Mailbag Questions Week 5

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Feb 14, 2009
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This week we have @AZ_ and @Amherstcavsfan answering questions.

1. Is the offense we saw against Baltimore, a preview of things to come this season?

@AZ_ - The offense in Baltimore was well-timed, efficient and flowed through the success of an unbelievably forceful ground game. The offensive line, especially on the interior, was pushing guys around and consistently getting to the next level. Playing off that, Mayfield was quick and decisive in his pull reads and creating windows with his eyes, which made him so successful last year.

In Week 4, Mayfield needed just 2.44 seconds to throw the ball on his attempts.

Week 3: 2.96
Week 2: 3.35
Week 1: 2.82

When Week 4 Browns show up, pushing men around up front and following that up by getting the ball out quickly on offense, this team is going to be tough to beat. As the offensive line and Mayfield go, so go the Browns.

@Amherstcavsfan - It should be, but it depends on a few things.

For one, the offensive line absolutely dominated the Ravens, something that doesn't happen a lot. While the Ravens were missing their best lineman in Williams, the Browns offensive line opened up huge holes in their front seven in the running game. Hubbard and Kush, in particular, had a better game than what we've been accustomed to seeing in the first few weeks from their positions

Secondly, Baker made an adjustment in his pocket presence during this game, making a conscious effort to stay and step up into the pocket. The Browns also did a great job in allowing Baker to stay in a good rhythm and get to the line in time. And perhaps most importantly for Baker, he was not forcing the ball to Odell Beckham Jr and was simply hitting the open man. Rickey Seals-Jones was the benefactor for this game and I would anticipate and expect that this will be a common theme while teams continue to double Odell in the future.

Third, the play calling allowed the Browns to establish Nick Chubb and offered a lot of new wrinkles that kept the Ravens defense off balance. It felt more fluid and reminiscent of a Freddie offense than what the Browns have been offering through the first three week.

2. Who has been your biggest surprise so far?

@AZ_ - JC Tretter has emerged as a force in the middle of the offensive line. He and Bitonio are the unquestioned leaders of the unit, and Nick Chubb has been the beneficiary of that interior success thus far. They ask their OL to make some incredibly tough reach blocks and get them out into the next level in order to have those spring plays for Chubb to get downhill. With such uncertainty at RG, his ability to be a stabilizing force in the middle has been a pleasant surprise.

@Amherstcavsfan - To me, it has to be all of the Browns defensive backs. When healthy, Greedy Williams was simply shutting teams out when he was being thrown at, which was not that much. After injuries to Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams, the defensive backfield continued to play a high level, making plays and causing turnovers. Guys like TJ Carrie, Terrence "Money" Mitchell, Eric Murray, Juston Burris, and Jermaine Whitehead have all made plays with the starters down. It's clear that Wilks designed and coaches a system that benefits it's players and he knows what he needs from all his players at all times.

Also, quick shout out to the Special Teamers. Siebert, after missing his first XP attempt, has been absolutely money. Gillian has been a tremendous punter and holder and the coverage units have been excellent, headlined by wavier pickups in Khadarel Hodge and Malik Jefferson.

3. What do you think Antonio Callaway's role in the offense will be with him coming back from suspension?

@AZ_ - Callaway's role is seemingly a mystery to everyone, but short of Landry missing time with his concussion, I don't see many snaps for him on offense if they're at full strength. He'll take over the role Damien Ratley has played until Rashard Higgins (Limited practice participant today) returns from his knee injury.

@Amherstcavsfan - Initially, out of the gate and provided that one of Landry or Higgins are available, it should be deep threat. While Odell has been used as a decoy that's not his best role and Landry is much better closer to the line and making his guy miss. Higgins had been serving in that role, but his injury had turned their deep game into more of a decoy. With his speed and strengths in route running, Callaway will allow for more deep balls from Baker and the offense in general.

4. Through the first quarter of the season, who have been your Offensive and Defensive MVPs?

@AZ_ - Offense: Nick Chubb - RB

Fast becoming one of the most dangerous downhill players in the league, his speed and acceleration have put him atop the league leaders in rushing. The catalyst for this offense, Chubb has a chance to be a first team All-Pro in addition to opening up this offense and maximizing their play-action capabilities, allowing Baker to make plays and get the ball to the other great talents on this offense.

Defense: Myles Garrett - DE

Just an absolute freak of a human being from top to bottom. Had an issue with penalties earlier in the season, but has been so dominant that he often is touched by at least two offensive players on any given play. Will finish among the league leaders in sacks and hurries in spite of that fact, while having been a constant force that has helped force multiple turnovers thus far.

@Amherstcavsfan - How could it not be Nick Chubb? He has been their best and most consistent player in the first several games of the year. Chubb had been the bell cow for the first three games of the season, it was the Baltimore game where he absolutely broke out and carried the team. Whether he has been breaking off long touchdown runs or simply keeping the offense on schedule, Chubb has been their best and most consistent player on a rocky first four games for the Browns.

Defensively, there are a few candidates that make sense, but Myles Garrett is ultimately the right choice. While he was really quite bad against the Ravens, his first three games showed a guy who was going to be in the Defensive Player of the Year race. The simple destructive force that he showed in the game against the Jets provides a glimpse into what type of impact Garrett can have on a game.

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