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Thoughts on the Loss

Thoughts on the Loss

Browns Lose Again

Unfortunately, the Cleveland Browns were defeated once again in the season opener (who has head of that one before – everyone in the last 13 years).  However, there were some positives in this contest played against their rivals wearing black and yellow.

Kizer

Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer was far from perfect, but showed a performance that I have not seen from a Browns’ quarterback in quite some time.  Kizer moved the chains and made some plays against one of the best teams in the NFL.  I am eager to see him play going forward and want to see how he improves.

Running Game

Unfortunately, the best plays that I saw Isaiah Crowell make during the game was walling off defenders in the passing game.  That is a great quality to have, but I would like to have him make plays running the football.  I have a feeling that will come in the next few contests.

Wideouts

Kesean Williams burned Joe Haden but ran an improper route, leading to an incompletion.  I have all the faith in the world that Kizer will elevate the play for his targets, which will lead to further developments.  I want to see a guy or two step up (especially with Kenny Britts’ huge drop – which could limit his time going forward) and be a reliable weapon in this offense.

Secondary

The announcers made a big deal about the safeties playing very deep each and every play – the end result was not allowing a long passing play for the other team.  The Browns did collect an interception, and that should be a regular occurrence going forward.  I expected Jabril Peppers and company to switch up their coverage next week – and therefore to be more active in the contest.

Conclusion:  I will never be happy with a Browns loss, but I was encouraged after this matchup.  They competed well against an outstanding opponent and want to see how they perform on the road next week.  I envision a bunch of wins in the coming weeks, but the team has to put it together.

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Posted by on September 10, 2017 in NFL Season, Players

 

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Cleveland Browns Offseason

Cleveland Browns Offseason

The Undefeated 2017 Cleveland Browns

Now that the pesky Super Bowl is over, it is time to look ahead to the NFL offseason – a fan favorite for the Browns’ supporters.  There were several moves made and multiple words said about a former teammate.  I would like to think the Browns are improving in this time frame, but let’s review what has happened.

Signing a Safety

The orange and brown inked second year pro Tyvis Powell this week, and provided them another option at the safety position.  The former OSU star fell all the way out of last year’s draft class but made his mark on the Seattle Seahawks roster.  Powell eventually got caught in the numbers game and was released a few weeks ago.  I believe Tyvis can have a realistic shot at being at least a backup safety for the Browns.  Hopefully the team will continue to improve upon this position in April’s draft.

Joe Thomas:  Uncut

The future Hall of Famer let loose over the airwaves in the recent future.  The first was news that appears to be surprising, especially with the team’s recent history.  Thomas said he expects the Browns to be extremely active in free agency and figures they will acquire three to four big name free agents.  I am fine with philosophy, provided they are great players who can help the team – instead of expensive busts.

The left tackle also took a shot at first round bust Justin Gilbert, who was recently released from his second franchise in three seasons.  Thomas hinted that Gilbert did not love the game of football – which is very hard to argue against this.  The first round of the 2014 draft continues to be a demise for this franchise; hopefully Sashi Brown and company can pull several tremendous athletes this spring and boost the franchise out of this rut.

Veterans Released

In a move that surprised nearly no one, the Cleveland Browns parted ways with quarterback Josh McCown and defensive back Tramon Williams.  Each were older,expensive players who were making too much money to justify their roster spots.  I wish the best for both but have a difficult time thinking that replacing this duo will be an arduous task.  Both are vital positions on this roster – but getting the elusive signal caller is desperately needed for this franchise.

Conclusion:  The Browns’ front office remains active in the weeks leading up to the Scouting Combine.  These little moves might not seem like much, but perhaps they can either impact the team in the fall or open up a roster spot for a guy who can.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2017 in Offseason, Players

 

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The Browns Win!!!

The Browns Win!!!

The Cleveland Browns Pulled out a Tough One

As expected, this was a close contest and came down to the last play of the game.  The special teams frankly got it done in the fourth quarter and survived a pair of Josh Lambo field goal attempts late in the contest.  I’m not going overboard, but I am extremely relieved that the team was finally able to pull out a win in this treacherous season.  What can be taken away from this victory?

A Little Bit of Each

The Browns’ offense was not stellar, but was gritty enough to move the football and (more importantly) put points on the scoreboard.  Likewise, the defense did not shut down the Chargers – however, they prevented the opponent from finding the end zone on a few occasions (which was the difference in the outcome).  Obviously, the special teams were good enough as well in this game.  The Browns got it done in all three phases in this matchup.  I would like to think that with improved talent, and complementary football – the Browns will win games with more regularity this season.

What this Means

If anyone has seen the video from the locker room after the victory, it is easy to see why this was a critical win.  The locker room got a bit tighter and the players showed their continued support for coach Hue Jackson.  I hope this is a turning point for the franchise, but we can not have this argument until they had their first victory of the season.  I am pulling for this being a rally cry for the changed culture which will improve with more talented athletes and wins.

Protection Remains Alarming

The Chargers sacked the Browns quarterbacks nine times, meanwhile the home squad did not put up a single sack on Saturday afternoon.  If the Browns ever want to be a consistent winner, they need to level the playing field in this department.  I believe they will bolster their pass rush in the draft, but the offense still has work to do.  The signal caller must get the ball out quickly, and the offensive line must hold up their end of the bargain.

Conclusion:  The Browns won a game and still maintained their overall first draft pick status – not a bad day for the Cleveland Browns organization.  I am eager for their building in the offseason, but clearly making the right choices (by personnel department) is what is important.

 

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2016 in Cleveland Browns Fans, NFL Season, Players

 

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Another Team’s Practice

Another Team’s Practice

Browns Physically Dominated on Sunday

Once again, the Cleveland Browns were beaten up at the line of scrimmage, as LeSean McCoy, Mike Gillislee, and Tyrod Taylor ran up and down the field against the orange and brown.  I understand the Bill have the best rushing offense in the league, but they showed why in this contest.  What else can be taken away from this outing?

Not a Protective Unit

Robert Griffin was taken down five times in the pocket, it has become obvious that the line is failing to keep the signal caller clean.  It continues to be obvious that this part of the Browns’ team must be upgraded this offseason.  I know that there have been multiple injuries to key guys (i.e. Joel Bitonio and John Greco) but the guys filling in have nowhere replicated the performance of an adequate unit.

Defending the Tight End?

The defense (early in the season) had a problem defending the opposing tight end in coverage.  Unfortunately, that reared its ugly head once again in this matchup as Charles Clay hauled in seven receptions and was the leading receiver (while also securing a touchdown).  It’s rather frustrating and disappointing trying to watch this unit, but the other two aspects of the team are not much better.

Let’s Talk about the Run Again

I know I touched on it earlier, but that performance by the Browns’ defense against the run was embarrassing and unacceptable.  The Bills amassed 280 yards on the ground and were picking up five to seven yards easily on each carry.  Changes must also be made in the offseason to rectify this porous part of the franchise.

Conclusion:  And then there were two – this refers to the number of games remaining in the season to finally earn a victory.  If the Browns play the way they did today then they will be defeated soundly.  At least the Browns will not lose next Sunday, as they play on a Saturday.

 

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

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Another Debacle for the Browns

Another Debacle for the Browns

The Cleveland Football Team Stumbles

It was the first and only time the orange and brown got to play in front of a national audience and the fared the way they have all season long – poorly.  Outside of collecting a pair of interceptions and witnessing a late touchdown, the Browns were completely embarrassing.  There were a few things I took away in this matchup.

#1 – QB Replacement

I was very surprised the Browns moved away from rookie signal caller Cody Kessler to veteran Josh McCown.  The starter managed the game well and did not make any mistakes, while the backup tossed a pair of interceptions in the second half.  To think that this move would have sparked a win is silly, but the performance was even worse.  The Browns must stick with Kessler the rest of the way – no matter the score.

#2 – What Collins Can Do

The insertion of Jamie Collins was apparent in this defensive performance.  Not only did the linebacker make plays both up the middle and from the edge (against both the run and pass), but he elevated the play of his teammates.  I thought Danny Shelton, Jamie Meder, Demario Davis, and Chris Kirksey all had their moments – they are far from great but I was glad to see them starting to get a bit more consistent in their play.

#3 – Offensive Line

The guys upfront did not do their jobs last night, especially when trying to protect Cody Kessler during drop backs.  The quarterback was hurried or sacked from blitzers blowing past Cameron Erving, Spencer Drango, Joe Thomas, etc.  This has pretty much been status quo for the season and the team must upgrade severely.  The Browns are not running the ball well, cannot protect the quarterback, and are not winning at the point of attack.

Conclusion:  Honestly, this game was what I expected – a bad outing by a young team.  The stride to 0 – 16 is very real and no victories seem to be on the horizon.  At least Browns’ fans have an open Sunday afternoon, enjoy it for once!

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

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More Games, More Problems

More Games, More Problems

Looking Back at the Browns’ Loss 

It was yet another defeat for the Browns, and the starting quarterback left the game – go figure! This miserable season is not even halfway over and it’s felt like three years since the Browns won their last contest. What should the supporters of the orange and brown think about after this contest?

#1 – Their Run Defense is a Work in Progress 

For a majority of the contest, the defensive front won at the point of attack for the Cleveland Browns. However, Jeremy Hill took advantage of an off-tackle carry (with two guys pulling his way) for a long touchdown. He also tallied a touchdown later in the contest. I applaud how the run defense works hard but they are still surrendering a big play or two. Obviously they are not there but hopefully that can change in the near future.

#2 – These Quarterback Injuries Must Stop 

I’m getting sick and tired of a Browns’ quarterback lying on the field and then being helped to the locker room. Whether it is dirty play by the opposing defense or a porous offensive line, this lack of protection for the guy under center has got to come to an end. I loved seeing Kevin Hogan run the read option well (for the most part), but the Browns will have no shot to win with him as quarterback.

#3 – Some are Improving

I am primarily referring to Emmanuel Ogbah, who notched two sacks on the afternoon. While some were ready do write off the rookie, he has steadily getting better on the field. If Carl Nassib can improve as well (I will cut him some slack due to the hand injury), then the Browns might have the makings of a solid pass rush in 2017.

#4 – The Secondary is Helpless

As many of you are aware, I’ve all but written off the Browns’ secondary. They cannot cover opposing receiving threats and are not too helpful against the run. The Joe Haden absence surely does not help – but it’s not like anyone is standing out on the roster. Sweeping changes are likely (in the position group) this upcoming spring.

Conclusion: I’m frustrated, Jimmy Haslam is frustrated, Hue Jackson is frustrated…etc. Who knows when this team will get their first win of the season (I’m certain they will not go 0 – 16), but I would not be upset it was to happen next Sunday. The losing appears to taking it’s toll on the franchise, but the injuries are not allowing the Browns to even be competitive in games.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

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Browns Game #5 Preview – vs. New England

Browns Game #5 Preview – vs. New England

Browns vs. Patriots – A Look at Game #5

This is the game I truly do not look forward to watch; the Browns have played the Patriots tough the last two times they squared off, but this time is different.  Tom Brady is coming off a suspension and will take his frustration out on our beloved Cleveland Browns.  At least there will a playoff baseball game on later that day – where Cleveland has a great shot to beat a Massachusetts team.  Let’s analyze:

Offense:

Quarterback:  Did Cody Kessler make a rookie mistake last week?  Yes, but overall I would say that he improved from his first start the week prior.  The questions still exist about his arm strength, but I am not ready to make a declarative statement as “he doesn’t have the physical traits to make it in the NFL”.  I look for him to spread the ball around early, so Terrelle Pryor can find his spots later in the game (by avoiding double coverage).  A turnover-free game by Kessler would be exceptional, even if the team is defeated soundly.

Running Back:  The Browns have one of the best stable of running backs in the league.  Isaiah Crowell seems to earn yards in chunks, while Duke Johnson is catching and running (despite getting worked over by poor officiating).  One would imagine that they would continue to utilize this part of the team for two reasons – they are successful at it and puts Kessler in more manageable spots against the opposing defense.  I predict a touchdown or two from this group on Sunday.

Wide Receiver:  This is a contest where I would really like to see Ricado Louis step up and display his speed.  The Browns need another option while Corey Coleman is sidelined – and Louis has been adequate (but could improve).  I understand that is a tall order, but I trust coach Jackson and his staff can assist with this task.  Pryor will be a marked man but still expect him to haul in several grabs.  Meanwhile, Andrew Hawkins has been a chain mover and a first down option.  I anticipate more of the same this week.

Tight End:  The injuries to Seth DeValve and Randall Telfair have all but depleted any depth behind Gary Barnidge.  Nonetheless, the veteran has produced in games – albeit at a lesser level than he did in 2015. That said, he should garner four or five grabs for a modest fifty yards in this matchup.  A touchdown for Barnidge would be excellent, but should not be counted on.

Offensive Line:  Speaking of injuries, the Browns will more than likely return to John Greco at center in this game.  I hope Alvin
Bailey has a chip on his shoulder, as the veteran was held out of last game due to his arrest.  As a whole, the offensive line played much better last week than the game before that.  However, the lineup used in Miami will be on display against the Patriots.  I have a bit of more faith in them against this defensive front – but Kessler needs to be smart when dropping back to pass.

Defense:

Defensive Line:  I have been rather impressed by the guys up front for the Cleveland Browns’ defense, as they have been much better against the run.  However, they could be the beginning of the rush defense that has underwhelmed at this point.  The Browns will have their hands full with LeGarrette Blount running the football.  I would venture to say that this will be a good measuring stick for Danny Shelton and Stephen Paea to see if they continue to progress or if they have been taking advantage of lesser offensive units.

Outside Linebacker:  It was interesting to see the Browns part ways with Armonty Bryant, who recently came off his four-game suspension.  This was due to the fact that pass rusher Nate Orchard was put on IR a few days earlier.  It stands to reason that this coaching staff likes what they see from Joe Schobert, Emmanuel Ogbah, and Corey Lemonier at outside linebacker.  Yes, those guys are young but are still relentless each and every play.  Tom Brady knows what he is doing under center, so it would be unwise to project one of the Browns’ edge rushers finish the game with a forced turnover.

Inside Linebacker:  Chris Kirksey and DeMario Davis have both done a respectable job on the field.  However, tight end Jordan Reed made them look foolish in pass coverage – as he hauled in two early touchdowns last game.  The Patriots have a pretty good tight end themselves, and I am fearful he will have a gigantic day against the orange and brown.  It’s hope at this point, but maybe Kirksey or Davis can make a huge play or two.

Safety:  There is a chance that Ibraheim Campbell returns for this contest, but he is not the weak spot in the safety positions.  The Browns either need to get better coverage from Jordan Poyer or should think about getting someone who can play “center field” at a higher level.  I would imagine that the Patriots will expose this continually – as it should be apparent on film.

Cornerback:  Outside of a handful of plays, Joe Haden is not playing well in 2016.  Meanwhile, the Browns are using Briean Boddy-Calhoun (an undrafted rookie signed last month) is seeing more playing time, following the injury to Tramon Williams.  I give the cornerbacks little chance versus the passing attack from New England – but look forward to being surprised.

Special Teams:  For the first time in weeks, the Browns’ special teams were not the reason why they lost last game.  I expect them not to revert to their erroneous ways and to hang in there in this category. Not surrendering a long return and being successful in field goal attempts is a good start for this unit.

Coaching:  I continue to believe in this coaching staff, despite the lack of talent on the field.  The Browns will not put themselves into positions to fail; hopefully the young players can execute.  It will be intriguing to see what type of game plan is formulated by Hue Jackson.

Prediction (My Record: 4 – 0):  The Browns will try their best in front of the home crowd, but the Patriots will beat them soundly.  The visitors will come away with a 38 – 17 victory and tally a fifth defeat for the orange and brown.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2016 in NFL Season, Players

 

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