Monday, November 02, 2009

Z is the man

By Tony Grossi

November 1, 2009

1. Cribbs and Hester Don't miss the opening kickoff. Don't miss the second half kickoff. Don't miss the punts. Josh Cribbs and Devin Hester can take this game into their own hands and run away with it in the return game. Cribbs has the advantage of returning both punts and kickoffs. Hester is just on punts now. Come to think of it, unless the Browns' offense does an about-face and starts moving the chains, Hester may have seven or eight chances to return punts.

2. Z's the man To help contain Hester, the Browns will need another outstanding game from Dave Zastudil. Landing punts inside the 20 now is generally considered the truest measure of a punter's value. Zastudil has landed 25 of his 43 punts inside the 20. The next-closest has 19. Zastudil is on pace for 57 punts inside the 20. The NFL record is 42. The fan portion of Pro Bowl balloting is now underway on Vote for Zastudil.

3. Anderson and Cutler Yes, Derek Anderson has been through some rough games of late and his passing numbers are microscopic compared to the league leaders. But think back to 2007, his Pro Bowl year. Anderson: big arm, could throw the ball through a wall, aggressive, took chances, was either really good or really bad. That's Jay Cutler, isn't it? It's not a surprise that when Anderson was asked about Cutler this week, he replied, "I like the way he plays."

4. Who will step up? The Browns' receivers have been in a funk since Braylon Edwards was traded on Oct. 27. In the three games without Edwards, here are the numbers posted by the wideouts: Mohammed Massaquoi, 7 catches for 121 yards; Brian Robiskie, 1 for 23; Mike Furrey, 1 for 5; Chansi Stuckey, 0 for 0. That's nine catches for 151 yards among four receivers over three games. C'mon, people. See it, catch it, tuck it.

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