Cleveland Browns: Bright Spots and The Dark Side

By Cleveland Kate // @ClvlndK8

Week 2 has come and gone and the Cleveland Browns are winless. While I’m trying not to channel the Ghosts of Seasons Past, last year’s 1-15 record isn’t far enough away for comfort.

Bright Spots: Rookie Quarterback DeShone Kizer, a Notre Dame product, won the hearts of fans during the preseason. Each week he made mistakes, but he seemed to be learning quickly and we saw progress as he got rid of the ball faster, started leading  his receivers and started to throw the ball away to avoid sacks. All those lessons seemed lost over the past two weeks as he racked up NINE sacks, FOUR interceptions and only ONE touchdown. Yet, for the first time in recent years, fans have the hope that he will improve, that he could be our QB of the Future and are showing patience as he develops.

Photo by Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sport

Defensive Coordinator Gregg “3G” Williams  has brought a “Come Get Some” attitude that has long been missing here in Cleveland. While we battle perennial defensive greats Baltimore and Pittsburgh, we continued to get pushed around on the field and never had the talent or attitude to get some back.  That is changing this year with the addition of Rookie Jabrill Peppers.  His status as an alumni of the University of Michigan aside, fans look forward to what excitement he will bring to the field, whether it’s returning punts or flying around on defense.

And let’s not forget the #1 overall pick in this year’s draft, Myles Garrett. His injury near the end of preseason caused a lot of angst for fans, but we want him back healthy and ready to wreak havoc on opponents. While Head Coach Hue Jackson refuses to name a time frame for his return, I’m hopeful that he’ll get back on the field for the Week 4 match versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Division Games Matter!

Dark Side: I prefer to look for the good things, but let’s face it, that ain’t easy when you are a Browns fan.  First round draft pick Tight End David Njoku, out of Miami, has been a disappointment. At 6’4″ and wicked fast, I thought he would eventually be a good replacement for Gary Barnidge, who the Browns released in the off-season. However, 47 receiving yards and one touchdown through two games isn’t what I was hoping to see. For a team that desperately needs help in the receiving corps, and given that Wide Receiver Corey Coleman was just placed on the Injured Reserve list with a broken hand, Njoku will have all the opportunities he can grab to improve.

Photo by Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images

Speaking of receivers, I have to say veteran WR Kenny Britt has been a big disappointment as well. Fans expected a veteran with his experience and stats to be an offensive weapon for our rookie QB; instead we are getting the feeling he’s just here for the paycheck. During last week’s game, he was not finishing routes, blocking or catching anything.  And it’s hard to blame fans who’ve seen the likes of Dwayne Bowe come to Cleveland to finish their careers and get paid, while offering little of value on the field.

And this story ends the same way it began, with QB DeShone Kizer… he had to leave the game for a while due to a reported migraine. We found out today that he has a history of migraines; that he has one every 2-4 months. While I’m glad it’s not a concussion symptom or signs of a larger problem, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it worries me.  Who knows at what point during a game / season he may have another one? But I do trust our medical staff and have to believe that they will get a handle on this, take precautions, etc, so that the team, and more importantly Kizer himself, don’t suffer any ill effects.

I think that this is the part where I’m suppose to gush about how good backup QB Kevin Hogan played while Kizer was out, but let’s face it, we have enough QB Controversy Conversations around Cleveland without me doing an impression of a defensive lineman and jumping on that pile!

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