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Browns may be team of surprises in 2010


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CLEVELAND — To borrow from a car company that has struggled to gain respect, the Browns have the power to surprise.


There will be surprises, and some of them will take shape in the preseason home opener against the Rams.


Here is a look at things to look for tonight (7:30 kickoff, WKYC Channel 3) in relation to important surprises that might pop up.




Even the known quantity, Jerome Harrison, isn’t well known. He averaged more than 30 carries a game in the last three games, a shocking volume in a league whose workhorses maybe get 20 lugs a game.


It will be a surprise if Harrison gets as many as 20 carries in any game in the first half while the Mike Holmgren directive — develop a passing game — kicks in.


The surprise could be Peyton Hillis, James Davis or Chris Jennings. All three should get extended work tonight. One of them could persuade the brass to make rookie Montario Hardesty wait indefinitely until he gets his shot to prove he was worth a Round 2 pick.


Now that Hardesty has missed the entire training camp with a knee problem, the team risks a dropoff in production if it tries to force-feed him into the rotation.


If Hillis, Davis or Jennings light it up, one of them could get as many carries in the real games as Harrison.


This would be a stunner: Harrison getting as many as 25 carries in any game this year.




Mohamed Massaquoi led the team in receiving yards last year. He could drop as low as No. 4 this year — but still be of value.


Brian Robiskie seems to have emerged in practice as Jake Delhomme’s favorite receiver. He believes in Robiskie, who has responded to the trust.


In the spring, even Holmgren doubted whether Joshua Cribbs could become more than an interesting extra weapon. With Massaquoi missing action in the final week of camp, though, Cribbs had his busiest stretch yet of working to form a bond with Delhomme.


The consensus is that Cribbs will always be limited as a receiver. He places no limits on himself. The brass might be coming around to the view that there is more to Cribbs than had been imagined.


Also, tight ends Ben Watson and Evan Moore have been evolving weapons in practice. Competition for Delhomme’s attention is intense.




The team could go from deep to shallow in a hurry if aging veterans Floyd Womack, Tony Pashos and John St. Clair can’t fill the job.


The team likely will carry all three into the regular season. Just in case, big Scott Kooistra is getting an extended test. There is a good chance he will start against the Rams.


Getting more than adequate play from him would be a surprise. He has bounced around the NFL for eight years but has made only one start.




When was the last time the Browns benefited from a bolt out of the blue on defense?


Marcus Benard could be that bolt.


He already thought he belonged as a rookie, but he said some things that sounded crazy. One was that he thinks his talent level is along the lines of Julius Peppers.


Here’s a little secret: He still thinks so. He just isn’t saying so.


Coaches think he has matured on and off the field. One reason Kamerion Wimbley was traded was the thought Benard will have a breakthrough season. A year ago, Scott Fujita was with the Saints, Matt Roth was a Dolphin, and Benard was a rookie talking crazy. Now they form a three-man rotation that could be really good.




For Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan’s blitz-happy ways to work, there has to be an inside rush.


Some of that has to come from defensive backs, but the key is the inside linebackers.


D’Qwell Jackson is steady against the run, but he is not a natural blitzer. Newcomer Chris Gocong is.


The Browns think they can tap the skills that made Gocong a college pass-rushing dynamo in ways his last team, Philadelphia, never did.


“He’s really crafty,” left tackle Joe Thomas said. “He’s really good. He’s a great addition.”




Undrafted out of Lindenwood College in 2007, Brian Scahefering is a nobody from nowhere who was a big factor when the Browns became somebody last December.


On a defensive front full of older guys, fresh legs are needed.


Schaefering has been around enough — he turned 27 Friday — to have an edge to him. He plays with a nasty streak.


He was on his way to a strong career at Illinois before running into trouble and transferring. He could be on his way back.


In the win over Pittsburgh, he was in on two sacks of Ben Roethlisberger. What’s not to like about that?


Copyright 2010 CantonRep.com. Some rights reserved

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Once you go small u will never go tall.



Its great to hear about robiske. I'm so sick of hearing about ochocinco and to. They are such gaybobs. I think I hate all afc teams except obvliously the browns.


Who would you rather be, the best player on the worst team or the worst player on the best team, and why?

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Anything is possible if things start to click..we have all the fixins for an unexpected winning season, some things to keep in mind b4 letting the wood rise to much though..first we are the cleveland browns if anything can go wrong it will..our untested coordinators...can they rise to match wits with opposing clubs coordinators and make the on the fly changes that win games..can we stay healthy because we have no depth..

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Gips, I agree and I try not to get too excited I don't want to end up with blue balls again. But I think that every year there is that team that comes out of know where that all the sports news predicts to be poop.


Its like that girl who just broke up with her boyfriend and gets drunk at a party or bar. We can be that mistake

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