Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Browns' Shopping Spree

Generally, football games are won on a consistent basis because teams excel at three areas of the game:

- Line Play
- Field Position
- Turnover Ratio

The Browns have struggled in two of these three areas since their rebirth. They have had very, very bad line play - both offensively and defensively. Last year, the Browns made some significant moves to improve the offensive line, bringing in Joe Andruzzi and Cosey Coleman.

Now, at the start of this offseason, they do the same again, only more so. LaCharles Bentley, their new center, is a two-time Pro Bowler who anchored the line for the Saints. He was ranked #1 in ESPN's top 50 available free agents (Edge James was #2). Along with Bentley, the Browns signed another Pro Bowler, Kevin Shaffer to play left tackle. Excellent.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Browns brought in Ted Washington, a massive nose tackle from the Raiders. He is on the downside of his career, but he will be able to plug the middle of Romeo Crennel's 3-4 defensive more than adequately.

The field position battle is won by the ability to get first downs in tight positions and to pin your opponents back when you are punting. To help with these areas, the Browns signed heroic reciever Joe Jurevicius. They also pillaged the Ravens by bringing in punter Dave Zastudil.

Another cool thing about these signings - Bentley, Jurevicius, and Zastudil are all Cleveland natives who will be playing for the team they rooted for as kids.

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