- Jim Trotter, NFL
- 0 Shares
1. How does Brian Hoyer perform: On Wednesday he was named the starting quarterback for Week 1 despite a miserable exhibition season to this point. He has completed just 8 of 20 passes for 108 yards with no touchdowns or turnovers. Worse, he has yet to lead the offense to a touchdown or a third-down conversion. Coach Mike Pettine is hoping Hoyer will relax and gain a renewed confidence now that he no longer has to look over his shoulder at rookie first-round pick Johnny Manziel. If he struggles and Manziel excels with the second unit, it could make for an uncomfortable home environment for Hoyer.
2. Does Jordan Cameron knock the rust off: The Pro Bowl tight end -- er, pass-catcher -- struggled Monday night in his first game action of the preseason, failing to catch a pass. There's no need for concern with him, but Pettine is eager to see Cameron at his best because coordinator Kyle Shanahan plans to use him at a variety of spots: on the line of scrimmage, as an H-back, in motion. "When you have a tight end with that kind of skill set you can split him out as the single wide receiver," Pettine said. "You can put him in an unconventional position to take advantage of it. It might not necessarily be a speed mismatch, but it could be a body type, jumping ability type mismatch. That's something that he brings to us and we'll look to take advantage of." The Browns also know that with wideout Josh Gordon likely to miss the early part of the season, if not the entire season because of a league suspension, Cameron is the only proven "pass-catcher" on the roster who has excelled in recent seasons.
3. The bite of the Dawg Pound: The only thing that would have made Monday night's goal-line stand at Washington better was if it had occurred in Cleveland. Pettine wants to make FirstEnergy Stadium a hostile environment for opposing offenses, and for that to happen the defense has to give fans something to get excited about. "We talk about the defense being a foundation here and being a big part of what we do," the coach said. "I can only imagine the reaction of the crowd if that [stand] had happened [at home]. That's one of the things we're looking forward to the most. We played back-to-back on the road. That's great -- got used to traveling. I just think we need to start to develop that relationship with our fans. Get the Dawg Pound rolling again. We know the best way to do that is go out there and play great football."