The most important thing about Saturday night’s game is obviously the play of the quarterbacks. How does Brian Hoyer’s body hold up for the time he is in there? Is he indeed 100% healthy? Can he put points on the board? How does Johnny Manziel handle the speed of the NFL game even if it is against the second team? Can he command the huddle and call the right plays? How much does Johnny run the football and can he take a hit or two from guys that are bigger, stronger, faster than the ones he played against in college?
These are all questions that hopefully the Browns will get answers to one way or another. It doesn’t seem right to think this way, but you almost hope one of the two guys falls flat on his face or bombs, so it will help make the decision easier and clearer. On the other hand, if both guys do well, then you’ve strengthened the QB position and it’s great in this league to have depth.
Other positions I’ll be watching closely:
WR – Who steps up and makes plays besides Josh Gordon? Will it be the veterans Miles Austin or Nate Burleson? Will Andrew Hawkins show why the Browns paid him a decent amount of money in free agency to come to Cleveland? Does somebody come out of know where and make a name for himself and get the coaches attention? Besides quarterback, the receiver position is my biggest concern with this football team.
RB – Ben Tate was a nice free agent pick up in the off season by Ray Farmer, especially for the price, but how does he handle being the feature back now and can he stay healthy? Also rookie Terrance West has been getting rave reviews for what he’s done in training camp, will that translate to the football field against an opponent that isn’t wearing the same colored jersey you do?
LB – Barkevious Mingo has had a great camp, but can he produce the same results on the field in an actual game? How much of an impact will the self-proclaimed best linebacker in the NFL, Karlos Dansby really make? Can Paul Kruger bounce back from being a big name free agent bust from last season and start earning his money and making plays on the field this year?
CB – Not sure of the injury situation with rookie #1 pick Justin Gilbert and whether or not he’ll play, but from the day he was drafted I expected him to be the starter opposite Joe Harden from day 1. He needs to be able to beat out Buster Skrine for this defense to be a better defense.
HC – How will first time ever head coach Mike Pettine do in his first game? Is the game plan good? How does he handle in game situations from time outs, to challenges to halftime adjustments?
These are all things I will be watching closely in the Browns first and all of their pre-season games, as they get ready for their regular season opener on September 7th at Pittsburgh.