1. Is Hue Jackson utilizing Duke Johnson in a manner that differs from how he was used last year and why do they seem to have such a hard time integrating his role in an offense that lacks playmakers?
Last year, there was an impression that Duke Johnson was being used oddly. He would make two big plays in the first half as a receiver, only to see zero snaps in the second snap. This year, there is more of an even balance between he and Isaiah Crowell. The numbers indicate that he's going to see far fewer carries and about the same number of receptions as a year ago. It's not as big of a deal, though, because Terrelle Pryor and Corey Coleman are now viewed as more important players to get the ball to. Our quarterback play has been so poorly that Johnson's productivity in the offense has fallen from the forefront of discussion.
2. How has Emmanuel Ogbah played as a Brown and how has he impacted the pass rush?
When the Browns first drafted him, it was as an outside linebacker. Then, veteran defensive end Desmond Bryant suffered an injury at the start of training camp, so the club started training him for that position. At the start of the regular season, they decided to push him back to outside linebacker after all -- but now he hadn't played there all of camp. I think this slowed his development a bit, but about half-way through the season, the Browns decided to stick him at defensive end and keep him there. He's not a dominant pass rusher, but it's encouraging to see him getting to the quarterback more often. Ogbah leads the team with 5.5 sacks and 15 hits. The next step for Ogbah is to start generating more hurries on a regular basis.
3. Terrelle Pryor's breakout has been fascinating. What do you think his future looks like?
If you would've asked me a few weeks ago, I would've said, "great." He's hit a rough patch over the past two games, though, catching 5 passes for 21 yards. He suffered a finger injury last week that'll require surgery at the end of the season. And, he's been getting under the skin of opposing cornerbacks (pre- and post-game) and has also made comments that haven't sat well with the coaching staff. Overall, I think those are all things we can brush under the rug as frustrations from an overly passionate player who can't believe he's on a winless team. Get us a good quarterback and a healthier offensive line, and I think Pryor can be a regular 1,000+ yard receiver and even a Top 10 player at his position.
4. Cam Erving was obviously a disaster as a rookie. Where do you think he stands now?
He's still a disaster. I was all for giving him this season at center because the club needed to know what they had in him. The results haven't been good. He blocks poorly in space, is inconsistent, and in my estimation a poor signal caller at the line, which I think is a big reason the rest of our line has suffered breakdowns. There is a guy named Austin Reiter who played one game for the Browns this season at center. He did very well but tore his ACL at the end of that game. There is some hope that he can recover by next season and contend for the starting role.
5. What do you think the odds are that the Chargers will break up your Browns' perfect season?
The Bengals were struggling, so I thought that'd be our final "best chance." The Bills were almost ready to fire Rex Ryan, so I thought that'd be our final "best chance." Now, the Chargers are traveling across the country on Christmas Eve, so that's our final "best chance." I think the talent gap is too big between Cleveland and most of the other teams (except San Francisco). The Browns' best chance of winning a game is if the other team has simply checked out for the year. At this point, we've been through so much losing that it'd be frustrating to win a game and lose the No. 1 overall pick to the 49ers because of it.