1. How much do the Browns expect out of McCoy? Are they going to be using the same mentality that they had with Delhomme and Wallace? I am assuming, and hoping, that the Browns use the same game plan we used last season. Use the Flash package, run the ball, keep their offense on the sideline. Use McCoy in the short passing game, get his confidence up, and control the LOS with the offensive line.
2. Who is going to cover Mike Wallace? As we saw against the Bengals, Sheldon Browns’ strength isn’t running with WR’s on deep routes. Mike Wallace of the Steelers happens to be one of the finest deep threats in the NFL, averaging 23.4 YPC. The defensive match-up I would like to see is either Haden or Wright with Wallace and have Brown jam Hines Ward at the LOS. With TJ Ward keeping an eye on Heath Miller, we can’t allow Wallace to get behind everyone for a cheap TD.
3. Can the Browns pressure Big Ben in his return? Last season the Browns got to him eight times in the upset win. We all know that Rob Ryan loves to blitz, but this season he has been bringing his defensive backs much more often. Hopefully that is something that we can surprise the Steelers offensive line with. We just need to be careful who we are leaving open on a CB blitz.
4. Who is going to step up and help Colt on the outside? I wish I could believe that Colt can win this game with running game and throwing to the TE’s, but I can’t. I imagine that the Browns will be keeping the TE’s in more than usual to help block Harrison and Woodley. That means that a WR is going to have emerge Sunday. I hope to see the Browns use Cribbs on short screens and bubble passes when he isn’t under center. Maybe we can spring MoMass for a deep route.
5. Survive early. The Browns are starting a rookie on the road against a team coming off a bye, that’s getting their leader back. The Browns need to survive the first fifteen minutes. If they are leading, even or only down a score, the Browns can win this game. If the Browns get down double digits early, we may be digging a hole that we can’t escape from. Survive the first fifteen, Browns will win.