Friday, August 14, 2009
What to watch: Browns vs. Packers
By James Walker
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
New head coach Eric Mangini will make his debut this weekend when the Cleveland Browns travel to play the Green Bay Packers.
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| ||Gregory Shamus/Getty Images |
| ||The competition between Derek Anderson (3) and Brady Quinn for the starting quarterback job heats up Saturday night. |
The Browns are a team in transition and still have a lot of questions to answer in the preseason.
Here are some things I'm looking at:
- Cleveland's quarterback competition between Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson will really heat up with the start of exhibition games. Either Quinn or Anderson will get the start and play about a quarter with the first-team offense. The other quarterback is expected to also play approximately a quarter with the second team and likely will start the second preseason game. These performances will be huge in the evaluation process.
- How will the defense look under Mangini and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan? This is the fifth season the Browns are running a 3-4 and the scheme has yet to be effective in Cleveland. Can Mangini work his magic and turn this defense around?
- Speaking of the defense, Cleveland needs to generate a pass rush this season after getting just 17 sacks last season. The Browns won't show everything, but they will run some pressure packages to provide clues of how they plan to improve on that abysmal statistic.
- The Browns want to run the football effectively this season. Tailbacks Jamal Lewis, Jerome Harrison and James Davis all have different skills and will begin to define their roles to the coaching staff in the preseason. It's also important for the offensive line to prove it can dominate the line of scrimmage.
- Who will emerge as Cleveland's No. 2 receiver? A deep group of competitors includes rookies Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie and veterans David Patten and Mike Furrey. The winner has to prove he can make plays in the preseason.