Tag Archives: John DeFilippo

A Preview for Browns @ Chiefs – Game #15

A Preview for Browns @ Chiefs – Game #15

Looking into #15 – Browns @ Chiefs

Outside of an incredible opening offensive drive, the Cleveland Browns looked miserable on the road last week. They now face the playoff-hopeful and red-hot Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. In another difficult venue, I (once again) give the Browns little hope that they can come in and earn the victory. Regardless I will take a peek into this match up.


Quarterback – The light is starting to come on for Johnny Manziel. He is being smarter in the pocket, getting the ball out quickly, and throwing passes where he needs to. While he is not facing a great defense like the Seahawks – the Browns will go against an opportunistic unit who turns teams over and puts points on the board. Manziel should be able to get at least one score on Sunday; hopefully he avoids giving the ball away to their defense.

Running Back – Being able to utilize Duke Johnson out of the backfield was something to watch last game. I anticipate this will be the norm in this contest; as well as giving the ball to the rookie between the tackles. Isaiah Crowell should have fresh legs against the Chiefs – (he was not used to a great extent last game) and she should still churn out yards. Maybe the threat of Manziel running is actually opening lanes for these backs – why not keep using it (until they get shut down)?

Wide Receiver – The injuries are piling up and apparent – the guys left are doing their best but not scaring any secondary units. Travis Benjamin made a couple nice catches but can still be a downfield threat. Marlon Moore is definitely a special teamer playing offense – he is blocking and running routes as hard as possible, but this position needs athletic guys who can make big plays.  Dwayne Bowe even make some catches last week, maybe he can be inspired to have a big day against his former team.

Tight End – Despite being bottled up for most of the game, veteran tight end Gary Barnidge found the end zone last meeting. I would not be surprised to see him surpass the franchise single season record for touchdowns by a tight end – hopefully he can accomplish this on Sunday. I guess we should not anticipate seeing E.J. Bibbs in action once again. Other than a couple of opportunities for Jim Dray, this position group is a one-man wrecking crew. 

Offensive Line – Cameron Erving is not having a stellar rookie season. A pair of injuries to guards has forced the Florida State alum into the starting lineup. I would like to think that he can get his act together and help out his teammates, but more than likely Manziel will have to evade defenders rather quickly in the “A and B” gaps. I’m not sure he can overcome this for a majority of the matchup and can see at least three or four sacks for the opponent.


Defensive Line – I fully expect Charcandrick West to breeze through the Cleveland Browns front seven this Sunday. Danny Shelton and Xavier Cooper have both made plays here and there against the run, but neither are consistent enough to shut down the opposition. Randy Starks was at least in the screen a few times last week, but I expect the veteran to disappoint in the game. I would predict that the Browns surrender over 150 yards on the ground. 

Linebacker – Armonty Bryant might be playing the best on the outside for the Browns right now. He is doing a moderate job at setting the edge and has been getting to the quarterback at times. Other than that and a few plays by Paul Kruger, the outside linebackers are not playing up to expectations. Chris Kirksey and Karlos Dansby have been asked to make open field tackles, which occur on a frequent basis. However, the duo needs to make “impactful plays” (i.e. forcing fumbles) each game. 

Secondary – At this point, it doesn’t really matter who is in a cornerback – the Browns cannot cover their opponent during passing plays. Charles Gaines is at least promising, as the rookie has had a few deflections. But by and large, it’s pitch and catch for the opposition. The safeties have been invisible all season long; I have been really down on Tashaun Gipson and wonder how his play could have fallen off this badly. Jeremy Maclin should have a big game for the Chiefs.

Special Teams: I suppose the Browns somewhat had a respectable game in this department last week. The kick returning game was vastly improved, and if the offense can capitalize with the improved field position – then they might not get blown out. The Browns need to force a turnover by the home team. 

Coaching: There’s not really a ton of changes needed for this offense. John DeFlippo has been making he most with his guys and is putting them in spots to succeed. I have to throw my hands up with this defense; I don’t think anything can be done for them to improve. Jim O’Neil is not doing a good job but the same can be said for the play of the guys on the field.

Prediction (My Record: 9 – 5): After the 49ers win, I thought the Browns had a chance to win in Kansas City. However, I’ve come back to my senses and realized that a victory is not possible. The Chiefs win this game 34 – 17.

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Posted by on December 24, 2015 in NFL Season


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The “New” Offense and Expectations

The “New” Offense and Expectations

Can DeFilippo’s Offense Work? 

Reading into the new offensive coordinator’s press conference, it appears that the Browns will be similar in some aspects while changing a few things up as well. The beginning of the 2014 campaign displayed a promising offensive unit, only for that to be very underwhelming during the last month. I think the Browns can utilize a successful offense next season – but by how much is the biggest question.

Continuity with the Zone Blocking Scheme 

Last year was the first campaign the orange and brown shifted away from man blocking and used a zone scheme. While the guy in charge is new, hopefully some of the same concepts will remain fresh in players’ minds. Joe Thomas, Joel Bitonio, and Alex Mack all should know what is expected to occur – in terms of blocking. The learning curve should be much smaller than it was a year ago. I anticipate Greco and Schwartz to have to fight for their starting jobs among free agents and potential draft selections. Whoever fills the unit upfront could struggle initially (if it’s their first season with the club), but there’s enough leadership that can overcome this.

Employing the Running Backs as Receivers

While I enjoy adding wrinkles to an offense that desperately needs it, I do not feel quite confident in the rushers running routes during passing plays. Assuming status quo, Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West are going to be the main backs next season. The former was strictly a carrier, while the latter caught only a few passes while still in the backfield. Can both improve to be threats for the quarterback to hit down the field? Surely, but they will have to be leaps and bounds better than they were during their rookie campaigns. Perhaps the team will also look for a veteran who can expedite this transition.

Increased Vertical Routes

This is music to my ears; no matter who is under center, the threat of a long completion must be there to give defenders something to think about. Whether it was the personnel or the coach’s decision – the orange and brown flung the football downfield on rare occurrences. Josh Gordon is not going to be on the roster next season, so Ray Farmer must find a solid replacement (and by judging by the wide out’s 2014 output, that shouldn’t be too hard). Toss in a solid draft choice, and perhaps this offense can be dynamic and even potentially feared.

Conclusion: I’m not going to say that the Kyle Shanahan-led offense was horrific, but I am rather excited to see what the team can do under DeFilippo. 2014 was where the foundation was laid for this unit, now they must build upon this. Better personnel will help further aid this – along with correct coaching decisions.

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Posted by on February 14, 2015 in Front Office/Coaching, Players


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Browns are in the Crosshairs Again

Browns are in the Crosshairs Again

Here We Go Again – The League’s Punching Bag

Once again, the time of the year has come where national pundits (mostly Jason LaCanfora) target the Cleveland Browns and point them out as to how horrible everyone in that franchise is. Let’s review what this big shot said, and why everyone hired by the team should resign and the team should move altogether.

Alec Scheiner Watched Game Film

God no! The President of the team is watching film with the General Manager – he should be fired! All joking aside, I could not care less whether Alec Scheiner is watching film on Monday mornings. Maybe he is interested in that, and wants to be a part of the film study. However, this is horrendous according to LaCanfora – and those in non-football roles are not allowed to consider acquiring knowledge about the game in any fashion.

Jimmy Haslam is Very Meddlesome

According to LaCanfora, Haslam is a cruel boss who wants to fire everyone every day. People have to agree with each of his decisions at all times – otherwise they will be let go. It’s been reported that he has had his hands in football decisions, and I feel that he has a ways to go until to becoming a great owner. That said, I feel he can continue to improve over time. Maybe LaCanfora wants Randy Lerner still owning the team? How’d that work out? One winning season that he stumbled into? Seven wins are already the second-most victories in a season that Lerner would have had.

Kyle Shanahan is the Modern-Day Bill Walsh

The Browns must be kicking themselves that Kyle Shanahan wanted out of his contract. He had a good year running the zone read with Robert Griffin III in 2012, until defenses game planned for it. Other than that, he’s Mike Shanahan’s son. However, that doesn’t fit into LaCanfora’s agenda – so let’s build up Shanahan as the best coach within the organization. That is the easiest way to hammer the Browns’ organization even more, which is unfounded.

The Environment is Toxic and Everyone Wants to Leave 

This is laughable; if this is actually the case – why hasn’t everyone left then? Why is John DeFilippo joining a staff where everyone wants out?  Let’s dismiss the fact that there are eleven teams with a worse record than the Browns in 2013 (some have been perennial losers as well) – and focus entirely on those in Berea.

Conclusion: Are the Browns a perfect franchise? Of course not, I’ll admit they have their issues. But what is LaCanfora attempting to gain with his article? Does he want the team to leave again? Does he have an agenda against Haslam and his franchise? It seems like he’s just picking on them at this point, and it’s frankly just sad. I’m looking forward to real news for the Cleveland Browns this offseason.

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Posted by on February 6, 2015 in Front Office/Coaching, Offseason


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