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1 posts from September 7, 2013

September 07, 2013

Dolphins CBs hurting? No problem vs. Browns

I was talking to someone who has been around the Cleveland Browns for 20 years this week and the conversation turned to that team's passing game.

"They have four wide receivers," he said, "and three are slow."

That's the reason when the injury report came out Friday and it had starting cornerback Dimitri Patterson listed as questionable with an ankle injury, and rookies Will Davis (toe) and Jamar Taylor (groin) listed as out, I didn't exactly flinch.

If the Dolphins were playing Atlanta or Denver or any other team with a capable receivers corps, this week would be trouble. But, with all due respect to the Browns, they should not be trouble.

The Browns won't have their most talented receiver Josh Gordon on Sunday because he is suspended by the NFL. That means Davone Bess, who was acquired in trade to be the slot receiver, is now promoted to starter alongside Greg Little, who becomes the No. 1 WR.

Little is a solid player who caught 53 passes in 2012. But he doesn't intimidate with size and speed like Gordon does.

The Browns don't look capable of challenging the Dolphins deep. Indeed, their only deep threat is former University of Miami player Travis Benjamin, who is better known for returning punts and kickoffs than catching passes.

By the way, the Dolphins are hopeful Patterson will indeed be active and play, barring a setback. So even that situation is not as bad as it seems.

Bottom line?

If the Dolphins were opening at Indianapolis against the Colts -- the opponent next week -- instead of at Cleveland, there would be major reason for concern. The Colts can throw the ball and boast multiple big-play and deep-threat options.

But the Colts come aren't the opponent. They're opening against the Browns. The Browns don't have that kind of talent.

So it's not as bad as it seems.