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Ugh…Another Browns Loss

Ugh…Another Browns Loss

Browns @ Panthers – A Look Back at Game #15

Well, what we learned again on Sunday is that Brian Hoyer is a better professional quarterback (right now) than Johnny Manziel. Overall, the team was dysfunctional, and they made their poor opponents look good.   When it was all said and done, it was another loss by the Browns. Let’s take a look back at the fourth loss in a row for the orange and brown…

Offense: The injury to Johnny Manziel was probably the best thing that could have happened to the Browns’ offense. The unit actually got their stuff together, and the signal caller hit Jordan Cameron for a long touchdown. Personally, I would like to see Hoyer back with this team next season, but that will likely not occur. Manziel has been horrific in 2014, if he is on the bench next season with Hoyer at the helm – then I could be complacent.

Isaiah Crowell got a few carries in this contest, and he was the only running back who got a shot at running the ball. He finished with just fifty-five yards on sixteen carries and gave the only glimpse of a running attack for the Browns. I was surprised that Terrance West did not get a carry – and the running game was not utilized at all. This is another area where the Browns can excel; it just takes a tremendous effort by the line and the backs.

Once Hoyer was re-inserted into the lineup, the wide outs finally got involved into this contest. This includes Andrew Hawkins, Josh Gordon, and Jordan Cameron. The latter had a tremendous touchdown – something a veteran signal caller would only see.   Gordon dropped an easy play on third down early and caught a few tough from Hoyer. I just want to see the veteran under center – he gets the most from the wide outs.

The injury to Ryan Seymour led to Nick McDonald playing back at center. The offensive line was less than stellar, but the guys upfront were less than consistent. At least Joe Thomas didn’t commit any penalties in this contest – the left tackle held his own reasonably well. I would still like to see the team draft a guy up the middle to help with blocking. We shall see, but that could really be huge for the Browns going forward.

Defense: Well, at least this game ended. The run defense got smoked in this contest, and gave up a fair amount of yards on the ground. Jonathan Stewart ran easily and had more than 100 yards in the first half alone. None of the guys upfront had success with great ease. The Browns’ defensive has been miserable recently; I’d like to believe they will get better going forward. The team needs to find some reliable guys upfront and soon.

So Solomon was the only guy who put a big of a pass rush against the Panthers. I was completely impressed with the play of the new member of the Browns on the edge, but no one else was very impressive in this contest. The inside backers played adequately in this contest – unfortunately if was not good enough to win this contest. Neither guy inside played well, but it was decent enough if the offense was good enough.

The secondary played good enough just to win, but they had to cover Kelvin Benjamin. The rookie tore up the defensive group, and converted against the secondary against the secondary. Buster Skrine played his best, but was unable to shut down the offensive unit. It was a respectable effort, but they will need a great effort to win on Sundays.

Special Teams: Garrett Harttley made a pair of a field goals, that was the best for the Browns’ special teams. The coverage team did not hold their own, but the offense did not give them a great opportunity to succeed.

Coaching: They let Johnny Football be himself, and it did not work. I was disappointed to see the lack of execution by his part. Granted, he is still a rookie, but he did himself no favors going forward. I always wanted Teddy Bridgewater last spring, and this game cemented this, hopefully Hoyer can play well the last game and the team makes a wise decision going forward.

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Posted by on December 21, 2014 in NFL Season

 

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Which Browns QBs Have Best Lived Up to the Hype?

You’ve seen the jersey by now. There have been so many different Browns under center that you’ve hopefully forgotten a few of them. The Browns’ passing game is taken as seriously as Tyler Perry at the Oscars.

Yet, the question begs to be answered: Which Browns quarterbacks have best lived up to the hype? We have seen first-round picks and journeyman veterans, local kids and NFL nomads. Each has come with his own set of expectations. Virtually none have lived up to them. But these things exist on a spectrum, and it is up to us to figure out exactly where they lie. So I put out a feeler to Browns fan Condoleeza Rice, and she assembled a crack staff of diplomats, advisers and statisticians to come up with the answer:

Browns QB Chart

This was a truly terrifying exercise. It’s common knowledge that Browns quarterbacks have performed only slightly better than VHS sales since 1999, but studying the names and statistics really drives the point home. Did you know that Bruce Gradkowski’s QB rating was 2.8 in Cleveland? Had you forgotten that Doug Pederson started eight games in 2000 when Tim Couch got hurt? Do you realize that one could make a strong argument for Couch being the best Browns quarterback of the century?

It’s stunning to look at the names and remember believing in some of these guys. Brady Quinn’s tumble down the draft board was hilarious—until we took him, then he was a godsend. Colt McCoy won 45 games and completed 70% of his tosses in college! Jake Delhomme’s veteran savvy! Charlie Frye’s moxie! Brandon Weeden’s…age?

The point is: The Browns’ recent QB history is absolutely as bad as you think it is, and maybe even worse. The psychic camels from the World Cup could do a better job of finding snap-takers. And despite the likes of Trent Dilfer winning a Super Bowl, one axiom holds true in the NFL: You need a quarterback—maybe not an “elite” one, but one who won’t snap defeat from the jaws of victory twice a season. One who can consistently be better than awful. Maybe even one capable of winning a game by himself. The Browns haven’t found that guy, and they had 20 chances through last season. Tonight, we’ll get a closer look at number 21.

No pressure, Johnny.

 

[Can’t name ’em all? Use the handy key and relive the misery! QBs are listed chronologically.]

 Browns QB Chart Key

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Offseason, Players

 

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Memo to Browns Fans: Embrace Manziel-Mania

Memo to Browns Fans: Embrace Manziel-Mania

Just Let the Media Hype Johnny Football

For whatever reason, Johnny Manziel cannot do anything under the radar.  Unlike his counterparts in Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater – a posse, cameras, and excitement seem to follow the athlete on a regular basis.

The latest “episode” regarding Manziel centered around the quarterback’s weekend in Las Vegas.  There he spent time with superstar Rob Gronkowski, and more importantly, a few bottles of champagne and bikini-clad co-eds.  All of which is rather acceptable for a twenty-one year-old (provided he is not partaking in illegal activities), but of course the national and local media is beating this story to death.

Ever since the signal caller from Texas A&M was chosen twenty-second overall, he has been scrutinized by talking heads across multiple media.  Additionally, many want to cover his actions on the field (and were upset when they were denied access to non-contact rookie minicamp – let that sink in).  As far as off-the-field activities are concerned, if Manziel blows his nose – a reporter with a microphone will be there to dissect it.

As a result, I have a clear message to those who support the orange and brown; just accept that everything this kid does will be overanalyzed and talked about ad nauseam.  While some can perceive this as a negative (taking away from the overall team), the Cleveland Browns are garnering national attention in a positive way – it’s been awhile since that’s been the case.  So long as he is not putting himself in real danger (there are multiple examples – vehicular accidents, weapon charges, or domestic incidents are a few) – I have no problem with a kid having a little fun before his rookie season begins.

The other aspect is that Manziel curbs this a bit when the season commences.  For all of his actions, he has shown passion and desire for football.  I believe the athlete will understand how to behave once he has to routinely perform on national television.  The quarterback knows that although Gronkowski, Matt Stafford, and Mark Sanchez like to let loose in the spring and summer; they are just another employee come autumn.

Therefore Browns fans, just enjoy the ride.  The Mothership, Fox Sports, and CBS are a few networks who choose to debate the Vegas Memorial Day Weekend trip by Johnny Football.  Personally, I’m glad the Browns are being mentioned – if he can be a solid quarterback not only will Browns’ fans look the other way regarding his antics, they will be excited to embrace him.  He is the top selling rookie jersey and shirts with his likeness are going like hotcakes.  Simply put, there’s no getting around the attention, and Cleveland fans finally have a unique, exciting individual to root for.  Of course it all will come down to Sundays in the fall – but perhaps his personality can separate himself from his twenty predecessors.

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Players

 

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