Opinion: Questions lingering for McCoy, Browns

Michael Moses

Michael Moses

Michael Moses is the sports columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

You can’t throw the ball 60 times a game if you have no proven receiving threat.

Face it, Mohammed Massaquoi is not a No. 1 wide receiver. Neither is Josh Cribbs. Your tight ends are arguably your best pass-catchers, but do not have the same amount of athleticism as your wide outs. At this point in time, if you’re going to throw the ball more than 40 times a game, you need to put athletic pass catchers on the field. This team desperately needs a proven, set-in-stone wide receiver given the amount of times Colt McCoy has dropped back to pass.

A young quarterback’s best weapon often is his top wide receiver. McCoy would benefit tremendously from a veteran wide receiver. Why can’t Cleveland land him one?

Ben Watson has proved to be the most consistent threat on the team. Watson’s combination of soft hands and athleticism bail out McCoy regularly. That doesn’t mean McCoy isn’t looking for him on designed routes — he surely is — but when the pocket collapses, it’s usually Watson who ends up with the ball. Still, the Browns need a true wide receiver. That being said, you must play with the cards you’re dealt.

So what if he’s not a true wide receiver? Josh Cribbs is your best athlete. Throw him the ball.

Do you see the types of catches this guy makes? He’s what I like to call a “go-getter.” When the ball is in the air, he doesn’t catch it in stride, or wait for the pigskin to fall in his breadbasket. Cribbs attacks the ball like Dennis Rodman after a rebound. McCoy has just simply lobbed the ball up to Cribbs, as if he was Calvin Johnson, and No. 16 pulls it down for six points in the end zone. How in the world don’t they recognize this? Why can’t the Browns take more shots like this? Cribbs may not be a pure wide receiver, but he has the “it” factor. Whatever “it” is, he has it.

Where in the world is Evan Moore?

Throughout the entire training camp, the third-year tight end had as much buzz as any other player. Now, the guy can’t even get enough snaps. I promise when I say that out of every practice that I attended this year, Moore was legitimately the top wide receiver — not tight end, but wide receiver, on the entire team. He’s 6-foot-6, can out-leap any defensive back, uses his body like a power forward and has baseball mits for hands. He started the season 2-for-2 in the red zone, but since has three total receptions. For a guy that you made a priority to sign during the offseason, they sure aren’t utilizing his skills like they should. Especially when lacking a solid pass-catcher.

Peyton Hillis needs touches.

After rushing for about 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns last year, the Madden cover boy is on pace for 788 yards on 216 carries. Last year, the Browns’ featured back rushed 270 times. Sure, this is a different offense and a new coaching staff, but the bottom line is that Hillis is a beast. He’s a traditional bruiser — the more carries he gets, the better he gets. Granted, in some of Cleveland’s games they fell behind and needed to pass. No matter what the circumstances, though, Hillis can produce yards.

You can say whatever you want, but the bottom line is this: If you want to call yourself a passing team, you need to have threats on both sides of the throw (yes, I consider Colt McCoy a threat at this point in time). At the same time, if you want to call yourself a passing team, don’t forget about your all-pro running back. Most Browns fans are happy with 2-2 at this point, but realistically, they could be undefeated. It’s time to start thinking like a winner.

And hey, there’s a certain wide receiver on the market. He’s been jobless for a couple months now. Call up that one fella, Lebron?