Saturday, September 26, 2009

Blogging with the Enemy: Grasso on the Browns

Questions for Pete Grasso who covers the Cleveland Browns for In The Blawg Pound:

1. Did the Browns pick the right guy in Brady Quinn to be their starting quarterback?

Absolutely, they did. I’ve backed Quinn from the beginning, having watched him play four years at ND and carry a team there that really wasn’t that good. I know, given the chance, he can be a great NFL quarterback. The problem is, he hasn’t been given a chance until now, and even then, it’s hardly been fair. First, he has to “compete” for his job and miss out on valuable practice time with the first team unit. Now, after two lousy games, people are questioning whether he has what it takes to win games. I can tell you, he does have what it takes to win games. Unfortunately, he can’t do it by himself — he has no tools on offense with which to work. I doubt any QB in the NFL could win games with no blocking, no running game and only one credible wide receiver. Derek Anderson had his chance — and with more weapons — and couldn’t perform well on a consistent basis. It’s easy to blame Quinn when the offense is so pathetic, but I think people are forgetting that the unit as a whole is lacking.

2. Eric Mangini from the outside looking in seems to be losing his team already. How does he get them back and can he?

The problem with being on the outside looking in — which is all we can do as non-Browns personnel — is that all we know is whatever the media reports. The problem with that is, Mangini is giving the media pretty much nothing to go on, so they’re left to speculate and report rumors as news.Is Mangini really losing his team already? No one knows that except for Mangini and his team, because that’s the way Mangini runs things. If he is losing them — which I doubt he is — then winning will cure all.

3. What newcomers have made an impact for the Browns and who should Ravens fans pay particular attention to among them?

Eric Barton has been pretty good at linebacker, and that’s really not saying much. Really, it’s hard to say if anyone has had much of an impact on the team yet because they’ve been such a boring team in the first two games.Some not-so-newcomers to watch out for would be Joe Thomas. He pretty much shut down Jared Allen in Week 1. If only we had a Joe Thomas for the right side of the line too, then I don’t think Elvis Dumervil would have had four sacks on Quinn.

4. The Browns traded Kellen Winslow. How is his replacement Robert Royal doing in his place?

I was not a fan of this trade at all. Kellen Winslow was a Pro-Bowl tight end and, really, the only other serious weapon on offense. Replacing him would be tough.Royal had a pretty good game against the Vikings, but was almost non-existent against the Broncos. Quinn likes to use the tight end, and I can only dream about how big Winslow’s numbers would have been with him. Royal, thus far, is no replacement. As the offense gets better (and I hope it does), I think he’ll play a bigger role.

5. The Ravens had their eyes set on Brian Robiskie in the 2009 NFL Draft. How has he performed?

What about fellow rookie Mohamed Massaquoi? Robiskie has been pretty quiet and these crazy OSU fans around here have been crying for Brian Daboll to use the rookie more than he is. Massaquoi, as predicted during the draft, actually seems to be progressing much more quickly than Robiskie. Neither rookie has had much of an impact since the offense has been so anemic, so it’s difficult to truly judge their performances. In the preseason, though, Massaquoi looked very promising.

6. The Browns have thrown out the welcome mat for several wayward former Ravens. Which have you been pleased with and which would you like to return to sender?

Jamal Lewis, while past his prime for sure, has been a valuable asset to this struggling team. I can only imagine how much worse off they’d be without his veteran leadership in the locker room and on the field. I still think he’s got a lot of yardage left in him, if he could just get some blocking.

7. Finish these statements regarding the possible outcome of Sunday’s game:

The Ravens won because … they’re simply a better football team this year.

The Browns won because … something finally clicked with the offense and, perhaps, the Ravens overlooked them as a worthy opponent.

My responses to Pete's questions HERE


Harryos29 said...

harry os29 9/26/ 09

BECAUSE they finally tackled CRIBBS

3rdStoneFromTheSun said...

still can't believe the Browns released Rucker!

Jerry B said...

The Browns are a "train wreck"! If Mangini could coach, he'd still be in New York! As for QB, it's difficult to assess either of them in this offense, but.....Anderson performed at a Pro Bowl level two years ago and appears to be better than Brady Quinn. However, that's not saying much........

Harryos29 said...

harry os 29 9/28/09

Crazy Canton Cuts said...

so glad I added this site to my blogroll and follow it