Aug 8, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) warms up before a game against the St. Louis Rams at FirstEnergy Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports
Before the Detroit Lions play the Cleveland Browns in the second preseason game, Detroit Jock City asked Factory of Sadness Editor Jared Mueller to weigh in on Cleveland’s quarterback controversy, Trent Richardson and who holds the key to the Browns success in 2013. They asked us questions too. Read our answers on the Factory of Sadness website.
Q: Who do you expect will be taking snaps for the Browns in the season opener?
A: Brandon Weeden will be given every opportunity to take the reigns for this team this year. The Browns are hedging their bets though with the addition of Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer. The Browns also traded out of the 4th and 5th rounds of the draft to add more ammunition to trade up, if needed, for a starting QB next year. Weeden has the arm strength, experience out of the shotgun and offensive line to be successful this year.
Q:Who are some of the key players on the Browns Lions fans should be looking out for?
A: In tonight’s game Lions fans should look for 3 players to pop off their screen. Rookie 1st round draft pick Barkevious Mingo, selected right after Ziggy Ansah, flashed legit pass rush skills and elite speed against the Rams. Look for him to get more time on the field tonight. Backup RB Dion Lewis is a scatback who can fulfill the Darren Sproles role in Norv Turner’s offense, look for him on pitches, screens and swing passes. Finally 2nd year WR/KR/PR Travis Benjamin is lightning fast, as seen on his touchdown return last week. While slight, Benjamin should also be a weapon in the receiving game.
Q: One of the key match-ups Lions fans will be watching is Brown tackle Joe Thomas vs. Ziggy Ansah? How do the Browns plan on defending the Lions pass rush?
A: The Browns tend to leave Thomas on his own against the best pass rushers. Thomas has had little struggle against the pass rush, but sometimes struggles getting a push in the run game. Ansah’s unique frame, talent and motor will be a bear as he continues to learn pass rush moves. RT Mitchell Schwartz will get a little extra help from backs or tight ends on that side. The interior push from Suh and Fairley is a bigger concern for the Browns. Center Alex Mack, like Thomas fairs well in pass protection but doesn’t always get a great push. Expect him to get help from the guards.
Q: Trent Richardson had a solid season last year. What do you expect for him this season?
A: Expectations of TRich are through the roof, based on him being healthy. Richardson has the ability to punish inside the tackles, break runs outside and is a dangerous threat in the passing game. The biggest adjustment, and concern, is the new offense’s prominent use of shotgun. In this Richardson may struggle getting momentum going down hill. It is very possible the team will employ a more pistol formation to minimize this concern. Don’t expect much if any Pistol tonight as the teams play each other in week 6.
Topics: 2013 NFL Preseason, Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Trent Richardson