Crazy? Yeah, it is a little crazy. But we are after all Chiefs fans, no?
If you're a casual follower of the Browns like I am, you know about Dante Stallworth and his legal issues. You've heard about the Brady Quinn v. Derek Anderson debate. And I'm assuming you know that Eric Mangini is now the head coach.
But beyond that I don't know that much. After the jump, SB Nation's Browns blogger Chris answers some of our questions about the Browns. I've also added the Browns' depth chart as of now for more reference.
Make sure you check out Dawgs by Nature for all things Cleveland Browns.
What do the Chiefs have to worry the most about...Jamal Lewis and the running game or Braylon Edwards and the passing game?
This question is tough to answer since our game isn't until Week 15, so I'll try to base my answer as if the Chiefs were facing the Browns earlier in the year. I'd definitely pick Braylon Edwards and the passing game. The media has automatically written off the Browns, but there is still some potency on the offensive side of the ball. Just two years ago, Derek Anderson and Edwards were Pro Bowlers. Sure, last season's struggles "might" have shown their true colors, but how can anyone guarantee that Edwards won't go back to having the same type of season he had in 2007? Brady Quinn will probably be the starting quarterback. Although he doesn't sling it as much as Anderson, Brian Daboll (the Browns offensive coordinator) would be foolish to leave out the deep patterns to Edwards.
On the other hand, the running game appears bound to struggle as long as Jamal Lewis is in the lineup. He had a down season last year and has not shown the same power he used to have throughout this year's training camp. Lewis claims he's just "holding back" for the regular season, but I think it comes down to him not having very much left in the tank anymore. Fans in Cleveland like our sixth-round draft pick James Davis at running back, but I'm not going to sit here and say that he's going to be awesome. He was great in the preseason, but the real evaluation will come when he's against first stringers in the regular season. This lack of assurance in the running game almost makes Edwards and the passing game more of a threat by default.
Will the Browns use Josh Cribbs as a WR more often? The Chiefs did that with Dante Hall and it seemed to ruin him in the return game. Any thoughts/concerns on that?
Not only should the Browns use Cribbs as a receiver more often, he should and will be starting opposite Edwards (according to our depth chart). He started in the preseason and did very well. I don't think you can compare Cribbs to Dante Hall or Devin Hester in their transitions to wide receiver because they have different styles. Hall and Hester rely more on elusiveness, whereas Cribbs finds the hole, powers through it and keeps on going. During the preseason, we saw several plays against first-stringers in which Cribbs caught the ball on a quick pattern towards the sideline and then stiff-armed the first cornerback he met before being taken down a little bit later by another defender. I know the Browns took Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi in round two this year, but if it were up to me, I'd shelve their growth and give Cribbs the starting opportunity -- I'm that intrigued by him.
The Chiefs are just transitioning to the 3-4 defense. Can you talk a little bit about what the Browns transition to the 3-4 was like a few years ago and how it stands now?
The transition was exciting at first. All we could think about is how our defense was going to be nasty like the Ravens defense. And then, something bad happened -- we saw Romeo Crennel's 3-4 defense in action. Ever since then, it's been a nightmare. We never generated any pressure. We never stopped the run. We never stood out from any other defense in the NFL. Most importantly, we barely had any of the type of players we needed for the system. Last year we acquired Shaun Rogers, but one man can only do so much. I think Mangini and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan have done a better job finding players that are comfortable with the 3-4 alignment, but we're several years into the defense and aren't even half as good as the Ravens' defense.
Many thanks to Chris for stopping by and giving us his answers! Read more about the Browns at Dawgs by Nature.
My prediction for this game is, let's say....17 to 13 in favor of our Chiefs. I don't think we'll have faith in this offense very often this year. Current record at this point: 8-6.
Check out all of our season game previews at this link.