Scouting the Cleveland Browns

So this week it is Steve DiMatteo from the Dawg Pound Daily. Just as it is depressing that we have to cover the Orioles at times, I feel for this guy. The Browns have hired a high profile front office man who is implementing “the plan.” Sound familiar? So without further ado, here are his answers to my questions this week .

So were you cursing the Browns for having the little run at the end of the season that ended up saving Mangini?

Actually I was a very big proponent of giving Mangini another year, not only so he could prove himself, but simply for the stability it would bring. A complete turnover   of the organization would have made much more difficult, and I don’t believe Mangini is a bad coach at all. I believe he is the victim of an extreme lack of talent and an inconsistent, nearly incompetent offensive coordinator.

We are looking at Game 2 of the Seneca Wallace era. At what point do you want to say screw it and  let Colt McCoy play?

From what I saw in the preseason, I say you keep McCoy on the sidelines this season, barring any injuries to both Wallace and Jake Delhomme. There wouldn’t be much for McCoy to gain with this offense, and Wallace is a more than capable quarterback. It makes more sense to give McCoy a year to let the NFL fully soak in before tossing him to the wolves.

The Browns played poorly in Baltimore and very stingy in Cleveland? What team do you expect to see on Sunday?

The silver lining for the Browns so far has been the defense, which should help keep them in just about any game. The unit would be even more effective if the offense could stay on the field, but the defense has been spending the entire second half on the field, leading to the team running out of gas by the fourth quarter. With so many injuries to the offense (not to mention its general ineptitude), I don’t expect them to put up much of a fight in that department, as they rarely do against the Ravens anyway.

Where should the Ravens attack the Browns defense?

Run, run, run. Keep that defense on the field, because there’s hardly any reason to believe that the offense will be putting up long drives on the Ravens. With Flacco struggling, he might want to think twice about the Browns secondary, which has been effective through the first two games. The Ravens want to get the passing game on track, though, so I figure they will test out rookies T.J. Ward and Joe Haden quite a bit. But once the Ravens establish a lead, expect Ray Rice to  get plenty of carries.

It’s way too early to make a judgment on the Holmgren plan. Have you seen any positive effects of it as of yet?

It might not seem like it, but Holmgren’s presence brings a certain attitude to the organization that has been absent for many years. He is the voice of the team and provides stability; in this current structure, you’ll never question who is running the show. The recent Ring of Honor ceremony shows Holmgren’s commitment to developing pride in the organization and honoring the great Browns of the past.

EC- I was sad to see that Harvey Pekar died this summer. Who now becomes the face of Cleveland?

Good question – Drew Carey always pops up at games and in interviews, and has a genuine love for the city. He’s a great ambassador for Cleveland – heck, I’ve even got a bobblehead of him from an Indians game.