Not Dead--Yet

It's still not time to start cheering the Pokes' d-backs

If you want to be kind, you could say that what lies ahead is uncertain. We've seen one good game and one bad game and so anything could happen. You could say that if you want to, but you'd probably be fooling yourself. Because we can look at the schedule and understand that there are a lot of match-up problems ahead--plenty of serious receivers and quarterbacks remain. They still must face Terrell Owens/Donovan McNabb and the Eagles (twice), Laveranues Coles/Mark Brunell and the Skins (twice), Amani Toomer/Kurt Warner and the Giants (twice) and a number of others who figure to give them fits. If you and me and the opposition can see the potential disaster there, surely Big Bill can see it. Right?

In fairness, the defensive line hasn't helped matters any by not pressuring the quarterback (as a unit, they have just one sack in the first two games), which makes it that much harder for the d-backs. Still, if nothing changes--if no one new is brought in or if they don't promote or demote from within--then we can only go by what we've seen, and there's no real reason to be optimistic. Until they show us that they're capable of making quality plays each Sunday, then we're stuck in a holding pattern, left to worry which group of defensive backs will show up.

"It's a little early for the state of the union," Parcells cautioned. "Let's get halfway through. Let's get into it and a little way through first. Leave the funeral hearses in the garage for right now."

Nobody loves Browns QB Jeff Garcia more than Pete Hunter does.
Nobody loves Browns QB Jeff Garcia more than Pete Hunter does.

OK, fair enough. It's early, and they're not dead yet. Not nearly. There's a lot of football to be played. But based on what we've seen, based on the real-deal competition they still have to combat, isn't it reasonable to be concerned?

Big Bill wants to let the hearses idle for now. Which is fine. But you have to wonder if he's keeping them gassed up.

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