|Browns offense just offensive|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 17 September 2008 10:01|
Never one to shy from cameras or microphones, the Pro Bowl wide receiver was a no-show Wednesday when the Cleveland Browns were available for interviews. He was somewhere else in the building, perhaps breaking down film or in the team's crowded trainer's room getting treatment.
Right now, his hands need some work.
Edwards, who had 80 catches for nearly 1,300 yards and scored 16 touchdowns last season, has dropped at least five passes in Cleveland's first two games, miscues in home losses to Dallas and Pittsburgh that have slowed a talented offense that has produced just one touchdown in eight quarters.
pose threat Joshua Cribbs (ankle) have been less than 100 percent because of injuries. In addition, right guard Rex Hadnot missed the opener with a bad knee.
But Edwards, who dropped a certain TD against the Cowboys and short-armed a pass inside the Steelers 5 on Sunday night, has yet to deliver the big play the Browns count on him to make.
``He's dropping balls that we need him to catch,'' coach Romeo Crennel said. ``We're trying to do everything we can to get him out of his slump.''
Edwards wasn't available for interviews following Sunday night's game and he wasn't in the locker room Monday during the 30-minute period it is open to the media. On Wednesday, he walked onto the practice field with Lewis and tight end Kellen Winslow, but Edwards wasn't in his normally playful mood as he joined his teammates.
Quarterback Derek Anderson was asked if Edwards was down after his two bad games.
``Anybody is going to be upset with themselves, as I am when I miss throws,'' he said. ``That's kind of the way it goes. It just takes a few plays, get the ball in his hands a couple of times and he gets that confidence going and that momentum going, and now it turns into the old Braylon we know and the one we expect to be out there.
``I'll keep throwing him the ball. I've got confidence in him that he's going to catch it. He's going to be all right.''
s with balls painted with numbers and colors. As the ball approaches, players have to identify the numbers and colors and call them out before catching them.
``You have to call out the number as loud as you can,'' said wide receiver Steve Sanders. ``No whispering.''
And what colors are the balls?
``Bright colors,'' Crennel cracked.
As for lighting up the scoreboard, Cleveland's offense hasn't come close to matching what it did last season, when it racked up 402 points. Granted, the Browns have faced two of the NFL's top teams in their first few games, but there's no excuse for drops, penalties, miscommunication and poor clock management. They've also been late in getting plays called, forcing the offense to rush to the line of scrimmage to avoid more infractions.
Continuity has been an issue because of an overabundance of injuries - Edwards missed three weeks, Anderson missed two - since training camp, but every team has to deal with those.
The Browns just haven't been able to move the ball and their offense enters this week's game against Baltimore ranked No. 30 overall.
Anderson was asked how he felt after two weeks. Was he shocked? Surprised? What?
uys here and there (to injuries), it's not an excuse. We're going to be all right.''
As he and other players returned from injuries, Anderson, who was out with a concussion, expected the Browns to get their timing back more quickly than they have.
``You would think it would come right back, but it takes reps,'' he said. ``When you miss two weeks, that's 50 plays a day. You can't simulate 250 reps in one week and it's probably closer to 1,000 reps in three weeks. You're trying to get it all back in one week's practice.''
Under second-year coordinator Rob Chudzinski, Cleveland's offense is designed so the pass sets up the run, not vice versa. In order to advance on the ground, the Browns have to put the ball in the air. But they have to catch it when they do.
With Lewis, who bashed his way to more than 1,300 yards last season behind a proven offensive line, the Browns have the talent to line up and hammer an opponent. There's one problem.
``That's not us,'' Anderson said.