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  • Published: Aug 25th, 2013
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Browns/Colts live thoughts

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Browns2

 

KO-9 allowed the Colts to take the ball to the 40.

Kruger with a nice play v the run

Kruger gets the sack on a 5 step drop by Luck

Wayne beats McFadden.  The blitz didn’t get there.

Haden missed a tackle on the end around

RB Ballard blows through for 13 yards.

Jackson beats Ballard to the edge for a 5 yard loss

Winn stops Luck for a 2 yard gain

Luck breaks contain against the blitz for 6 yards.  Kruger did not hold his contain.

That was not a good job on D.

32 y FG GOOD IN 3 CL coming to bat

Richardson with a great move to get the 1st

Greco makes a great block to turn the DE Richardson gets 13

Weeden hangs a ball for Cameron high but JC comes down with it.  Great blitz pickup by TRich

Holding call on Thomas was weak

Obi1 gets a nice catch on a circle pass for 5

The Colt blitz forces Weeden to throw short.  Cameron double catches but the Browns punt.

Short punt gets the ball down to the Colt 12.

=

Rubin just missed a sack but Luck was able to compete for a 1st  at the 34

Jackson stops the run wide for no gain

Blitz with 6 fails again but the pass goes incomplete Skrine covering Wayne

Richardson gets only a yard on a sweep left

Little with a nice catch vs tight cover and gets the 1st 

Good throw by Weeden.

The first deep throw is incomplete

On 3rd and 8 Cameron missed the pass.

29 yard punt.  THAT is not good enough.

=

Bey gets away from Jackson and gets a 1st

Luck with all day to throw gets 14 more to Wayne

Winn and Taylor take down Brown for 2 yard gain

Luck runs up the middle as the pocket breaks down.  No pressure up the gut.  The Browns did not stay in their lanes on the pass rush.

Wayne uncovered by Skrine and gets 15.

Luck runs for 6.  Pass coverage was good in a zone

Pass to Bey good to the CL 3.

Browns call TO 8:13 left.  Not looking good on O or D

TD pass to FB Havilli.

IN 10 CL 0.

Bad choice by Bademosi to bring the kick out ends up at the 15.

Weeden gets Gordon for 15.

Pressure from a 7 man blitz forces Weeden to throw it away

TRich through a small hole for 3.

Good throw to Little but he lost the ball.  Colts ball after a 15 yard foul on Schwarts.

=

Haden with nice coverage on Wayne Incomplete

McFadden knocks the ball down

Wayne gets the 1st vs Skrine

Taylor and Rubin stuff the run.

Skrine got the hand on the ball to Wayne Incomplete

Wayne takes a head shot and gets the catch at the 7

Ball on the 4 after a penalty

Kruger forces a bad pass and Gipson comes up with a pick at the 2.  Great play on both ends

TRich gets 2 on his own.

Weeden throw into triple coverage is incomplete.  He is staring down his receiver causing the triple coverage.

Weeden throw Inc Browns punt from their 4.

Great punt 65 yards.

=

Great throw by Luck gets the 1st .  Ward missed the tackle that would have held them short of the 1st

Skrine knocks the ball away from Wayne

Browns get to Luck pass Incomplete

Browns force an incompetion and the Colts punt

1:39 Browns ball on the 20 with 2 TOs

Weeden gets OK protection but throws the ball away

Weeden runs for 5

With the clock running he throws into triple coverage again because he stared down his guy.

=

Good punt coverage No return 50 yard punt 55 sec left

Ballard runs for 7 TO 39 sec left

Fake the Blitz and Luck passes for the 1st He read it while Weeden does not.

Home town timer 38 seconds left 2 nd down.  No way that play took just a second.

Long pass Inc with pressure by Kruger 33 seconds left

Run fails to get the 1st

Punt downed at the Browns 4

Half time Ind 10 CL 0

 

 

Long pass inc  Little has to knock the ball down or it would have been picked.

Gordon drops a 3rd down pass.  Browns go 3 and out.

Bad coverage gives the Colts the ball on the Browns 48

=

Brown breaks tackles for 22 yard run

Nobody covers the FB and he gets the ball into the 15

Brown eating the Browns lunch for another 8 yard run

Carter with a nice tackle for loss of 1

Hilton is WIDE open and catches an 8 yard TD pass

IND 17 CL 0

The Colts put in their 2nd d

Catch by Gordon gets the Browns to 3rd and 2.  First short yard to gain in this game.

Good catch by Cooper for the 1st

Marecic CAUGHT THE BALL!  After he realized he had not been touched he got up and ran

TO Browns.  Not organized blow a TO.

Under pressure Weeden misses Little Holding on Indy

Jackson drops a pass in the flat

Ogbonnaya gets 3

Cooper gets open and gets the 1st on a 9 yard gain

Pressure again Weeden misses a wide open TE Davis

Blitz again and Weeden missed Cooper.  Weeden does not handle pressure well.

Blitz on 3rd and it almost gets picked on a throw to Cooper

50 Yard FG GOOD Ind 17 CL 3

=

Auguste stops the run.  If he missed it would have been a BIG gain.

Another great play by Auguste on a TFL

Slaughter hits the receiver just as the ball gets there. Pass INC

Bad punt by Colts gives the ball to the Browns at the 50.

Campbell complete to Davis for 6.

Smelley with a nice block on Jackson’s run for 3.

Davis was wide open but Campbell missed him badly.  He got hit after the play.

On 4th and 1 Jackson is tackled for a loss

=

CB Kena almost picks the pass from Hasselbeck

Auguste loses the WR and it goes for a 28 yard gain.

Sanford gets the back for a 3 yard loss

RB Williams is tackled for no gain

Auguste is caught for interference at the Browns 12

Fort catches FB Hughes for no gain.

Adams gets a tackle on Williams for 3

WR Whalen is open in the endzone but cannot catch the ball.

IN 20 CL 3 1:15 left 3rd quarter

Nice 6 yard run by Cook

15 yard run by Cook is called back Holding on Hauptman

Smelley with a nice catch runs for 6 more yards and gets the 1st.

END OF THE 3RD Q

Campbell gets sacked by Rayford

Pass for 2 yards on 3rd and 6.

The Browns punt almost gets blocked but Lanning gets it out.

=

The Browns get confused by a rollout pass in the flat that goes for 12

JM Johnson gets a TFL

Whalen gets open against Auguste again and gets the 1st

Meggett gets a 1st on a 15 yard run

Browns TO 10:13 left

Hasselbeck is hit and fumbled but the Colts got it back.

Auguste gets Whalen on a short pass.  Colt WR Palmer hurt on the play.

Browns ball on their own 9

Campbell misses TE Gronk

Edwards bobbles the 3 yard pass from Campbell and drops it.

RB Cook catches the pass and jukes for a 1st

LB Harvey breaks through again and grounding is called on Campbell

Nice throw to WR Edwards for 18.  3rd and 2

WR Roberson gets the 1st catching between 2 defenders

Rayford sacks Campbell but offsetting penalties negates it.

Croom makes a great catch for the 1st

Campbell throws behind the receiver on a crossing route.  Lucky is was not picked

Roberson makes a nice catch to the Colt 13.  Campbell got hit by the blitz but threw a nice pass.

OT Butler who got called on the hold jumps off side

Campbell gets buried and hurt by a blitz.  The entire line blew the assignment.

44 YARD FG GOOD IN 20 CL 6

Roberson gets the onside kick.  Great play

Hoyer’s first pass is picked by former Brown Asante for a TD.

IN 27 CL 6

Roberson was open but dropped a pass right in his hands.  Nice throw by Hoyer

Gilkey with a false start.

Two short competions force a Browns punt

=

Kerwin Williams stops selling paint and runs for 25 yards

Harnish is in at QB

 

Final IN 27 CL 6

Brandon Weeden

Brandon Weeden (Photo credit: Erik Daniel Drost)

 

Overall thoughts

1st team Offense:

The game started with the Colts providing pressure on Weeden.  After that he was staring down the receivers way too often.  That tends to draw a crowd of DBs.  The throws into coverage become double and triple teams when DBs read the QB’s eyes.  He was obviously bothered by the pressure.  That was a knock on him coming out in the draft.  He stopped looking down the field and if his first option was not open he went to the check down or threw it away.

 

Weeden was not reading the defense well.  The Colts faked a lot of blitzes but came infrequently.  On the first drive they faked but rushed 3 and got a hit on Weeden.  It looked like he was afraid to throw deep.  At the start of the 2nd quarter he was 5 for 5 but all were very short throws.  I was wondering who gave Pat Shurmur the mike to Weeden’s head set and let the former coach call plays.  Weeden has always had trouble against the zone D.  Tonight was no different.  He will really struggle playing against the Steeler’s zone blitz schemes.

 

Weeden’s accuracy had been outstanding in the first two preseason games.  It was not tonight.  It is impossible to win when you miss wide open receivers.  The inability to make yardage on first and second down led the team back to third and long again way too often.  One drive was stopped by the failure to make 1 yard on two attempts.  That is due to the inability of the line to drive the D line back.

 

The receivers did not help Weeden or the other QBs at all.  While there were some nice catches too often the receivers were dropping the ball.  Little’s fumble stopped what looked like a nice drive mid way through the 2nd quarter when the score was just 10-0.  That error was compounded by a personal foul on Schwartz.

 

Oniel Cousins got the first chance to play RG but he is not a starting quality OL.  The pressure up the middle by the Colts was a result of C Mack trying to help Cousins in pass protection.  Cousins is better blocking the run than the pass.  He shows he has the feet to pull and is fairly accurate getting his block on the edge.  Cousins is alert to players rushing the passer but does not anchor well enough to blunt the attack.

 

The coaching staff did not trust the replacement RGs and ran to the left most of the game.  The rest of the O line did not play well either.  There were a lot of penalties and neither starting tackle played well.  The Colts got pressure with a 3 man rush.  That cannot happen.  Schwartz struggled all game long against the pass rushers of the Colts.  A lot of pressure was coming off the right side of the line.  Thomas had a holding penalty.

 

Both TRich and Cook ran very hard.  But again they were hit too often at or behind the line.  Jackson looked like he had cement cleats on running for 8 yards on 5 carries.  Cook is not likely to make the team but there is no quality depth behind TRich.  Hardesty is too fragile and Jackson is too old.

 

Coaching staff showed a few new wrinkles like the 231 formation with 2 RBs 3 TEs and 1 wide out.  The run formation allowed Gordon to get open and get an 18 yard pass.  But there was way too many check downs.  The O looked a lot like last year’s disaster.

 

It looked like the team in general and Weeden in particular got nervous once the game started to go downhill.  The Colts jumped out to a 17-0 lead and the game was over.   The Browns never made a charge to threaten the Colts.  That is unacceptable.  To be a factor in the AFC North, the team must have the guts to fight back from a deficit.  The Colts did a good job taking field position away from the Browns.  But that too is no excuse.

 

1st team defense:

The D made some good plays but there were too many missed tackles.  Ward missed a chance to prevent a touchdown by missing the receiver.  The lack of experience at the CB and FS positions have haunted the team for years.  Injuries have added to the need for those positions to get experienced depth.  The team gave up a ton of long plays last year because it did not have a true center fielder to stop them.

 

FS Gipson had a great interception on the 3 yard line after the Little fumble.  But he is more of a strong safety than a free safety and is just beginning to understand coverages and techniques.

 

Kruger had an outstanding game.  He was getting pressure however against a bad offensive line.  He did get pressure on Luck with regularity.  Groves played well but was up against a replacement LT once Castonzo went down.  The D line in general played well.  NT Taylor and DE’s Winn and Rubin absorbed blockers but the backers did not take advantage of it.  Way too many plays made serious yardage when the Browns backers lost outside contain.  We also did not see the good pass coverage of the inside backers we had seen in previous games.

 

The DBs struggled to cover Wayne who regularly ran open through the defensive backfield.  He is a shifty older player.  However it is hard to understand how the pass coverage made WR Heyward-Bey look like an all pro.  He is a bust from the Raiders but looked like a super star tonight.

 

Injuries have taken a toll on the D backfield.  It looked way too inconsistent to even think this team could contend in the AFC North this year.  The team needs much better corner play opposite Haden and have to find a FS that is able to play center field.  Unless they do the D will give up a ton of passing yardage.

 

Special teams did OK for the most part.  P Lanning was inconsistent.  K Shayne Graham was solid.  The question with him is can he make long field goals in the winds of December when they really count?

 

The bottom line:

The failure to move the ball on offense had more to do with bad execution than the Colts D.  The Colts are not a great D.  If the Browns struggle to move the ball on them, how will they fare against the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals each of whom have a much better D.

 

 

That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.

 

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.  Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts.  You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits .  

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

 

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Browns Redskins live game notes

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Brandon Weeden

Brandon Weeden (Photo credit: Erik Daniel Drost)

Browns Redskins live game notes

3 and out for the Skins is a good start for the D.

TRich showed his vision on the 14 yard run.

Weeden missed the wide open Gordon.  You can not do that

3rd and long again stops a drive.  The team has WAY too many of those.  Part of the issue is lack of getting yardage running because they don’t get to the 2nd level to open holes.

=

Haden breaks up the 1st down pass

Skins have a blocking issue as well.  They didn’t block the back side and were trapped by Taylor.

Rookie QB mistake caused the pick.  Can’t throw into double coverage.  Tipped by Brown and picked by Ward.

One play drive for the TD.  Great push by TRich for the TD.

=CL 7 WA 0 8:41 1st

Cousins is not even looking down field.  He is just throwing to the checkdown guy.

Great coverage and good pass rush and Sheard gets the sack.

1st down penalty not good.

Good job by Weeden to get the pass off accurately with a guy hanging on him.

Again a short pass on 3rd and long results in a punt.  The 3rd down playcalls have been a big issue.

=

Taylor locks down the run again.  Great play.

Long pass irritates the Skins bench.  But the ball was uncatchable.

Good coverage on the checkdown and the Skins are 3 and out.

Even TRich’s great vision can’t help because there was no blocking.

Fletcher smells out the swing pass.

MoMass open and Weeden misses him badly.  This again just can not happen.

Bad punt gives the Skins great field position.

Great throw by Cousins to Hankerson results in a TD Wash.

Young blew coverage.  He was not deep enough and let the pass go behind him.  WE NEED A NEW FS.

– WA 7 CL 7

No team can drive facing 3rd and long every series.  The Browns have 3rd and 8+ almost every series.

End of the 1st Q

Another bad punt from Hodges.  37 yards.

=

Ward does not wrap up and missed a tackle on the RB

Cousins  rifles a ball to a 1st down.  He is getting less nervous each play.

On 4th and 1 the Skins go for an off side by the Browns but it fails.

After the TO the Skins were going to throw but the penalty made them punt.

Weeden has not been accurate up to now in this game.  He has to get yardage on 1st and 2nd down.

Weeden missed Gordon again throwing behind him.

Former Buckeye Worthington knocks down the 2nd down pass.  3rd and long again.

Good effort by MoMass but the pass is only 4 yards and his effort is short of the LTG.

Good punt by Hodges 51 yards.

This game is going Skins direction.  The Browns have looked awful on O.

=

Cousins gets 17 yards and a 1st on a roll out.  If Griffin was in the game the score would be 21-0.

The Browns D leave the Skins best WR Garcon WIDE open.  He catches the ball but the Ref says it hit the ground at the 31.  The challenge was denied.

Royster runs a wheel route and the Skins convert on a 3rd and 9.

Cousins throws off target due to him falling down.  The pressure was not a factor.

44 yard FG

-Wa 10 CL 7 5:46 left

The Browns get an off side and only face a 1st and 5.  But the pass was behind Gordon.

TRich faces a team picture of the D and loses 2.  The O line HAS to get blocks.

Weeden is not seeing the field well.

Gordon is hit by Alexander and the LB is the loser in the contact.  Gordon’s effort gets the 1st

Good crossing pattern gets the Browns 2nd and reasonable.

Little was WIDE open and gets the ball.

Good run by Cribbs on the Wild Cat.

2 minute warning.

The Browns need to get 7 not 3 on this possession.

Great run by TRich for the TD.  Again it was his vision that allowed him to see the hole and get to the Goal line.  Good call because his knee was down.

Gut check time for the O LINE.  They have to push the ball in.  TRich breaks a tackle and scores.

=CL 14 WA 10

The skins are running no huddle and the Browns get a sack.  Rather than calling a TO as soon as the guy goes down Shurmur lets 10 seconds run off the clock.

Again if RG3 was the QB the half time score would be 21-7.

HALFTIME

Weeden starts the half by throwing a pick.  He never saw the LB drifting into the zone.

=

In 3 plays the Skins score.

-WA 17 CL 14

Schwartz is called for illegal procedure.

Another 3 and out by the Browns.  RT Mitchell was late picking up his assignment and Kerrigan blocks the 3rd down pass to TRich which would not have made the LTG anyway.  He was double covered.

That is followed by another bad punt by Hodges.

=

Cousins is hot now.  Good throw to the 15 then a nice pass for the TD.  He read the Blitz and Hankerson was WIDE open for the score.

The Skins see that the Giants are getting pounded 24-0 by the Falcons so this game puts them in a position to win the division with a win next week.

As the sun pulls away from the shore and the ship sinks slowly in the west…

-WA 24 CL 14 7:40

Weeden is staring down the receiver.  Nice throw to Little but a vet DB core would have picked it too.

Weeden again stares down Little and CB Hall nearly picks it.

Browns set up to go for a 4th and 3 on the 41 with Cribbs in the backfield and the Skins call TO.

Weeden on 4th down panics and throws the ball away.  How can you do that?

=

Garcon is called for taunting.  The Browns were lucky that Haden was not called for a push after the taunt.

Brown is called for Illegal contact.  Skins 1st down.

Lots of broken tackles and Ward goes out with a leg injury.

Thanks to good pressure Cousins is called for grounding.  That led to a punt.

Weeden hits 2 in a row to take the ball from the 15 to the Skins 43.

Then he under throws a ball to Little and is picked again this time by Fletcher.

=

The Skins move the ball right down the field.

3rd quarter ends with the ball at the Browns 44.

Browns lose contain and Cousins runs for 6.  With Griffin that would have been 6 points.

Redskins put the game away with a TD by Royster.

-WA 31 CL 14  11:19 LEFT

Nice throw from Weeden to Benjamin 69 yards for the TD.  Weeden finally took advantage of a guy in the Skins backfield that was bagging groceries 2 weeks ago.   Too little too late.

=WA 31 CL 21 10:21

Great throw by Cousins for 32 yards to the Browns 44.

Three broken tackles on Morris again.  The D is tired.

Garcon recovers the fumble on the Browns 8.

Morris runs through a hole the size of the Mississippi River on the back side to put the Browns further out of their misery.

-WA 38 CL 21

A 4 and out by the Browns was expected.

= 3:14 left but the game was over long ago.

Conclusions:

This loss should finally change the minds of fans that Shurmur has to go.  The fans were fooling themselves about the Browns being a “hot” team because they had won 3 straight games.  The fact is that we beat a banged up Steeler team with a 97 year old QB that was sitting watching TV just a couple of weeks ago, a Raider team that has not been a factor in decades and a Chiefs team run by a former Brown’s HC we fired due to lack of wins.

Shurmur’s lack of ability or willingness to allow players to do what they do best has hurt the team.  It will continue to hurt the team as long as he insists on believing he is the smartest guy in the room.  My experience is that those that think they are the smartest guy in the room usually are not.

As I have said before the running game is a mess.  It does not give Richardson a chance to be successful.  The fact that Weeden has no power to audible away from a run when he sees 97 guys in the box is also due to Shurmur’s desire for control.  The OL is not getting to the second level of the D and without that the running game will never be successful.  Part of the issue is the blocking scheme.  The rest is a lack of talent.

Another issue with Shurmur is his total lack of ability to make adjustments on the fly or at half time.  Week after week we see the D adjust to what the Browns are doing but he is not capable of making changes to those adjustments.  We have heard him say over and over ‘I’ll have to check the tape.’  That is a clear indication he does not understand what is going on during the game.  If you don’t understand what is happening you cannot adjust to it.  Making in game adjustments is an essential part of job of a coach.

I have come to believe that Weeden is not the right guy.  I am aware that he has regressed over the season but cannot overlook his lack of accuracy and ability to get the ball out on time.  He misses easy passes that an NFL starter MUST make to be successful.  His decisionmaking is also a big issue.  If he was 22 I would be willing to see if he develops.  But at 29 the team doesn’t have time to waste a couple of years waiting to see if he comes around.  This was a bad choice made worse by bad coaching.

I have also changed my opinion about the future of Heckert.  The latest information I have is that the choice of Shurmur was more Heckert than Holmgren.  That combined with the Weeden choice over guys like Wilson makes his grade much lower.  It was also Heckert that allowed Shurmur to be OC in addition to HC.  Childress was available at the start of the 2011 season.  Despite that, Shurmur insisted he did not need an OC and would do both jobs.  It is clear he is not capable of doing EITHER job effectively.  In my opinion Heckert has to go along with the coach.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits .  Follow him @NNRonDSN.

 

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Live Game Notes From Browns/Chiefs

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Brandon Weeden watches the BCS Unveiling

Brandon Weeden watches the BCS Unveiling (Photo credit: ShuttrKing|KT)

 

Live game notes from Browns/Chiefs

Great start by allowing the Chief to run 80 yards for a TD on the first play.

 

-KC 7 CL 0

 

Thomas watched the DE beat Watson and sack Weeden.

 

After a first down the O folds like a paper airplane and punts

 

=

 

Great throw to Bowe set the Chiefs up for a score but the FG was no good.  Haden and Bowe were so cute holding hands all the way down the field.

 

 

As usual the team drives the ball to a 1st and goal at the 2 and can’t score 7.  The coach seems to like the fade pass for the score but we have yet to make it work.  How about calling something that does work?

 

=KC 7 CL 3

 

The off side gives the team a 1st down.

 

Haden should have been called for holding on the pass to the sideline.

 

The Browns returned the punt for a TD.  However, there were at least 2 holds during the return that were not called.  It is about time the team gets a break.  With our luck it will be in the leg of a top player.

 

-CL 10 KC 7

 

Great play by Haden on the run wide.  He is becoming a stud both against the run and the pass.  That is what is necessary to be a complete CB.

 

 

The long pass to Little was not over thrown.  Little quit on the pattern.

 

Brown go 3 and out from their 8 yard line.

 

Skrine must do down field under control on the punt coverage.  Too often he misses the tackle because he is not under control.

 

=

 

Winn pressured Quinn to force the throw away.

 

 

Weeden is so much more comfortable in the shotgun you have to wonder why he is not allowed to be there more often.  Good pass to Little for the 1st.

 

The Browns get another break on a 6 yard pass on 3rd and 13.  The penalty gives the team a 1st.

 

Hali did a great job reading the screen pass.

 

After a block in the back penalty the team is forced to punt.

 

Another bad punt by Hodges.

 

=

 

The D blitz forces a sack by Rucker.

 

After giving up a long TD and a drive inside the 10 DC Jauron made some adjustments and the D has played well.

 

 

Gordon catches the slant for a big 1st.

 

Weeden shows he is not feeling pressure as he gets sacked holding the ball too long.

 

=

 

Half

 

Double reverse works well for 15 yards

 

Watson prevents the pick by Berry by knocking the ball out of the DBs hands.

 

Shurmur should not have challenged the call on the wildcat run by Cribbs.  It was CLEAR that Cribbs was down at the 1.  Somebody should take the Red flag away from Shurmur.  He is not smart enough to know when to throw it.

 

Good run and middle push by the Browns OL for the TD.

 

=CL 17 KC 7

 

After two runs by Quinn Brown tips a pass that is picked off by Gibson.

 

 

Nice pass to Gordon to the 2.  Weeden did a better job of reading  the coverage.

 

The stupid shifting bites the team when the TD is called back due to a penalty.

 

A 2nd TD is called back on a foul on Richardson.

 

Again a pass is well short of the goal line so that the team was forced to kick the FG.

 

=CL 20 KC 7

 

The Chiefs get a 1st on a Charles run but then were forced to punt.

 

The D continues to prevent drives.  It is playing well.

 

 

Nice drive by the Browns to the 2.  The run by Little was very effective.

 

After a fumble at the goal line by Hardesty is recovered by the Browns, TRich takes it in.

 

=CL 27 KC 7

 

Hughes gets a sack forcing a 3 and out.

 

 

Nice drive again but a loss on a run ride cost them a shot at a TD.

 

=CL 30 KC 7

 

The D plays soft allowing the Chefs to drive but lose the ball on a failed 4th down play at the 20 of Cleveland.

 

 

Another 3 and out after a pass short of the LTG.

 

=

 

Good pressure on 2nd down by Winn.  He is becoming a solid DT.

 

On 3rd Sheard gets the sack.  The Chefs are 1-11 on 3rd down coversions.

 

 

There is a Colt McCoy sighting in mop up.

 

 

 

Conclusions:

 

The Browns are limited by the offensive playcalling of Pat Shurmur.  Two more wins will probably save his job but it shouldn’t.  He is still making bad decisions right and left.  With Shurmur at the helm the Browns will never win consistently.  He is not qualified to be head coach.  While he has shown a bit of improvement, the team is too good now to put up with his stupid calls.

 

These are the issues that prevent Shurmur from becoming a winning HC.  He is incapable of making adjustments offensively.  I am not sure if he just doesn’t see what is preventing the O from moving or is not sure how to adjust to make it work.  Either way, he should never be allowed to call the O.

 

He also fails to do the HC job.  The issues with running different player groups in and out still exist.  That complicates the offense and does not permit Weeden to develop timing with a stable group of WRs.  He should keep Little and Gordon as the starters with a TE or two.  Weeden needs all the reps he can get with the guys that will be on the field the most.  Bringing in WRs based on some lottery system is not working.

 

Weeden is not developing he is regressing.  Early in the season he was not staring down his receiver but he is now.  He is not seeing the field well either.  While all QBs miss open receivers, Weeden makes up his mind where the ball will go before the snap and fails to see an opening.  While it may be that he still doesn’t trust his protection.  The blocking has gotten better for the pass but not the run.

 

Don’t blame TRich for his low average per attempt numbers.  The run blocking scheme is a mess.  The guards are not getting to the second level.  Even teams that struggle against the run look like super stars against the Browns.  Richardson is an outstanding back.  But even great backs need to get holes to make yardage.  The blocking scheme is old and tired.  It needs to be updated.  If the current OL cannot open holes they should be replaced.

 

Some people are talking about TRich dancing behind the line.  He is looking for anything that even could develop into a running lane.  He is also playing hurt without a word of complaint.  I had 12 broken ribs and torn rib cartledge.   I know what kind of pain he is in.  Trust me when I say I could NEVER have played with that pain.

 

The receivers have improved however it does not seem to be due to coaching.  The improvement has more to do with the need to impress the new ownership than good coaching.

 

Overall, my choice would be to keep Heckert and Jauron but lose Shurmur.

 

That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.

 

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

 

He edits .  Follow him @NNRonDSN.

 

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Live Game notes Steelers Browns

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English: Rashard Mendenhall of the Pittsburgh ...

English: Rashard Mendenhall of the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game against the Cleveland Browns (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Great start with a pick 6.

When the Steeler D scores it keeps our D fresh.

=PT 7 CL 0

The blocking is not holding up.  Greco allows a sack almost as soon as Weeden gets the ball.

Then there is no hole for TRich and he is caught behind the line.

=

Mendenhall fumbles after a hit by Rubin and the D recovers.  Young with the recovery.

TRich finds his own hole and gets 7.

TRich finds another hole breaks a tackle and gets the 1st

Another thow short of the LTG and the Browns have to kick a FG.  How long will the new ownership allow Shurmur to screw up his BILLION dollar investment?

=PT 7 CL 3

Browns forgot how to tackle after the day off

No recognition of the screen pass.

DQ fills the hole and stops Dryer.

Miavia avoids the OG and makes the tackle with Ward helping out to end the drive.

TRich is a weapon on the run and the pass.  Circle routes to TR will open up the running game.

Weeden is not seeing the field well.  He checks down too quickly.

=

Papa: Maybe it is the wind?   Nope just bad QBs.

Young bats down the 2nd down pass.

3 and out and the Browns get the ball back—unless they fumble the punt.

Cribbs has no vision any longer.  He runs directly into the pile.

The reverse goes no where.  Big risk very little potential return

3 step drop and the throw again does not go beyond the line to gain.

Not enough booze in the world to make this look better to me.

=

The Steelers want to avoid giving the ball to Batch to throw.

Dwyer has a history of fumbling in college.  But he is the only one not to loses one so far.  The Browns have the ball on the 10.

TRich gets 3 then 2.  Third and 5 so Shurmur will call a 2 yard pass and kick the FG.

Weeden finds Cameron and the Browns score…I forget what it is called but it counts 6 points.

That was the first TD in the last 20 Browns possessions.

=CL 10 PT 7

Good to see Haden back.  Good thing too because Miava missed the tackle.

Having the two big guys inside helps a lot against the run.

Browns playing too loose a zone and the Steelers get the 1st.

JMJ gets Dwyer at the LOS.

Batch is not even close to the receivers.

Browns get great field position at the 42.

Gordon is strong and can break tackles.  He is a good target for the bubble screen.

Good vision by TRich seeing the hole and making a jump step to it.

Weeden has no ablility to audible away from a bad play.  SHurmur knows best.

GREAT catch by Watson and he gets hit twice the second one hurt.

The Browns O line is not moving the D much.  We need to use misdirection to get holes.

Holding Mack.  Penalty declined.  Dawson O strikes again.

=CL 13 PT 7

After Dwyer’s fumble the Browns have the ball on the 35.

Browns lose yardage twice in a row and face a 3rd and 17.

Ball almost gets picked.  Browns will punt.

=

Rainey now in at RB

Sanders wide open and gets the ball to the 50.  Brown makes some nice plays but then will have a brain cramp and miss a coverage.

Pit moves the ball right down the field to get into FG range.

Then with 7 seconds Brown is called for interference in the endzone.  The Browns don’t give up the TD on the first run but Rainey is not wrapped up and rolls off the tackle to score.

-PT 14 CL 13 despite turning the ball over 3 times none of which were Batch’s fault.

HALF

Pit has decided to throw short passes to move the ball because the RBs can’t hold onto it.

Robertson does a great job stopping the screen.  Good to see him on the field.

The Browns D does a great job stopping Pit and force a 3 and out.

TRich is clearly not healthy.  He just doesn’t move like he did before the rib injury.

The O line is beginning to show up.  Nice drive on a 7 yard run.

Little cannot block Harrison.  What was that blocking scheme?

The Browns are forced to punt AGAIN!

=

Batch just doesn’t jave the arm strength to throw the deep out.  He is picked by Brown.

The Browns score on a great run by TRich.  Lauvao  trap blocks the DT and Smith gets the LB to open the hole.

=CL 20 PT 14

Rucker stuffs the double team and stops the RB

Miller gives and he takes away.  Gets the 1st over the middle then holds on a run.

Big Taylor gets the sack.

The Rookie G Beachum gets called for holding on his first play replacing RT Adams.

After a short gain Pit punts.

Lauvao holding two plays in a row.

Fourth Quarter CL 20 PT 14

=

Pit gets the ball at the Browns 44.

Mendenhall fumbles again but Pit recovers.

Sanders sees his QB in trouble and comes back to bail him out.  That is what we miss not having veteran WRs.

Haden tips the ball out of Wallace’s hands and DT Winn grabs it for the pick.  I was a big fan of Winn before the draft.  It makes a lot of difference having an athletic big guy.

Mack gets his 2nd holding of the day and this is why the team will not win.

Greco gets called and this shows a lack of discipline on the O line.

=

Pit 3 and out.  Batch can no longer play at this level.

15 yard return by Cribbs gives the Browns the ball at the 39.

Weeden slides rather than trying to make a play.  Is he turning chicken?

Gordon is hit by two but fights for the 1st.

Weeden on 3rd and 4 gets pounded.  He doesn’t trust his pass protection.

=

5:38 Complete to TE. 1ST down

4:29 19 yards to Miller again.  How about covering him.

Weeden taken to the locker room.  Those that want Colt will get him.

2nd and 19 and the Browns Sheard is called for hands to the face.  1ST down.

3:09 42 YL long pass to Wallace fails to get to him and Haden picks it.

Colt takes the ball and a 2 yard pickup by TR.

After 2 runs of 0 total yards and 2 TOs by Pit McCoy will have to throw get the fd.

Richardson runs and Pit will get the ball back with 2:47 left.

The only thing that will save the Browns now with Shurmur being reactive is another Pit TO.

=

Rainey fumbles the ball after a great move to avoid a tackle and Taylor Recovers.

Shurmur thinks he is fooling the Steelers by not having a FB in the game.  The only thing he is doing is getting his best runner killed.

It is GREAT to have timeouts available.  But he doesn’t use them and gets the penalty.

Great punt goes out on the 3.

= 0:20 left

On the final play the Steeler fumble again.

 

Conclusion:

The last time I saw that much giving it involved a bell and a red kettle.

The Browns were given the game in a black and Gold gift wrapped box.  This was not a Browns win it was in the truest sense a Steeler loss.

Shurmur gets no credit from me for anything.  He kept the game needlessly close by his Super conservative play calls.  The team was 3-10 3rd down coversions.

Shurmur is playing not to lose.  That will continue to hold the team down.  He did not let Colt throw the ball in his 2 (3 and out) series.  But Colt should not feel bad.  Shurmur didn’t let Weeden throw much in the second half either.

I wonder if the win over the Steelers will give Shurmur a chance to save his job.  I hope not.  As I said he would have been dunce of the year if he had not been able to pull out a win with +6 TOs.  I have seen very little that indicates he has learned anything from his year and 11 games of losing.

I also wonder how badly Weeden is hurt.  We could well see Colt McCoy next week at Oakland.

Shurmur was glowing at his post game press conference like he did something to deserve a win.

What coaching credit there is goes to DC Jauron not HC Shurmur.  The team continues to play hard on both sides of the ball.  But they are not playing any smarter on O.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits .  Follow him @NNRonDSN.

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Live game notes Browns/Cowboys

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Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys before the 200...

Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys before the 2008 National Football League Pro Bowl football game at Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii, Feb. 10, 2008. VIRIN: 080210-N-8623G-010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Live Game Notes Browns/Cowboys

 

Good move to defer after winning the coin toss.

 

Nice stop by the D.

 

 

Good catch by Little. Maybe he is beginning to get it.

 

No room for the run. WE NEED A FB!

 

Cooper shows his youth and goes just sort of the LTG.

 

The punt almost got blocked. Bad news. That will cost us sometime soon.

 

=

 

OLB JMJ’s speed to cover good to see. It is a refreshing change from the slow old guys that played there last season.

 

Robertson and JMJ are the best OLBs we have. They need to start full time.

 

Hagg with nice coverage.

 

 

Good run by TRich on his own. Shows vision and strength.

 

Great catch by TRich.

 

Gordon reaches behind him to pull in the pass

 

No hole again for TRich. He is not dancing he is looking for a hole.

 

Obbi1 as a FB? What is that?

 

Good block by Cribbs on the pass.

 

The O line needs work on run blocking.

 

Great catch by Watson for the TD.

 

What is this thing called TOUCHDOWN? I have never seen it before.

 

=CL 7 DA 0

 

D does a great job of getting Boys off the field.

 

 

Great play by TRich to move the ball deep into Boys land.

 

=CK 10 DA 0

 

Double TE working on the sweep. The Boys are struggling to set the edge against the run.

 

Greco doing a nice job pulling on the inside run. He reminds me a little of Steinbach.

 

Bubble screen won’t work with Small WRs blocking.

 

The Boys shoot themselves in the foot again with a roughing the QB call.

 

The communication breaks down again and the Browns call a TO.

 

Hardesty with a nice run. Showing better vision than last year.

 

On 3rd and 7 Weeden should have run. He needs to be encouraged to tuck and run when the field is open like that.

 

=CL 13 DA 0

 

Good pressure again and Hughes gets the sack

 

The challenge is a bad idea. And the Browns lose the TO

 

Skrine bad move to cover Bryant. He is way too short to cover a big WR.

 

At least the call was not pass interference.

 

On the next play they get the call again.

 

On the long pass to Austin Skrine could have been called again. He has to stop using the arm bar and trust his speed to keep contact with receivers.

 

 

=half time

 

The first down run TRich got hit on the ribs again. He is still no where close to 100%.

 

Bad thow on 2nd and 5 wide of the mark.

 

TRich gets the catch and the FD. THAT is what he can do that others can’t.

 

Another FD on a pass to TRich.

 

Shurmur is being way too conservative in play calling. He is playing not to lose.

 

Great pickup of the blitz by Smith on the long pass to Little.

 

Thomas gets beat by Ware for a sack and the punt goes into the end zone.

 

They have to get a better punter.

 

=

 

Bryant should have scored but the whistle blew.

 

Jones for 12 and the Boys O is moving

 

Hughes chased Romo and the throw was off but they get the face mask despite no one being tackled

 

Parker puts pressure on Romo and gets the holding call against the Boys. He has been playing very well for an old guy.

 

-CL 13 DA 3

 

JMJ shows his football instincts with a great recovery of an onside kick.

 

Greco got no push on the run by TRich.

 

Shurmur is getting too conservative on the play calls.

 

=

 

Bryant gets the long pass. Look for him to be more involved.

 

With the long penalty against Ward the wheels begin to fall off.

 

Skrine is giving too much ground and the DL is not getting pressure against the 3 step drop. That combination will take DA to the win.

 

The Boys score the TD and the wheels are off.

 

=CL 13 DA 10

 

Cribbs fumbles and the Boys get it. The call was bad because he was down.

 

Hockley got it right. I was surprised they reversed the call.

 

Weeden panicked and threw the ball into the crowd. Can’t do that.

 

Another season another NEW starting QB.

 

Three and out and the Boys get the ball outside their 40.

 

=

 

Skrine jumped and knocked the ball away at the 5 Good play.

 

Rubin stuffed the 3rd and 1 run.

 

Vickers catches the 4TH down pass. He was allowed to go free agent because they said he couldn’t catch.

 

Pass for the TD and the game is over

 

-DA 17 CL 13

 

Special teams blow it again and the team starts from the 11

 

The ball was almost picked at the 17 but the penalty against Ratliff gave the Browns a 1st.

 

Weeden under pressure loses his cool and throws it away.

 

Weeden fumbles and that is the ball game.

 

With the second overall pick in the 2013 draft the Browns take …

 

=

 

The D forces a fumble but Romo’s knee was down.

 

WHAT? A break for the Browns? I can’t believe it.

 

 

A pair of great catches by Little and Gordon move the ball inside the Boy’s 20.

 

Shurmur will go for the FG and hope to get the ball ball.

 

Bad call on the 4th down fade pass to the TE. Should have given Weeden a pass run option. I can not remember the last time a fade worked for the Browns. SHURMUR WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

 

=

 

Great stop by the D gives the Browns the ball in good field position

 

 

Great throw by Weeden gives the Browns a 20-17 lead. But cheer up draft fans, they will still not win.

 

=cl 20 da 17 1:07 left

 

Fouls by the D give the Boys a field goal.

 

-DA 20 CL 20 OT

 

Romo takes the Boys right down the field.

 

Robertson gets the sack but Romo recovers for the 1ST

 

The Browns get off the field but not soon enough.

 

 

 

 

“Great” call by Shurmer results in a 3 and out and a punt.

 

=

 

TOLD YOU WE WOULD FIND A WAY TO LOSE.

 

 

 

Final thoughts:

 

As a coach the worst thing that anyone can say is the coach took away our chance to win. By getting too conservative, Shurmur ended the chances of the team to win. He should not be permitted to continue to call plays. In the 2nd half the difference was the number of 3rd and long situations the Browns faced. The Boys made adjustments and the Browns were not able to understand what was happening and adjust themselves.

 

When you look in the eyes of TRich and the other young players used to winning, you see a frustration that is going to drive them to leave when their deals expire. THAT will kill any chance the team will ever become competitive.

 

Shurmur needs to be fired now so that the team doesn’t lose all hope for the season.

 

That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.

 

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

 

He edits .

 

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Live Game Notes Week 8 Browns vs Chargers

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CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 23: Wide receiver Jo...

CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 23: Wide receiver Josh Cribbs #16 of the Cleveland Browns is tackled by wide receiver Brad Smith #16 and and strong safety Da’Norris Searcy #25 of the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bills defeated the Browns 24-14. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Live game notes Week 8 Browns vs Chargers

Marecic is a healthy scratch.  Maybe the coaching staff is finally waking up to the fact he can’t block, run or catch.

The only way deferring on the coin toss helps is if the D can stop the Chargers and get good field position for the O.

JMJ is playing well but Maiava is too slow to be a starter on a good team.

Three straight runs give the Chargers a first down.

Haden missed the tackle on Floyd but the WR went out of bounds anyway.  THAT is why he will not be a top WR.

The first drive is right down the Browns throats.

The Chargers got greedy and it cost them.  TJ Ward is much more valuable at the LOS than in coverage.   He came in unblocked to stop the 4th down play.

The play calling by Shumur is no better.  The 1 yard pass was stupid.

The Browns got bailed out by the penalty.  Otherwise it would have been 3 and out.

TRich is running hard and the bigger WRs are doing a nice job blocking down field.

The O line is not punch blocking to allow the quick slant to get through.  That is a coaching issue.

Weeden did a great job finding Ogbonnaya with the pass on 3rd and long.  Weeden is keeping his eyes down field under pressure which is critical to his future development.

The wind is playing havoc with both passers.  It knocked down the pass to Gordon in the endzone.

TRich showed why they drafted him with the 3rd pick.  Great run for the TD.  Lauvao helped a lot by rebalancing him as he broke free.

=CL 7 SD 0

 

Bad challenge by Shurmur.  You don’t challenge a 5 yard pass.  Challenges are way too valuable.

Good defensive effort to get the punt.  Stevens is out with a neck injury.

After an 8 yard pass the Browns go 3 and out failing to get 2 yards in 2 tries.

=

Weddle is an outstanding S and got a great punt return.

MLB Jackson got a good hit on the ball and the Browns get the TO.  DT Winn is having an outstanding year.  He recovered it.

The Chargers are weak on the edges and the Browns need to attack them more than the middle.

The double reverse blows up in Shurmur’s face.  Too cute by a half.  Why would you call a double reverse between guys that had not practiced together in this kind of weather?

The team ended up wasting the TO.

=

Bad punt followed by a sack by Winn and a tackle for loss.

Young knocks down the pass and the Chargers go 3 and out.

The Throw back jerseys are perfect for Pitts.  They all should be wearing prison stripes.

A bad punt by SD gave the Browns good field position.

A penalty gives the Browns a 1st in SD territory.

Ogbonnaya took his eyes off the screen pass on 3rd and 7.  Browns drive ends with a decent short punt OB at the 12.

=

Two runs give SD a first.

Ward is playing too close to the LOS.  Watch for a long pass to TE.

Young takes the RB out of the screen pass and 2nd down pass fails.

DQ Jackson struggles in coverage.  He failed to get Brown in time to prevent the 1st down.

Young covered Floyd well preventing the long completion.

Ward gets to Rivers and the pass is incomplete.  SD got some yards and a couple of firsts but did not get past their 40.

The Browns commit yet another special teams penalty and lose field position.  This happens WAY too often.

TRich is again sent up the gut for no yards.  All his best runs against SD have been on the edge

Nice catch by Cameron.

Gordon gets open again.  Makes the first and YAC.  Weeden is showing much stronger arm than Rivers.  I wonder if there is something wrong with Rivers’ arm.

TRich’s runs show his patients and vision.  Outstanding 2 runs in a row.

Greco has proven he is an OK backup but he struggles to get the outside blitzer across the formation.  The O line is playing better now than early in the season.

=

Browns fail to jam on the 1st down throw.

Rivers has thrown a lot more this year to the RBs than to either TEs or WR.  I do think he has an arm issue.  You would expect that the D would be paying a lot of attention to the RBs but they don’t seem to be.

Brown runs to the Browns’ 33 for a 1st .  SD is driving right down the field.  The Browns tend with 2 minutes left to play too loose.

The Chargers get a FG to cut the half time score to 7-3 CL.

=

Another good return called back by a penalty.  When will special teams coach Tabor get canned?

Again the Browns are trying to run up the gut rather than going to the edge.  Bad choice

Little with a catch.  He did much better last week than he had earlier in the season.

Another unnecessary batted pass.  TE Watson was open but the ball was blocked down by the DE.

Just as I complement Little he drops a 3rd and 10 pass.  I should know better than to give him some love.

=

OLB Robertson is doing a good job covering TEs.  He was on Gates for the 3rd down pass.  Gates dropped it.

The Chargers get a 59 yard punt.  Sign the guy next year for the Browns.

The Browns are 2 of 9 on 3rd down.  Make that 2 for 10.

3 and out for the Browns and they punt from the endzone.

At least Hodges got a good punt off for 50 yards.

=

JMJ again on the tackle.  He is playing well.

Meecham was WIDE open and he dropped the ball.  Again Ward was late on coverage in a blitz situation.

But another great punt puts the Browns on the 8.

Good run by TRich for a 3rd and 2.

The Browns fail to covert and give the ball back inside their territory.

=

The Chargers are running right down the throats of the Browns D.

A brain cramp by the playcaller allowed the Browns to stop them.  They tried to do a reverse that lost 6 yards.  That was the only thing that prevented a TD.  I wonder if the Browns’ game plan blew over to the Chargers like it did against the Bengals.

CL7 SD 6

After another pass that is knocked down (and almost picked) the Browns get a 1st down on a 22 yard complete to Little.  He is showing more FB IQ.  But then he holds a LB and you know he is not getting smarter.

Gordon gets the 1st on a crossing route.  Nice pattern.

Browns are forced to call a TO because the play was late getting in.  In a one point game that is ridicules.

Weeden gets sacked which takes them out of FG range.

Good punt and great ST play gets the ball down to the 3.

=

Another pass to an RB gets the ball to a 3rd and short situation.

A tough run goes for the 1st at the 13.

The supposed weak O Line of SD steadly pushes the Browns back on runs.

Miava fails to cover the WR and SD gets another 1st.

Ward makes a tackle but after the hit Mathews gets 4 more yards.  Ward does not rap up.

Good coverage by Haden allowed a stop.

Shumur was too busy arguing with the official to call the play and the team had to call a TO.

Hardesty fumbled but got the ball back.  That would have been the end.

The Browns move the ball a little but had to punt.  Now is when we see the BIG screw up that costs them a game.

=

The Chargers continue to throw to the RBs and move the ball from deep in their territory to the Browns’ 40.

DQ Jackson is just too slow recognizing a RB release and lacks the foot speed to cover effectively.

Rivers missed on a wide open TE at the 20.

Skrine makes the play of the day by tipping the ball away from the receiver on a 4th down pass.

The Browns hold on to get the win.

 

Analysis

A win is always better than a loss.  But this game was won more by luck and a couple of good plays by the team than by planning of the coaching staff.  The Charger staff is as good as gone.  Turner should have been fired a couple of years ago when they still had a top D.  It is too late now to get a good coach and take the team to a title.  That ship has left the dock.

This win will not change the decision on keeping Shurmur by the new owner.  Jimmy Haslam realizes that it was due more to luck and a bad opponent than skill by the coaching staff.  The only thing that can save Shurmur would be to win 4 of the 8 games left on the schedule.  There is very little chance that will happen.

The win does hurt the chance for the Browns to get a top 2 draft pick.  That would be very valuable for a monster trade like the Rams got.  There will be several teams desperate to get a top QB prospect in the 2013 draft.  Two extra first and second round picks would help fill the holes in the roster.

Conclusion

This win is not a turnaround.  As I said after the win over the Bengals, this team is not ready to turn around.  It is getting better.  Weeden is improving more because of his game play rather than coaching.  He is a smart guy and seldom makes the same mistake twice.

The WRs are beginning to improve.  Gordon is emerging as the number one guy for the Browns.  He has a long way to go to become a legitimate NFL #1 guy but is developing.  He has the speed and athleticism to achieve that.  The O line is also improving.  One sack in the last 3 games is a vast improvement over the first 5 games.  The line has a long way to go blocking the run but it was no accident that the running game was better with Smith at H-back rather than Marecic.

The D is suffering with the injuries to the DTs.  Having both starters out hurt the team against the run.  Winn is going to be a star as I predicted before the draft.  The 3rd round pick Hughes has played better than I expected.   But any team needs to have quality players to rotate into the line.  With the starters hurt the team lacked rotational players.

The LBs are playing better as well.  I am not a big fan of Maiava because he is too slow to cover in the zone effectively.  I do like both the young guys JMJ and Robertson.  Both show real potential.  Jackson is fine but is not getting any faster.  He lacks the speed to cover the new fast TEs down the seam of the 2 deep zone.

The D backfield is also improving somewhat.  Brown is doing his best but lacks the speed to play man coverage much.  The young guys are showing a little improvement.  Skrine has the speed but often struggles to make the tackle on big WRs.  The one star is Haden.  One of the top draft needs of the team is a top CB across from Haden.  That would have a huge impact on the pass coverage.

Overall the win was nice but it doesn’t mean a whole lot in terms of the season record.

That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits . Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear his sports show Monday-Thursday 6-7:30 PM EST on or http://mooheadradio.com/2.5/?page_id=21.  You can catch any interviews you missed on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

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