Ask Shawn: November 5th Edition

Let’s get right to it!

Randy Brown Asks:  Should we pick up Nhamdi Asomugha for some added depth in the secondary?

Shawn Says:  Like everything else, it depends on the price.  The Browns are a little light at safety, but only if they take an injury.  That’s also assuming Asomugha would be able to transition to a backup at strong safety, because honestly the Browns really don’t need another CB.  Chris Owen got more time on the field last sunday (70-72 plays) because the Browns were in a nickel package a lot.  That won’t be the norm though, and a three CB rotation works well for the Browns because of how well TJ Ward and Tashaun Gipson have been covering the deep threat.

Tyrone Ruffin Asks:  Should we bring in a another QB, just incase something happens to Jason Campbell, I don’t won’t to see Weeden throwing another pass this year.

Shawn Says:  The short is yes.  It really does seem like the Browns can win football games with anyone but Weeden.  The problem remains that the Free Agent market for QB’s is super thin.  Matt Flynn is terrible.  Vince Young is no good.  Tebow is not a quarterback.  Those are the best available in free agency right now.  I expect the Browns to take at least one, maybe two QB’s in the draft however, probably keeping a late round pick on the practice squad to develop in case of emergency.

Will Holbrook Asks:  Why is(nt) obeynia getting more carries

Shawn Says:  I’m guessing you meant isn’t, so I’m going to answer it like that.  Oby isn’t a great running back is the simple answer.  He’s a much better threat as a receiver out of the backfield, which is how both Hoyer and Campbell have utilized him (he had 5 receptions for 39 yards against Baltimore), and its a role he’s much better suited for.  See, Ogbonnaya lines up as the Browns starting Fullback, but at 6′ 225lbs, he’s a bit undersized to really thrive between the tackles.  That said, he’s deceptively quick and can create havoc when he gets away from linemen and forces corners/safeties to try and bring him down in single coverage.  So, I think the Browns actually have found the right way to use Oby’s skill set.  He’s not going to be a good running back, but he is a threat in the flat and on rolling routes.

Shane Mcroberts Asks:  Is our defense a legit? Is hoyer the stater next year? When we ever have a solid two back run game??

Shawn Says:  I think by this point in the year we can safely say that the Browns defense is one of the better units in the NFL.  Their defensive line is pretty close, if not already, elite.  The combo of Joe Haden and Buster Skrine is tough on opposing wideouts, and TJ Ward and Tashaun Gipson are without doubt the two most versatile and hardest hitting safeties we’ve ever had.  The outside linebackers are a constant pass rush threat to opposing QB’s, and the inside linebackers have been given adjustments to help cover their weakness in pass coverage.  The thing is, the Browns defense has consistently been top ten in most categories for the entire year.  They are consistent, they are aggressive, and they are confident they can dominate anyone.  I love what Ray Horton has done with that unit.

As to next years starter, my answer isn’t going to be well loved, but remember that I’m pretty good at picking QB’s.  If Jason Campbell plays anything like he has been for the rest of the season, the Browns should name him their starter heading in to camp next season.  Campbell has outplayed Hoyer in his first two starts, and its not really even close.  That said, I expect Campbell’s numbers will probably even out over the second half of the year, as he faces a few tough defenses in Cincy, Chicago and New York.  So I expect a competition between Campbell and Hoyer next year.

The Browns running game is without doubt the weak link this season.  They just are not getting production from their runners.  I would expect the team to try and sign Ben Tate in the offseason, and pair him with Dion Lewis when he’s healthy, and possible use a 3rd or 4th round pick on a another back.  It will almost certainly be running back by committee going forward, and Norv Turner likes to use quick backs who are as dangerous as receivers as they are running backs.  Don’t look to the Browns to ever draft a Trent Richardson kind of back again under this regime, ie no more every down backs.  But, if the Browns land Tate and get Dion Lewis back healthy, they should be much more consistent in running the ball effectively next season.

Bryan Molihan Asks:  why are we not targeting Jordan Cameron more in the past few games

Shawn Says:  There are a couple of reasons why I think Cameron has been less effective the past few games.  First, defenses have adjusted to provide coverage on him.  While doing that, it’s let guys like Bess and Little get off with lighter coverage, usually a safety or a linebacker, which is why they’ve been targeted more.  Before, that would be acceptable to most defenses, but if Bess and Little remain productive, you’ll see them get better coverage and Cameron should be able to provide the mismatch he was before when there isn’t a third corner to cover him.  The other thing is that Cameron has been highly effective in pass and run blocking the past few weeks, which has gone largely unnoticed.


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