PDA

View Full Version : Browns analysis: Browns have to start over again vs. Steeler



fordfixer
09-10-2008, 01:38 AM
Browns analysis: Browns have to start over again vs. Steelers
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
BY STEVE DOERSCHUK
STEVE.DOERSCHUK@CANTONREP.COM
http://www.cantonrep.com/index.php?ID=4 ... egoryID=26 (http://www.cantonrep.com/index.php?ID=430270&Category=17&subCategoryID=26)

The oldest NFL head coach sorely needs a second wind.

After getting blown away by Dallas to drop to 0-4 in season openers, Romeo Crennel seeks a revival against one of the league's youngest head coaches.

Here's one perspective on the relative experience of Crennel and Mike Tomlin, who brings the Steelers to Cleveland for an 8 p.m. kickoff Sunday:

Crennel coached Willie McGinest on New England's Super Bowl winners in the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons and now coaches him in Cleveland.

Tomlin was born three months and four days after McGinest.

It's easy for the Browns to seem tired after they were outgained 487-205 in yards and 30-11 in first downs against Dallas.

The Browns also were awful in last year's opener, a 34-7 loss to Pittsburgh. A week later, they pulled a thrilling performance out of the blue, out-gunning the Bengals, 51-45.

But Crennel is 0-6 against Pittsburgh, with only two games finishing closer than a touchdown.

"We have to get better," Crennel said. "It wouldn't make any difference who the opponent was, we didn't play well enough in the first game and we need to play better in the next game.

"It's the Steelers. It's a division game. There's a lot riding on it and we're going to work our behinds off to try to get ready for it."

The Browns are 1-9 in openers since their 1999 return. They have fared much better the second week, going 5-4, including 2-1 under Crennel.

Tomlin's Steelers were superb on both sides of the ball in ripping Houston on Sunday.

Here's a look at some of the stars from Pittsburgh's opener:

QB BEN Roethlisberger

With Tom Brady out and Peyton Manning off to a slow start, Roethlisberger could make a run at first-team All-Pro.

Roethlisberger had his 25th career passing game with a 100-plus rating, and he did it in style. Whereas Derek Anderson was 11-of-24 for 114 yards against Dallas, Roethlisberger went 13-of-14 for 137 yards and two TDs against Houston.

Granted, this was against a 2002 expansion team mired in a 4-21 road skid. On the flip side, the Texans were 5-3 in the second half last year.

No one had a better first week than Pittsburgh, which led 35-3 and rested Roethlisberger in the fourth quarter.

"We saved a lot in the bag," Roethlisberger told Pittsburgh media. "We have a lot of things we could have used, but we decided to save them (for Cleveland)."

RB WILLIE PARKER

"Fast Willie" raced out of the gate, with 138 yards the league's second best opening game and three touchdowns. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry.

Parker was leading the NFL with 1,316 yards last year when he broke a leg in Game 16. Apparently, he healed.

The 27-year-old ran as if he would rather not share much of a load with rookie Round 1 pick Rashard Mendenhall, bigger at 223 pounds but who isn't anything like classic grinder Jerome Bettis.

Mendenhall rushed 10 times for 28 yards against Houston.

WR HINES WARD

All those years of blocking like a fullback seemed to catch up with Ward last year. The 32-year-old caught 71 passes for 732 yards in '07.

Yet Ward caught both of Roethlisberger's touchdown passes and four other balls against Houston.

He hasn't lost his swagger.

"The only team that can beat us is us," he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "It's the confidence we have in our offense.

"If we get all 11 guys on the same page, we feel like we can go out there and play with anybody."

Wideout Santonio Holmes and tight end Heath Miller didn't do much and didn't need to.

ON DEFENSE

Linebacker James Harrison, a former Kent State teammate of Joshua Cribbs, sacked Texans QB Matt Schaub three times.

LaMarr Woodley, the former Michigan defensive end turned outside linebacker, had a sack and recovered a fumble. He also batted a Schaub pass, caught the ball and returned it 6 yards.

Oviedo
09-10-2008, 10:10 AM
Hines' quote that "the only team that can beat us is us" rings true. If this team executes like they are capable of they will be hard to beat. The FO and the coaches have put together and prepared a very good team. The players now need to execute. Just like last year we faltered when execution was not up to standard.

Other bright spots:

1. Eason and Kirschke played like the veterans we need them to be
2. It appeared Miller and Spaeth both could have caught a lot more passes if Ben had gone their way. Both were open a lot.
3. Special teams looked to be on the same page and getting the job done
4. Mendenhall held onto the ball

Does anyone think that Santonio watched the Dallas-Stains game film and may be licking his chops about now?

AkronSteel
09-10-2008, 11:21 AM
Hines' quote that "the only team that can beat us is us" rings true. If this team executes like they are capable of they will be hard to beat. The FO and the coaches have put together and prepared a very good team. The players now need to execute. Just like last year we faltered when execution was not up to standard.

Other bright spots:

1. Eason and Kirschke played like the veterans we need them to be
2. It appeared Miller and Spaeth both could have caught a lot more passes if Ben had gone their way. Both were open a lot.
3. Special teams looked to be on the same page and getting the job done
4. Mendenhall held onto the ball

Does anyone think that Santonio watched the Dallas-Stains game film and may be licking his chops about now?

I expect the Steelers to test Cleveland deep early with Santonio. A double move should do the trick b/c the Clowns will be coming out all fired up and looking to make a play. The Steelers should be able to get them over the top.

Slapstick
09-10-2008, 01:41 PM
Considering that Ben only threw 14 passes in three quarters, I would hope that there is a lot left in the bag...