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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Cleveland Browns: Five Questions for the 2006 Season

Charlie Frye and the Cleveland Browns kick off their 2006 preseason schedule Thursday night in Philadelphia. This practice game will be quite interesting considering the number of storylines that have surrounded Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel’s team during camp. Here is a look at five question marks heading into the 2006 season.

Question Mark #1
What’s the deal with the center position?
It all began during the free agent period when the Browns landed former OSU standout/All-Pro center LeCharles Bentley. Considered the number one free agent of the 2006 available players by many, fans had to be shocked that the Browns could possibly have a strength in the offensive line. Now it’s August, and not only is Bentley is out for the season, but also Bob Hallen, the backup center, has experienced back spasms and is considering retirement. So, what appeared to be a strength for the Browns is now a huge question mark.

Question Mark #2
Will Kellen Winslow be the player we all expected?
Winslow may have been the most hyped draft pick by the Browns since their return to the NFL in 1999. Now the fans will finally get a chance to see what this guy can do. He has worked hard to get back on the field after his motorcycle accident and has looked impressive in camp. Maybe it will translate into production on the field.

Question Mark #3
How soon will Braylon Edwards return to game action?
It has been encouraging to see Edwards in camp participating in drills. Is his knee prepared to take a beating in games? Only time will tell. I don’t worry too much about his ability to run routes. The question is if he can engage with defensive backs while blocking.

Question Mark #4
How will the off season moves (other than Bentley and Hallen) turn out?
*Willie McGinest LB – Great linebacker and leader.
*Joe Jurevicius WR – Solid receiver and end zone threat.
*Kevin Shaffer LT – Needs to protect Frye.
*Dave Zastudil P – Good punter with Ohio ties. From Bay Village and played at Ohio University.
*Ted Washington DT – Vertern who will “eat up” space in the middle.
*Darnell Dinkins TE – Special teams and blocking TE.
There are five starters in this group who will all be expected to produce.

Question Mark #5
How will the draft picks fit into Romeo’s master plan?
Romeo admitted he doesn’t like to throw rookies right into the fire. He eases players in and feels more comfortable with veterans on the field. It took Edwards a while, but he got Romeo to crack, and he couldn’t keep Braylon off the field last year. Who will emerge from this year’s draft in that fashion?

Defensive End Kamerion Wimbley, and LBs D’Qwell Jackson and Leon Williams appear to be in the best positions for making an impact this year. WR Travis Wilson signed after camp started and will be a little behind. He’s a big receiver, but has a few players ahead of him on the depth chart.

The Browns have made some outstanding additions to upgrade the roster, but the team needs to stay healthy. Slowly, Phil Savage has improved the depth that Crennel will have to work with, but the injury bug must live in Berea. We’ll see if the Browns can improve in the win column with what appears to be a stronger team than last year.


  • At 8/10/2006, Blogger Luke said…

    Nice job RW on your first blog post over here. Let me say to anyone who has been reading our Ohio sports updates that I am sorry for the slow summer, but you can expect that we will picks up the updates and opinions here on Ohio Sports Time as we have a 3rd blogger who knows his Ohio sports just as well, if not better, than dwhit and I (if that is possible...).

  • At 8/14/2006, Blogger Dygger said…

    It's cleary a building year for the Browns. The folks who froth at the mouth every kickoff are clamoring about a 10-6 season. It won't happen- but this team will be competitive. Look for a .500 season with steady improvement. Here's why:
    The defense will be solid.
    1. There is more talent than in the past.
    2. Romeo makes things work. Look at the DBs he's plugged in over the years at New England and last year in Cleveland. (Ray Jackson, Troy Brown) Romeo could get me to cover a #4 receiver!
    3. Todd Grantham is an emerging coordinator with tremendous energy.

    The offense will struggle:
    1. Charlie Frye is still unproven.
    2. Reality- the offensive line is thin..
    3. Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow look great on paper, but what will they be able to do on the field?

    8-8 still looks great after what we've endured the past few years.


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