We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2010 fantasy football questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2010 Cleveland Browns Fantasy Football Preview comes courtesy of Cleveland Frowns.
1. Do you feel any better with Delhomme and Wallace than you did with Quinn and Anderson? Has there been any inkling of Delhomme getting past his intercepting ways in OTAs?
How could I not feel better with Delhomme and Wallace? I’m expecting big things from Delhomme this season. One thing folks seem to miss on him is that his decline in Carolina didn’t occur until after Jeff Davidson was brought in by John Fox as offensive coordinator in 2007. Davidson had been an offensive line coach for his entire coaching career before he was brought in by Fox to coordinate, having no experience handling passers and receivers. If you’ll remember Delhomme’s meltdown against Arizona in the Divisional round in ’08, Carolina completely abandoned the run after getting behind, a pattern that carried over into ’09. Mike Holmgren even implicitly criticized the Carolina coaching staff’s handling of Delhomme in a press conference in March.
Now with another year’s distance from his ’07 Tommy John surgery and something to prove, there are a lot of good reasons to expect Jake to bounce back in ’10.
2. The biggest question seems like it will be the battle between Montario Hardesty and Jerome Harrison. I was a big Harrison backer last season and finally he got his chance and ran wild, but then they go and draft Hardesty. Harrison has been in Mangini’s dog house off and on, does he have any chance of being the starter? How do you see the season progressing for the backs?
Think you’ll see a thunder and lightning approach here. The Browns traded a lot to move up to get Hardesty, he drew raves in camp, and nobody seems to think Harrison has the size to handle a full load of carries. I expect both of them to get a lot of carries in a run based offense, but wouldn’t be surprised if the bigger (and based on early reports, smarter) Hardesty to get more of the goal line shots.
3. Cleveland has a good history with tight ends. Does Ben Watson turn things around now that he’s out of New England?
Why not? Mangini seems to prefer the tight end play a role in the passing game. He drafted Dustin Keller in New York, and the Browns insisted on throwing at Robert Royal long after skillets were found where hands were supposed to be. Even Evan Moore came in late off the practice squad and made a splash. I have to think they’d not have signed Watson for so much money (damn, they gave him a lot of money) if they didn’t plan to throw him the ball a lot.
4. Mohamed Massoquoi flashed some big play ability last season. I really like him, but I’m worried about his development with Delhomme at quarterback. Are those worries unfounded?
I think so. See #1 above.
5. What offensive player do you feel is under the radar and might make a bigger contribution than most people are thinking?
Delhomme is one for sure, as explained, but I suppose the Browns running game is flying under the radar as well, even with last season’s strong finish. We’re talking about one of the very best offensive lines in football here with Joe Thomas, Eric Steinbach, Alex Mack, free agent signee Tony Pashos, and Lawrence Vickers, who could have been a Pro-Bowler last season, blocking out of the backfield.. We’ve also been hearing that Shawn Lauvao might have been a third-round steal to round the line out. But even if not re: Lauvao, the way this line came together as Mack progressed through one of the best rookie seasons we’ve seen from a center in some time was impressive. Mangini getting control of the locker room in the wake of Braylon’s and K2’s departure, and Jamal Lewis’ late season fade to the IR explains the slow start as well. With improved personnel along the line and in the backfield, I expect the running game to pick up right where it left off last winter. However the Hardesty/Harrison issue is resolved, I’d bump both of them up on my lists.