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Veterans see growth for offense

Posted Jun 2, 2010

With the additions of Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace at quarterback, the Browns wide receivers feel the offense is in good hands.

New Browns quarterbacks Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace add a veteran presence to the huddle and that’s a good thing to have at the NFL level.

Delhomme and Wallace will have a lot of youth surrounding them in the receiving corps, but those wide receivers, including Mohamed Massaquoi and Joshua Cribbs, are ready to help get the Browns offense going.

“(I) just need to be more consistent, just getting out of my routes cleaner, make sure I look the ball in before running it, so I can eliminate the drops,” said Massaquoi. “Last year, I was a rookie, so I didn’t know things. I didn’t process things as fast; I didn’t play as fast. This year, I kind of have a jump on that. I know the offense a little bit better. I know some of the pieces a little bit better.”

“Our offense is more versatile then it has ever been, solid at quarterback, running back, wide receiver; I feel like we are solid all the way around,” Cribbs added. “We are having a great camp. (Brian) Robiskie, he’s stepping up. That’s one guy that surprised me and surprised a lot of guys with him stepping up and really coming into his own. Mohamed Massaquoi, these guys are really stepping up and it’s looking good for this year.”

Massaquoi put together a solid rookie season. He tied for the team lead with 34 receptions and set the pace with 624 yards receiving. Massaquoi also caught 3 touchdowns and set a Browns rookie record with 18.4 yards-per-reception, a mark that stood since Paul Warfield’s 17.69 yards-per-catch average in 1964.

Through Organized Team Activities, Massaquoi has enjoyed working with one of his boyhood role models, Jake Delhomme. Delhomme was playing for the Panthers when Massaquoi was starring at national powerhouse Independence High School in Charlotte.

“You can just sense it, a vet’s a vet,” said Massaquoi. “They just have that presence about them. I guess it comes with experience. He’s played with some good guys, Steve (Smith) Muhsin (Muhammad) and Ricky Proehl, so he’s seen how guys have gone about and conducted their business and how to become a great receiver in this league. He’s able to share some of that knowledge with us so we can go out there and try to do some of the same things.

“He has control of the offense,” Massaquoi added. “He’s out there loose, free-spirited. When things aren’t going right, he gets everybody focused. He keeps everybody at ease, just little things that I guess he’s picked up over the years that guys like me really appreciate because we get back on the right track.”

Massaquoi has also noticed a difference in fellow second-year wide receiver Brian Robiskie.

“He’s just working,” Massaquoi said. “The off-season’s really paying off for him. He’s working, trying to get better every day. We’re trying to push each other to go out there and make as many plays as we can.”

While Massaquoi has enjoyed working with Delhomme and Robiskie, Cribbs has really liked spending time with Wallace. Whether it is Cribbs, a standout for the Kent State Golden Flashes, or Wallace, a former Iowa State Cyclone, in the backfield, the Wildcat formation could be a versatile weapon in the Browns’ offensive arsenal.

“Seneca Wallace has made a great addition to the football team,” said Cribbs. “We are having fun with the Wildcat, got some Flash package in there and Cyclone package in there. We are having fun with it and we are on the same page with that. We are going to fool defenses and give them a hard time to prepare for us.”

DAVIS RETURNS TO FIELD

Running back James Davis burst onto the scene with an 81-yard touchdown in the Browns’ 27-10 win over the Lions in the second game of the 2009 preseason. However, an injury early in September derailed the rest of his rookie season.

Davis spent the off-season going through the rehabilitation process to prepare himself for competition again.

“It feels like a long time,” Davis said. “It’s feels like almost a year and I’ve never missed a year of football. Right now, I’m just trying to work myself back up to speed. I feel like a rookie again, just out there flying around with fresh legs. I just can’t wait to get out on that field and play.

“You’ve got a lot of guys in there,” he added. “We just want to keep this running back crew as strong as possible because you never know what might happen. It’s good to have a lot of competition, guys out there working hard and pushing each other. I think that’s going to make this team better.”