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Monday, September 21, 2009
AFC North mailbag: Browns

By James Walker
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker


Based on the responses in our AFC North inbox, Cleveland Browns fans are reeling after their ugly 0-2 start.

So let’s try to lighten the mood a little and provide some answers to what's going on with the team.

Mark from Herrin, IL writes: For two straight weeks the Browns have stayed with a team for one half and were totally outplayed in the second half. Is it a lack of talent or a coaching staff unable to make adjustments?

James Walker: At the rate the Browns are getting pummeled in the second half, I think it’s a combination of the two, Mark. I said months ago that the Browns lack overall talent compared to most teams. But the coaching staff also has to find creative ways to use what they have, particularly on offense. The Browns are not going to win games 10-7 this year. They don’t have that kind of talent defensively. So Cleveland’s offense will have to open it up and try to score more points to win. Or the Browns will continue to get worn down in the second half against quality teams.


Greg from Cleveland wants to know if the Browns will make a quarterback switch from Brady Quinn to Derek Anderson.

James Walker: Browns head coach Eric Mangini said Monday that Brady Quinn is still the starting quarterback, Greg. Mangini spent months evaluating and making this decision, and it would probably look indecisive on his part to bail on that decision after two weeks.


Bleedin’ Orange and Brown cannot believe I picked the Browns to lose, 16-13, to the Denver Broncos.

James Walker: You’re right. I should’ve picked Denver, 27-6. Silly me.


Melissa from the University of Maryland in College Park (Stand uuuup!) wants a Kamerion Wimbley update following the 2006 trade to swap first-round picks with the Baltimore Ravens, who took Haloti Ngata.

James Walker: Three years later, the Ravens got the best of that trade, Melissa. Ngata has been a consistent impact player in Baltimore, while Wimbley has been up and down in Cleveland. New Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has been moving Wimbley around this year and that may jumpstart his production this season. But Ngata is already one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL and potentially a Pro Bowl player.


James Abner from Rock Hill, SC wants to know if Cleveland Browns receiver Braylon Edwards is worth keeping on his fantasy team.

James Walker: Edwards is a great talent. So unless someone impressive is really out there on the waivers, you almost have to keep him. Edwards showed some good signs Sunday with six catches for 92 yards. The offense just isn’t geared to use all of his strengths, so keep that in mind.


Melvin Davis from Cleveland writes: What record do you predict for my Browns? If we finish with the worst record in the league will Mangini get fired?

James Walker: I didn’t officially predict individual records at the beginning of the season, only that the Browns would finish last in the AFC North. Mangini signed a multi-year contract and it wouldn't be fair to place him in the hot seat after his first season. This was expected to be a transition/rebuilding year, although many Browns fans don't like to hear it.