In about an hour the Rams will be playing the Cleveland Browns. The Rams and Browns are both young teams that look to be on the rise sooner rather than later. I took a few minutes and interviewed the lead writer for Dawg Pound Daily, Steve DiMatteo, to get his thoughts on the Browns and what to expect in tonight’s preseason matchup.
Q: Like the Rams, the Browns seem to be on the rise and moving in the right direction. In what areas did they improve the most this season and what are the expectations for the Browns this season? Division Title? Playoffs?
A: Division title and playoffs are essentially foreign concepts to Browns fans these days. They might not know what to do if/when either actually happens, but the Browns did do some things right in the offseason. The biggest improvement might be on the coaching staff, where first-time head coach Rob Chudzinski surrounded himself with solid coordinators in Norv Turner and Ray Horton.
Q: What are some of the camp battles to watch during the game? Who do you think will end up on top when week 1 rolls around?
A: The largest question mark of camp is the second cornerback position opposite Joe Haden. Chris Owens, Buster Skrine and Leon McFadden (until his hamstring injury) were all fighting for that spot, but it looks like it could be Owens’ to lose.
Q: The Browns have a new coach in Rob Chudzinski. What do you expect from him and what do you think he brings that the previous regime did not?
A: Hopefully, an uptempo offense. The Browns have been riddled with plodding, uninteresting and boring offenses for nearly 15 years; Chudzinski represents a possible shift in that outdated philosophy.
Q: What should we expect from the Browns in tonight’s game? How long do you expect the starters to remain in the game?
A: Like any first preseason game, we’ll probably only see the starts for a series or two, except for the offensive line, which could see extended action. Everyone is looking to see if the offense represents anything close to what has been promised.
The Rams and Browns are both looking to make that jump in 2013. With both franchises having so much excitement and promise surrounding them, the fans are more excited than they have been in a long time. Tonight’s game should be interesting and the Rams could have a surprise challenge on their hands. Weather should be nice for some good football. Makes sure to tune in to Twitter @ramblinfan for live game updates, and as always, Go Rams!