1. BBV: The Browns are 1-3, but they have losses to Pittsburgh and Dallas in there. How disappointed are you in the way the Browns have started the season?
Dawgs: Although the Browns compiled a 10-6 record last season, our only victory over a credible team came against the Seattle Seahawks. We knew we were going to be tested in our first two games against the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers, especially with both games being on national television. Since we were 7-0 at home under Derek Anderson last season though, we had hopes that we could at least come away with a victory in one of those games. Instead, not only did we lose both games, we lost the following week to what I still consider a below-average Baltimore Ravens team.
All those things considered, all of the fans in Cleveland are definitely disappointed with how the season has started. The most frustrating part is that our defense, which struggled last season, has played very well through three games, while our offense, which still has so much potential, has been in a shell.
2. BBV: Derek Anderson has completed less than half of his passes and has 6 INTs to 3 touchdowns. Is it just a matter of time before Brady Quinn gets a shot, or is Romeo Crennel firmly committed to Anderson?
Dawgs: Last week against the Bengals, Anderson had a horrible first half. We thought that Brady Quinn had a 50/50 chance at starting the second half, and if Anderson came out, it would be because Crennel wanted to give him another chance to grab the lead (we had the ball first after halftime). So, what did Anderson do on the first drive of the second half? He threw an interception. No matter how bad Anderson played though, Crennel kept on sending Anderson back onto the field with no indication of Quinn coming in.
Personally, I still prefer to at least attempt to have some faith in Anderson, and I think Crennel is fairly committed to Anderson. However, more than half of Cleveland fans want Anderson benched and/or Crennel canned. I guarantee you that when Anderson throws an incompletion against the Giants, the entire stadium will boo him to hell. With that type of "animosity" in the air, it is just a matter of time before Quinn gets a shot. I think Crennel wants to give Anderson the chance to work with Donte Stallworth for a few games though, because he's been working without a No. 2 receiver up until now.
3. BBV: The reverse of a question you asked me. Despite the 1-3 start, is there a player or players who have exceeded expectations so far this season?
Dawgs: This is a good retaliation question. I think I can legitimately say that nobody on our team has exceeded expectations. Since our defense has improved, you can look at that side of the ball for potential overachievers. Rookie linebacker Alex Hall stepped in well for Willie McGinest while he was sidelined the past few weeks, but Hall already had tremendous buzz surrounding him throughout all of training camp. While there are players on defense that stand out more than others, like Brodney Pool and Shaun Rogers, they have simply met their expectations.
One of the reasons I can't name a player is due to what the Browns did in the offseason. Our biggest free agent signing (Donte Stallworth) has yet to play, and because we traded a second- and third-round pick to acquire Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams, the bar was set high for both of them. That left us without a draft pick until round four, and thus less young players to even be put in a position to step up.
4. BBV: OK, I'm putting you on the spot here. Since several writers brought it up this week, saying Eli Manning is better than his brother (a silly notion) I have to ask you. If you had a Super-Bowl ready team right now, which guy are you taking -- Eli or Peyton? Why?
Dawgs: I'm taking Peyton Manning because of his experience and my fascination with his ability to read a defense and act like a field general any time he is under center. Eli Manning has really stepped his game up and Peyton Manning is having a down year, but I have built up too much faith in Peyton over the years to cast him aside right now. Eli is no fluke, but try taking a favorite toy that works away from a child with a toy that's proven in studies to be liked by other children. The favorite pastime wins out.
5. BBV: A prediction on Monday night's outcome, please.
Dawgs: If you go back and track my predictions this season, I have insanely projected the Browns to win every single week. This week, I have to go with the Giants taking care of business on the road, where they have the uncanny ability to excel in hostile environments. The Giants can match up physically against every team in the NFL, and although the Browns have a good offensive line despite what the Giants did to them in the preseason, it'll be another rough matchup. Giants 31, Browns 20.
Thanks, Chris. Obviously, the Anderson/Quinn story is the sexy one here and bears following. And no, I'm not holding his choice of Peyton against him. Be sure to check out my answers to Chris's questions.