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  • Published: Sep 23rd, 2013
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Browns/Vikings live game notes.

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Good job by Rubin getting Peterson.

Robertson did a nice job tracking TE.

Peterson was one missed tackle away from a 70 yard TD.

Nobody even in the same area code of Jennings.  Where is the D?

Wright WIDE open too.  Anyone playing D?

Skrine had to jet back to get to the receiver.  Bad read by him.

9 yard run by Peterson.  GRAB GRAB GRAB

Gibson misses the tackle of Peterson.  1st & goal at the 2.


MN 7 CL 0

Rainey with a one yard run and Hoyer is 0-2.  Great start to the “New, new Browns.”


Good coverage by Skrine on Peterson.

Kruger gets by the block and gets the tackle of Peterson.

Haden missed the tackle but others fill in to force the 3 and out.

Bess has the first and gave it back trying to extend the run.

Ogbonnaya gets a third of a yard on his first two rushes.

Hoyer throws the ball into the ground.  Looked bad.

Great effort by Cameron to reach for the first down.   The O line did OK.

Hoyer finds a wide open Gordon.  Gordon got open on a stop and go that froze CB Jefferson.  Good throw by Hoyer.

MN 7 CL 7.


Sheard gets off the block and makes the tackle.  Rubin cut off the inside run.

Ponder had 2 guys open but didn’t get the ball anywhere close to either of them.

Winn gets the sack with a big assist by Mingo with pressure on the edge.  Browns get another 3 and out.

On the punt return Benjamin ran the wrong way and lost 9 yards but that does not work in the NFL.

Gordon avoids 4 tacklers and gets the first.  Great run but he almost dropped the ball on a scrape.

Hoyer runs the slowest QB keeper I have seen since Bernie Kosar.

Ogbonnaya gets the pass but Mitchell shuts it down quickly.

Bess is again the safety blanket for Hoyer.

Gordon with a great reverse run.  Mack got out on the run with a nice block.

Little catches the ball but loses a yard.

== end of the 1st quarter

Hoyer on a great pass to Cameron for the 19 yard TD.  Great catch by TE with keeping his feet in.

Hoyer has hit 7 straight passes.  Unlike Weeden he is not staring down his receivers.

CL 14 MN 7


Ponder is accurate despite Taylor’s pass rush.

Browns are playing a lot of zone to keep an eye on Peterson.

AP breakes three tackles and got 8 yards.

D line keeps its lanes and prevents Peterson from getting away.

Peterson burns Skrine again for 37 yards.  He looked like Moss.

Play action with Peterson makes completions easy.  The D reacted to the run fake and lost Jennings

Ward gets Peterson after the catch.  Nice tackle.

1st goal at the 7

Winn stops Peterson for a gain of 1

QB draw for the TD.  Nice run against a spread D.

MN 14 CL 14

McG gets 4 yards.  Longest run of the day.

Ogbonnaya gets the swing pass but is stuffed on a run.

Gordon a yard short on the crossing pattern.

Aubry takes a direct snap on the fake punt and runs the ball for 37 yards

McG held to a gain of just 2.  Maybe the lack of a running game was not TRich’s fault

Hoyer makes a business decision and throws it away rather than getting stuffed by the Vike D.

Third and 9 and the pass goes for just 4 yards.  Somebody see if Shurmur is calling the pass plays.

There is no excuse for running a pattern on 3rd down that is short of the LTG.  That is bad design.

CL 17 MN 14


KO short of the end line.  KR is 30 yards.

The Browns D is playing their lanes very well preventing a big run by Peterson.

Pass is tipped by Robertson and Ward picks it.

Sherills knocks the ball away from Gordon on the slant.  Nice defensive play.

Great throw by Hoyer on the crossing pattern to Gordon.

Bad no call on PI against Sherrils vs Cameron.  Hoyer put the ball in but the CB had his arm around the TE.

Rainey gets 6.

Throw to Bess is a little high and he can’t come up with it.

Fake FG by Lanning to Cameron for the TD.  This is the most wide open O we have ever seen by the Browns.  It was a player option.  When Lanning saw the TE without coverage, he threw the pass.

CL 24 MN 14


Taylor gets the sack of Ponder at the 12.  Taylor beat C Sullivan.

Jackson covers the TE keeping it to a short gain.

Ward and Gipson knock the ball down deep to Peterson.  Another 3 and out.

Benjamin muffed the punt and the Vikes recover it.

The NFL has to fix the 15 yard penalty on a coach challenging a call that cannot be challenged.  The ref declared the Benjamin gaff a muff which can’t be advanced.  The Vikes coach challenged and was penalized 15 yards for thowing the flag when

Jackson makes a tackle with

Haden gets Simpson after 8.

Haden gets Peterson after a 1 yard pass.

43 yard FG GOOD.  The Browns D did a great job holding the Vikes to 3 after the TO.

CL 24 MN 17

1:08 left and 1 TO for Hoyer.

Bess gets the 1st on a great out pattern.  Rainey with a nice block to protect Hoyer.

Hoyer throws a bad pick. He never saw the safety doubling.  MN has 3 TOs and 47 sec.


Kruger gets to Ponder.  Winn hurt.

Patterson is being covered by Jackson and gets the 1st.

Ponder runs for 12.

Gerhart to the 11 on a pass from Ponder.

Skrine knocks the ball away from Jennings preventing the TD.

Ponder fumbles the ball on a hit by Sheard and Roberson picks it up and runs out the half.

CL 24 MN 17 Half time.


Browns are forced to take a TO on 3rd and 8 because the play is not in.

Bess with a great scoop up for the 1st.

Bess again with a 1st down catch.

Bubble screen nets only a yard.

Little on a slant with a great throw by Hoyer.

Hoyer picked again.  He never saw OLB Greenway in the zone drop.  He was staring down the receiver and Greenway saw it.


Jackson hits Peterson and forced the fumble.  Sheard recovered.  Sheard hurt on the play.

McGahee with a nice run for 8.

Hoyer missed two passes in a row and the Browns punt.  Gordon was going long Hoyer throught he would break off the pattern.

38 yard punt puts the Vikes inside the 10.  Well done.


Nice pass breakup by Haden on Patterson.

Rudolph drops the ball.  Mingo on the coverage.

Sheard returns

Ward knocks Peterson out of bounds short of the LTG.  Browns with a 3 and out.

Great punt return by Benjamin to the 43 for 27 yards.  HE CAUGHT THE BALL!

Rainey runs for 6.  Running game beginning to open up.

Hoyer just a little too far out to let Gordon make the catch.

Hoyer’s pass is knocked down on 4th and 4.  The play and personnel were too late.


Peterson has 9 with Mingo getting bulled over.  Sheard’s return is doubtful.

Haden good coverage on 82.

Hughes sacks Ponder on a stunt with Taylor.

Mingo gets the sack on 3rd down.

McGahee is not following the play and spins around and gets blasted.

Penalty for 12 men in the huddle.

2nd and 21 pass is tipped and picked on the Brown’s 8.  The right side of the line collapses under the pressure for the pick.


Webb wide open but is missed by Ponder.

Taylor gets Peterson.

QB run again for the TD.

MN 24 CL 24 2:36 left

Hoyer sacked.

Screen pass is again blown up and Hoyer is called for grounding.

3rd and Los Angeles. Ogbonnaya get to the 28 but can’t make the LTG.


Peterson for 3 Bryant and Jackson on the hit.

Browns lose contain and Ponder runs for the 1st.  If they do that against Peterson it will be a TD.

END OF THE 3rd quarter.


Jennings pushed over the LTG by Kalil.

Ponder flings it down field but no one is home.

Kruger and Jackson both miss the sack and Jackson called for a face mask.

Peterson runs for 5 to the Browns 15.

Ward throws Rudolph out of bounds short of the LTG.  3rd and 2

Roberson plasters Ponder for a hurry.

30 yard FG Good MN37 CL 24

Bubble screen to Gordon almost picked again.

Hoyer Got Gordon for the first.

Hoyer goes for Gordon up the middle and it just about was picked again.

Hoyer gets past Schwartz and is sacked by Allen.

3rd 19 Hoyer throws behind Cameron and the Browns punt again.


Kruger forces a hurry.

Hughes slams Peterson again.

3rd and 10 Skrine grabs a leg of TE Rudolph and calls for help.  Ownes makes sure he did not get the 1st.

  • 7:11 left

Great throw into tight coverage to Bess for the 1st.

Hoyer gets nailed by a late blitz by Henderson for a 10 yard loss.

After illegal motion 3rd and 19 so Hoyer throws a 3 yard pass.


Gipson and Jackson stop the WR sweep by Peterson.

Two incompletions force the Vikes to punt.

  • 3:21 Browns on the 45

When pressure comes on Hoyer he tends to throw the ball away.  He does not have much sense of pocket.

Gordon catches a ball behind him for 11.


Long throw almost picked.

Throw to an Open Cameron to the 20

Gordon to the 7 with 1:19 left.  Clock running.

Fade to Little Incomplete. 1:00 left

Hoyer throws it away with no one open. 0:55

Cameron reaches up over his head and brings in the TD.

CL 31 MN 27 0:51 left.


Ward and Jackson knock down the hail Mary.  04 left

Bryant gets the sack and the BROWNS WIN—THE BROWNS WIN.





A lot of Browns fans were “Hoyerfied” about the QB change during a tough week.  However, it was unfounded.  Hoyer brought the team from behind to win the game with a final drive.  That is something that has not happened in a number of close losses with Weeden at the helm.   Hoyer did throw three picks but did a number of things that improved the overall O.  He was fooled by the defense on two of the picks.  That is not unexpected for a QB that has started just one game prior to this.  He was mobile in the pocket which helped reduce the pressure of a leaky O line.  He also was much more decisive and threw the ball quicker than Weeden does.  Part of that is his ability to make pre-snap reads.   Hoyer has great touch and throws the fade very well.  He was very accurate putting the ball in the best place for the WR to make the play.  While he made some mistakes, he fought through them and made the plays to win.


The development of TE Jordan Cameron has given the team some hope.  He has come a long way and this coaching staff is owed some of the credit for that.  He caught three TDs yesterday.  The addition of Gordon was critical.  He looked like he had been with the team since day 1.  Bess is a major upgrade from Little as a starter.  Bess catches the ball in traffic and gets the key first downs to continue drives.  He runs great patterns and always gets past the sticks to get the first if he gets the ball.


While some will say that the O line played much better, unfortunately that is not true.  The fact is Hoyer did a much better job of getting rid of the ball.  Weeden waits to see a receiver break open.  With the guys on this roster (without Gordon) that did not happen often.  Weeden got sacked before the WR ever got open.  Hoyer throws with anticipation.  He throws to the spot where the WR will be.


The play calling was nothing short of spectacular.  The fake punt and run for the first was good.  The fake field goal and pass for the TD by P/Holder Lanning was outstanding.  OC Norv Turner was also more aggressive by throwing on early downs.  That was good because the running game is appearing on a milk carton.  The best run was the fake punt.  While it is possible to beat the Vikes without a running game, it will cost the Browns against good Ds like the Bengals.


The biggest part of the D’s contribution to the win was the ability to hold RB Peterson to 88 yards on 25 attempts.  The 3-4 has been very good against the run.  That continued this week.  The front 7 did give up two runs by Ponder for TDs which was due to the spread formation of the Vikes.  The inside backers need to be aware of that tendency.  The D did get 6 sacks one interception and forced two fumbles.  Overall a good day for the D.

The passing game of the Vikes is suspect.  But the backfield did a very solid job in covering the receivers.  Because the front 7 was able to keep the running game under control, the backs were free to cover.  The team played a lot more zone than usual in order to keep an eye on Peterson.  The zone allowed the Vikes to convert 8 of 17 third downs.  That is not acceptable.  In particular Buster Skrine played his best game of the year.  He was better but not yet a starting quality CB.

The Bottom line:

Is Hoyer the long term answer at QB?  Probably not but he showed enough to warrant another start.  If he plays as well against the Bengals, he should continue to start whether Weeden is healthy or not.  The Browns will still be looking for a college QB in the 2014 NFL draft.

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 https://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 https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.  

He also edits .  

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


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.


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.


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 https://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.


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.






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.






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 https://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.


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.








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 https://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.


He edits .


Live Game Notes Week 8 Browns vs Chargers

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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.



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.


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 https://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 https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

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