By now I am sure all of you have seen or read – hopefully both!!- the Q&A we conducted with Andrew Kulha, editor from the Chiefs fan site Arrowhead Addict.
Usually Fair Catch, the return Q&A we conduct with that weeks opposing teams staff writer or editor, is released on Sunday before game time. It was postponed this week until today, because I was in Cape May, NJ getting married and just got back. Just in case you’re wondering, my bride and I sat at the bar with the iPad and watched the game. Wasn’t the outcome we all were hoping for, but unfortunately, that’s life as they say. Check out the prediction at the bottom as well.
Chiefs vs. Browns Q&A with Mike Ristano
AK: What’s the overall feel of this season so far in Cleveland? Have the Browns played above, below or on-par with the expectations?
MR: After Trent Richardson was traded, the feel in Cleveland was one of disappointment, and a sense of waiving the white flag so to speak. As we found out, that wasn’t the case. Brandon Weeden got hurt, and in stepped Brian Hoyer. Hoyer was much better at running Norv Turner’s offense and rallied the Browns to three straight wins before getting hurt early into the Buffalo game. So we went from, here we go again, to wow, we just won three games in a row. But then we remembered, wait a second, Hoyer, the guy who orchestrated this winning streak is lost for the season. So now after two straight ugly losses, Weeden gets benched and in comes Jason Campbell. This time Browns fans realize it doesn’t matter who is at quarterback the rest of this season, because the Browns front office will be looking for their next quarterback in the 2014 draft. As far as expectations are concerned, I would say they are probably on-par. I don’t think anyone saw this Browns team going over .500, especially with how tough their schedule was this year. For three games they gave us a glimmer of hope, but that is all but faded now.
AK: Are Browns fans disappointed in the fact that their team took Brandon Weeden in hind sight?
MR: I’m not so sure they are just beginning to feel this way, to be honest. I believe the majority of the fans kinda scratched their heads wondering why we used the 22nd pick in the draft to select an almost 30 year old rookie quarterback, who exclusively worked in a spread offense. Especially, when he was coming to Cleveland to run then coach Pat Shurmur’s west coast offense. With that being said, in comes Norv Turner, who’s system is tailored to a big armed quarterback like Weeden, and Brandon just fizzled. To steal a line from the great Dennis Green, “Brandon Weeden is who we thought he was”.
AK: What’s the strength of this Browns team and how do you think it will match up with Kansas City?
MR: Without a shadow of a doubt, the strength of this Browns team is their defense. Ranked in the top ten all year, their rush defense has been outstanding, and the pass defense, with shutdown corner Joe Haden leading that group, has played well all year too. It will be interesting to see how well Jamaal Charles runs against this front seven. The Browns defense hasn’t had a 100 yard rusher against them all year.
AK: Going back a few weeks, what are your thoughts on the Trent Richardson trade?
MR: Funny you should ask. Dan Dahlke, from Lombardi Ave asked me the same question last week and my feelings haven’t changed on it at all. When the trade went down, it was very hard to grasp that the number three pick in the draft the year earlier was traded. As the weeks have gone on and we have seen the lack of production from Trent with the Indianapolis Colts, it leads me to believe the front office knew what they were doing. In my opinion, going on four weeks since Trent was traded, I think the Browns might have fleeced the Colts with that trade.
AK: Which team does Cleveland collectively love the most? Browns, Cavs, Indians, or is it the Buckeyes?
MR: Oh this one is a no-brainer!! No matter how good any of the aforementioned are doing, focus always shifts back to the Browns. Cleveland loves the Browns, and no other sports franchise in Ohio can even compare. Cleveland is definitely a Browns town thru and thru!!!
AK: Prediction for this Sunday?