Each week, I contact the editor of the FanSided team blog the Ravens are playing that Week. This week I wrote five questions to Steve Dimatteo, editor of the Browns blog 12thManRising. Read what he has to say about the rivalry and more.
1. Peyton Hillis was huge against the Ravens last year, rushing for over 100 yards against a usually stout Ravens run defense. Will he be a big part of the gameplan on Sunday or will Colt McCoy take the reigns of the offense?
Peyton Hillis finally appears to be healthy after dealing with a nagging hamstring injury, so I’d expect him to get plenty of carries on Sunday as the Browns try to control the clock. And if Montario Hardesty is able to go, you can fully expect the Browns to rely on the running game. The problem is, it’s doubtful that the Ravens will be caught off-guard by Hillis once again.
2. Speaking of Peyton Hillis, it seems as if he has succumbed to the fabled Madden Curse. Do you believe the legend is true or is it coincidental that Hillis is having a bad year?
I’ve always been of the belief that the Madden Curse is purely coincidental, and after only one great season, it’s not too surprising that Peyton Hillis has had a tough year. Hillis has had to deal with a little bit of everything, from on-field injuries, off-field rumors and issues, and a lingering contract dispute. I’m still not ready to admit that the Madden Curse is real, but Hillis did everything in his power this season to make me at least consider the possibility of its existence.
3. The lack of a threat at the receiver position has hurt the Browns for the past few years. Do you think the current corp has time to grow into quality receivers or must the Browns start anew?
After seeing the product on the field this season, there is no doubt that the Browns must go out and draft a true playmaker next April. Rookie Greg Little has shown some signs of promise this season, but I’m not sure he is No. 1 receiver material. Even if he was, there isn’t much behind him. The Browns didn’t sign a free agent wide receiver this past offseason because the front office wanted to see what the team had in-house. If this season hasn’t proved that the Browns need to draft a receiver early, nothing will.
4. What do you think about Colt McCoy? Is he the future quarterback of the Browns or will they have to find someone else?
Colt McCoy has the ability to be the Browns’ quarterback moving forward. It’s hard to make a true judgment of him just yet, simply because of the lack of talent that surrounds him. Many great quarterbacks have struggled in their first full season as a starter, so I don’t believe that writing McCoy off already is the right thing to do. Has he made mistakes? Sure, but there have also been some positive aspects to consider. Give him another crop of draft picks and potential free agents and I think you’ll see noticeable improvement from both McCoy and the rest of this Browns offense.
5. Has Cleveland forgiven Art Modell for relocating the Browns to Baltimore? Do you and other fellow Browns fans still hold a grudge against Baltimore or have you moved on?
At this point, it’s pretty safe to say that Browns fans will likely never forgive Art Modell for relocating the Browns to Baltimore. I think enough time has passed for fans to no longer simply consider the Ravens the “old Browns” – now they’re just another division rival. But that doesn’t mean fans won’t remain bitter about losing their team in that fashion.