of carries last week as Harrison. Hillis is a battering ram, perfect for short-yardage situations, and he’s near-impossible to bring down when he catches a ball in the flat.
6. And of course, how do you think this one turns out?
I wish I could say that the Browns will put on a great show in front of the home crowd – especially in the home opener and the inaugural Ring of Honor ceremony – but I am seriously doubting this coaching staff’s ability to make the necessary in-game adjustments. The Chiefs have coaches with very successful track records, and I think that will be the difference.
Chiefs win, 21-13