Since there’s not much to preview for the last preseason game tonight, our focus with DawgPound Daily is to take a higher level look at the Browns as they come to town to face the Bears. Here are my questions and his answers:
1. Who’s been the most pleasant surprise for the Browns this preseason?
It could very well be undrafted rookie CB James Dockery, who came on strong this preseason and will likely make the roster to ensure some depth in the secondary. The emergence of tight end Evan Moore, though, might be the biggest surprise this preseason. He had a great training camp and has showed a real connection on the field with QB Colt McCoy. Benjamin Watson is the starter, but Moore will get plenty of looks this season.
2. Who is an under the radar player that Bears fans don’t know yet that they will after the game?
Evan Moore is fast becoming anything but an under-the-radar player at this point, and Bears fans will want to know his name, even if it’s as a fantasy football sleeper.
3. Can Peyton Hillis repeat his incredible 2010 season? Are Browns fans worried about the Madden Curse?
I’m not sure he’ll be able to repeat his 2010 season because he won’t be able to sneak up on teams anymore. Before defenses knew what they were dealing with, he was running all over the league. His production slowed down over the course of the second half of the season, partly because defenses were game planning for him, but also because he was dealing with injuries. The key to his success will be his back-ups, and with Brandon Jackson already out, the Browns are hoping Montario Hardesty stays healthy to spell Hillis when needed.
4. Is Colt McCoy the real deal?
The young quarterback still has to prove himself during the regular season, but all signs point to him being capable of handling the starting job in the NFL. He has looked confident this preseason, displaying his accuracy and ability to get the ball downfield when he needs to. A lot remains to be seen when it comes to McCoy, but he’s taking some big steps towards being the real deal.
5. What is your prediction for the Browns in 2011?
Installing a new offense and defense with a first-time head coach is going to prove difficult, no matter how easy the schedule looks. Depth will continue to be a concern for the Browns all season, so I see them finishing 6-10, maybe 7-9 at best.
Check over at DPD for my answers to his questions. Thanks to editor Steve DiMatteo for this exchange.