Friday, October 27, 2006

Jeff Davidson

Jeff Davidson is the new man on the hot seat as far as Browns fans are concerned. Some media reports have sounded a little skeptical about his elevation to the role of offensive coordinator. That's because the unit for which he is primarily responsible (the offensive line) is one of the worst in football. Despite the offensive line's performance this season, I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, and not just because I've got absolutely no choice.

Believe it or not, I've actually met Jeff Davidson. Maybe that overstates my interaction with him, but I was fortunate enough to get the chance to observe his coaching style much more closely than most fans ever do, and I like what I've seen. I think Davidson could turn out to be a big upgrade for this team.

Long time readers of this blog may recall my excellent adventure on the Browns sideline during last season's Bengals game. Well, one of my jobs that day was to hand pre-snap and post-snap photos to Davidson when the Browns were on offense. One thing that I noticed about Davidson during that game was that he seemed to spend a lot of one-on-one coaching time with his players. His conversations with his linemen were very intense, but he never seemed to lose his cool. The other thing that I noted was the way his players sought him out, instead of Davidson having to track them down on the bench to communicate with them. I know it was just one game, but the guy obviously had the respect of his players, and he impressed me.

Davidson's controlled demeanor represents a big change from his predecessor, and it will go a long way to improving this team's morale. The bigger question, of course, is to whether he'll be able to improve the offense's performance. Like I've been saying, it all comes down to the offensive line, and it will be very interesting to see how they respond to Davidson this weekend.

The comments coming out of the offensive line suggest that Carthon may have been a big contributor to their problems. I'm a little doubtful about that, because I think the Browns have huge talent issues on the offensive line. On the other hand, if Carthon really was calling plays with the wrong protections and running them out of the wrong formations fairly regularly, then they've got a legitimate beef.

I like Jeff Davidson. Let's hope he can somehow figure out a way to turn this turd into a fudgsicle.

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