Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Browns' weakness: Passing game
By Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson
The Browns might have the worst passing game in the entire league. Led by Joe Thomas -- perhaps the best offensive lineman in the game today -- the protection should be very solid, especially on the left side. But my issues stem with those who will be throwing the football and the wide receiver stable as a whole.
On the positive, I expect TE Ben Watson to have an impact with his new team and for Montario Hardesty to be a factor as an outlet receiver out of the backfield. Those two should help the Browns move the chains. But the excitement ends there.
Mohamed Massaquoi is Cleveland's best option at wideout, but he doesn't appear to be a true difference-maker.
I really have no idea what Cleveland sees in Jake Delhomme. He is a train wreck who is probably the worst starting quarterback in the league at valuing the football. Plus, there is zero upside to his game, and frankly, even when he was at his best, he was just a run-of-the-mill starter. Sure, he will have some positive impact off the field and should hold down the starting quarterback spot for the short term, but he doesn’t have a superstar wideout like Steve Smith to make up for his deficiencies anymore.
Maybe Seneca Wallace or Colt McCoy will supplant Delhomme at some point this season, but to me, Wallace is just a lifetime backup and I am not high on McCoy at all -- which is a topic for another day. Actually, it wouldn’t shock me if after a few weeks of watching Delhomme that Cleveland opts for Wallace.
Now to the wideouts. Reports from minicamp indicate that Brian Robiskie has been very impressive. That is all well and good -- and I am not taking anything away from the second-year wideout -- but simply put, let’s see what this young man can do when there is an opposing defense lined up across from him. At his best, Robiskie can be a possession wideout as a No. 2 option, but again, we haven’t seen that yet from him in a game situation.
The best wide receiver on the roster is obviously Mohamed Massaquoi, and it is reasonable to think he will be even better in Year 2. But again, he hasn’t shown that he can be a difference-maker and has made a true impact in only a few games of his short career.
To me, the only other wideout of real consequence is Josh Cribbs, who is a tremendous all-around player. But Cribbs’ real value comes on special teams and taking direct snaps. Cribbs is the type of guy you win with and every coach would love to have, but when evaluating him strictly as a pass-catching wideout, he has shown little to get excited about.
Possession guy Chansi Stuckey does need to be mentioned, but like most of this lot, he is extremely underwhelming.