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Cleveland Browns Fans Cling to Optimism

November 23rd, 2011 at 7:00 AM
By Chuck Chapman


Editor's Note: If you'll remember, Jared Luginbill was kind enough to give us a Browns fan's perspective in week one. Since then much has happened both in Cincinnati and in Cleveland. Here's Jared's take on how Browns fans are feeling after 10 games. By the way, since Jared last graced our pages, he's gone on to become part of the Sports Media 101 network. He's the FRW for Browns 101. He and his team (including former NFL running back Tony Fisher) do a great job covering all things Cleveland Browns. Check them out.)

This season has been a long one for Cleveland Browns fans. Due to their offense or lack thereof, many of the Browns games this year have been rendered unwatchable. For the last two off-seasons the Browns focused on and addressed the defense at the top of the draft, and it shows. So what I’d like to share with Bengals fans are some of the players that Browns fans are excited about.

As of the last couple of weeks there has been reason for optimism for Cleveland Browns fan. The line has played well finally giving Colt McCoy time to throw the ball. Colt has taken advantage of extra time with QB ratings of 97.5 and 92.2 in the last two weeks.  Colt has shown the toughness and leadership it takes to be a quarterback in the NFL. He just needs more play makers around him.

Injuries have played a major part in this Browns season with no position more affected than running back. The Browns got their running game on track last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Practice squad signee Chris Ogbonnaya had his first 100 yard rushing game and his first rushing touchdown this past week. While Ogbonnaya is not a great running back, it shows that the Browns running game can be viable. 

Greg Little is starting to show some flashes at receiver. Little who is only in his second full season playing receiver in college and in the NFL, is a work in progress. Little has excellent size 6’2 220, strength, and athleticism for the receiver position.

On defense the Browns have assembled a nice core of young players to build on going forward. The defensive line, which has been a team weakness for a long time, has played very well this season. The Browns defense has given up the 5th fewest yards in the NFL season. There is a stark contrast from rushing to passing yards given up. They have given up the fewest passing yards, yet they are near the bottom of rushing yards given up.

Rookie defensive end Jabaal Sheard and rookie defensive tackle Phil Taylor have been a huge reason why this defense has played as well as it has. Fourth year defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin is also having a career season. They are big and physical, and are beginning to be disruptive for opposing offenses.

D’Qwell Jackson has been a tackling machine this season. He is a candidate for comeback player of the year award after missing the better part of the last two seasons in injury. Jackson has tallied 91 tackles on the season good for 5th in the NFL.

Joe Haden is turning into a true lockdown corner, something the Browns have missed since the late '80s. The Browns have some young depth in the secondary that is developing to go along with Haden, which is proven out in their defensive pass rankings. Corner back Buster Skrine is one of those players. He was one of the fastest players in last year’s NFL combine and is getting meaningful time on defense this year and special teams.   

So we try to live into another season where the Browns have largely struggled. So Browns fan has again been left trying to cling to the hope that the team is headed in the right direction for the future.

Tags: Chris Ogbonnaya, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Colt McCoy, Football, Joe Haden, NFL

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