We speak with Paul A. Esden Jr., a sports talk radio personality in Syracuse, New York, and ask him about the Cleveland Browns opponents the New York Jets
With the Cleveland Browns ready to host the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football, we had the opportunity to speak with Paul A. Esden Jr. a sports talk radio personality in Syracuse, New York and covers the New York Jets for Elite Sports New York. Paul gives us his take on the upcoming game, from a different perspective than our own.
In addition to seeing what he had to say to us about this contest, make sure you check out the Podcast where Paul and Jeff Risdon from the Browns Wire discuss the upcoming game.
DPD: The Browns have been making some headlines saying they will use all the information they have on Sam Darnold to their advantage. Do you think there’s actually anything they could have learned during workouts that will help now? I mean, it’s not like they were running the Jets playbook during workouts.
"PE: No ‘spygate’ here to worry about, but yes 100 percent they know things, unlike Jon Snow. The Cleveland Browns put Sam Darnold through the ringer, sent private investigators to learn everything about his life, they thoroughly went through every throw he had ever made in college and probably high school. That’s what all NFL teams do when they’re evaluating prospects and that’s even more true when someone has the No. 1 draft choice. They know his strengths and weaknesses and I’m sure that’ll benefit their defense. But Darnold has showed remarkable poise thus far through adversity."
DPD: Tyrod Taylor spent the past few seasons in the AFC East with the Bills. What are your impressions of him and did he normally fare well against the Jets?
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"PE: Well he’s a mobile quarterback, he’s not Michael Vick or Randall Cunningham, but he’s got elite speed at the quarterback position. Taylor’s touchdown-to-interception-ratio is sexy, but that’s because he doesn’t take a lot of chances. There’s pros and cons to that obviously, but that to me puts a ceiling on his potential. Here’s an example, back on November 2nd, 2017, the Jets beat the Buffalo Bills handily 34-21 and it was only that close because the Bills scored 14 in the fourth quarter, but Taylor’s numbers were ‘sexy’: 285 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, 73 percent completion percentage. The important thing is the Bills lost that game, so to answer the question, the Jets have been so-so against Taylor, but it’s been mostly good. That previous experience should help the Jets game-planning for this game on Thursday night."
DPD: Isaiah Crowell was famously called out by head coach Hue Jackson and is now with the Jets. He was great in Week 1 but struggled in Week 2. What Crow will the Browns see? And do you think he will have a giant chip on his shoulder?
"PE: Oh there’s no doubt he has a massive chip on his shoulder. The Browns — Crowell relationship ended very poorly and ugly. From the Browns people I spoke with and he wants to really give it to Cleveland. He had a wonderful first game with the Jets against the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football. The one thing I didn’t know about Crowell was his wheels, that was displayed on his 62-yard touchdown scamper where he ran past the entire Lions defense, that was the longest run on the road in NFL history, he’ll try to break that record in Cleveland. The Jets have a rookie quarterback in Sam Darnold, as great as he may look he needs help. That help has to come via the running game and it was terrible Week 2 vs the Miami Dolphins, they need it back to have a chance in this game."
DPD: Which player on the Browns roster scares you the most, and who should the Browns be most concerned about on the Jets roster?
"PE: Josh Gordon? Sorry, too soon. But in all seriousness it’s 100 percent Myles Garrett. The Jets veteran offensive line looked stable Week 1, against a much better pass rusher they struggled mightily against the Miami Dolphins. Garrett is an elite pass rusher who can take over a game. But if the Jets focus too much on him I fear the Browns can take advantage of a one-on-one matchups like Larry Ogunjobi. It’s going to be trench warfare out there, whoever wins that battle will likely win the game.The Browns should be most concerned about Quincy Enunwa. While Robby Anderson may be labeled the No. 1 wide receiver from people on the outside, he’s not. Enunwa is the more complete receiver, he’s reliable and explosive. Anderson brings a one-trick pony like skill that can beat you deep for a touchdown if you lull on him. Enunwa is Sam Darnold’s favorite target and I expect that to continue this season. Quincy is just so versatile you’ll see him line up as a fullback, h-back, tight end, out wide, in the slot, the Jets are going to move this chess piece all over the field."
DPD: Lastly, many in Cleveland think this could be their first win since 2016. Do you see that happening, or are you predicting a New York road victory?
"PE: When I initially looked at this game prior to the season starting, I marked it as an easy win, as I’m sure everyone did who is playing the Browns. That was a mistake. This team is talented and the New York Jets will not be overlooking this team. Especially since the Browns are favored in this game. I see the New York Jets squeezing this game out at the end by a field goal. With the Browns uncertainty at the kicker position, I believe that’ll cost them again in this game."
We want to thank Paul for taking the time to speak with us about the big game this Thursday Night as the Browns host the New York Jets. Make sure to check out his work on Elite Sports NY and look for our article where Paul asks us about the Browns.