Cleveland Browns : Solid Play Of WR Mohamed Massaqoui at Bengals, Reason For Optimism

Image courtesy of clevelandbrowns.com (John H. Reid III)

Overshadowed by the franchise-record performances of running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden, was the solid play of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaqoui.

Massaqoui, a second-round pick out of the University of Georgia, would catch five passes for 90 yards on seven targets against the Cincinnati Bengals in a 34-27 Week Two loss.

Massaqoui would average 18 yards per reception and make timely catches to help keep drives alive. With his performance, Massaqoui leads the team in receiving yards with 131 yards, receptions with eight and yards per catch with 16.4

While Massaqoui has shown flashes of brilliance in possibly being the Browns No. 1 wide receiver in the past, the main issue with him is his inability to avoid injury.

A four year veteran, the 25-year old Massaqoui has had a career hindered by various injuries, most notably two helmet-to-helmet head injuries within the last two years.

At 6’2 and 207 pounds, Massaqoui is a perfect fit for Cleveland’s version of the West Coast Offense (WCO).  Unfortunately, Massaqoui has yet to show that he can develop into the reliable playmaker that the much-maligned Browns offense—and wide receiver corps—desperately need.

Since being drafted in 2009, Massaqoui’s receiving yards have gone down from 624 yards in 2009-10, 483 yards in 2010-11 and 384 yards in 2011-12.

While averaging 33.6 receptions a season, Masaaqoui’s catches have dropped from a career-high 36 in 2010-11 to 31 in 2011-12.

Combine that with his recent head injuries, and you can understand why many Browns fans were—and still are—on the proverbial fence when it came to the under-achieving Massaqoui due to his inconsistency.

Could the 2011-12 season be the year that he breaks out? Possibly.

While Massaqoui has not yet scored a touchdown, based on his performance in Cincinnati, he has a good chance of equaling—or breaking—his season total of two in 2011-12 and his career total of seven touchdowns based on the growing chemistry that he has with Weeden.

If Massaqoui can continue his solid play that he would display against the Bengals, there is a real possibility that he will finally emerge into the No.1 wide receiver prospect and provide a real reason for optimism in the Browns offense in 2012.

Robert D. Cobb is the NBA Network Manager for Rant Media Network, Featured Writer of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Featured Columnist for the Cleveland Browns and Arsenal Gunners.

In addition to covering the NBA, I also cover MLB, NFL, NHL and Champions League soccer news, rumors and opinions, please follow me on Twitter at @RobertCobb_76


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