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Buccaneer Scouting Report: They’re Still One Of The Bottom Dwellers In The NFL

Browns may have gotten lucky for first game or two of the season

Me winning the lottery is not a very likely scenario. The Cleveland Browns winning each of their first two games, however, is much more likely; surprisingly.

They may have lucked out for the first two games of the season, but they play two of the worst teams in the NFL to open the 2010 campaign. Opening Day, of course, being against the 3-13 from a season ago Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who don't have much, and what they do have, isn't particularly going well for them.

Most fans remember this team being built around a strong defense, and an agile, speedy running game.

Not anymore.

Ever since defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin left Tampa Bay to join his son Lane at the University of Tennessee, the Bucs lost their identity on defense. It's hard to say that a team could rely so heavily on a coordinator, a guy that never even steps on the field, but they arguably have not been the same since.

And the things that they are equipped with are fragile at best. Ex Browns tight end Kellen Winslow has battled a knee issue that has landed him six operations. Former fifth overall pick in the first round of the 2005 draft Carnell Williams has been almost anywhere but the playing field, dealing with a hampering patellar tendon, and off season surgery on not one, but both of his knees.

What the Bucs hope to be as their franchise quarterback in Josh Freeman is also injury prone with his ailing thumb. But the Buccaneers may have him Sunday.

My point being: They went 3-13 last season, and will likely suffer the same fate under second year head coach Raheem Morris. He has solid coaching abilities, but the talent he has to work with is minimal at best. Their first round pick of the most recent draft, Gerald McCo,y should improve their defensive front that recorded only 28 sacks a season ago. They are also returning Pro Bowl linemen Davin Joseph, and Pro Bowl alternate Jeff Faine. They may have no where to go but up, but they should be more then manageable for the Browns to defeat in week one.

Browns gunslinger Jake Delhomme has plenty of experience versus this same unit as they were in the same NFC South division as his old Carolina Panthers. Against them, he posted a career quarterback rating of 81.5, threw 15 touchdowns and 14 picks, with just under 2,300 yards in 12 career games. He might not have owned them, but he should give the Browns a very good chance at a victory to start his Cleveland career.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.