Terrible in Tampa – Another Loss for the Browns
I was a bit disappointed to witness what went down at Raymond James Stadium this Friday. The Browns competed against a sub par team and played down to their opponent; fortunately it was preseason – but I did not like what I saw. Let’s review what when down in this matchup.
Quarterback – Good – Robert Griffin still finding teammates down the field. The quarterback was great at hitting open targets for big gainers, including a touchdown in the second quarter. He’s still got some work to do, but I cannot complain about his play.
Bad – I cannot think of anything for this category regarding the man under center. Griffin did not made huge mistakes in this contest, and that was definitely a positive sign. I would like to see this mentality continue throughout the regular season.
Ugly – The drop backs in the pocket made me hold my breath – I am sick and tired of seeing Robert getting hit hard and taking a sack, and it’s only the preseason. The quarterback has got to get the ball out quicker or else he will get injured.
Running Back – Good – Isaiah Crowell continued to improve his play on the field on Friday night. He slipped through some holes with ease and that was a good thing to see. Provided he keeps this up, I have a positive feeling about this team’s running attack this year.
Bad – Duke Johnson was mediocre in this game but made a play or two. I was underwhelmed in his play-making ability, but perhaps he is saving this for September and beyond. It’s just the preseason, so I will not freak out just yet.
Ugly – Nothing too horrible for the running back position in this contest. They were not given a tremendous amount of opportunities, and they did not disappoint as a result.
Wide Receiver – Good – Deep passes to Josh Gordon and Terrelle Pryor. They led to big plays early and somewhat often, including a fine touchdown just before halftime. Its’ still a bummer that Gordon will miss the first four games of the year. Regardless, I am more confident in this bunch than I have been for many years.
Bad – I guess I would say there were a few penalties committed by wide outs in this contest. These were unnecessary and killed offensive drives for the Browns. Hopefully the athletes can get their heads on straight and use them when blocking down field in contests.
Ugly – I cannot think of something in this category thankfully. The wide receivers were had some good and bad moments, but nothing that was embarrassing for the team. This appears to be an improvement from a poor area of the team just a year ago.
Offensive Line – Good – The guys upfront were able to push the defensive line backwards pretty consistently. I feel pretty content in their ability in run blocking; should this continue then the offense might actually have a good year. Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson helped out as well.
Bad – Austin Pasztor committed a few penalties on the right side of the line. He was not perfect and it showed; I’m not as pessimistic as some in the media – so I’m not extremely concerned at this point. But he’s got to clean this up rather quickly.
Ugly – Protecting the quarterback, especially without Joe Thomas is not easy for this bunch. Many were ready to lambaste this unit for their protection, and rightly so. I don’t know what it’s going to take to be consistent going forward – but they need to work hard over the next two weeks.
Defensive Line – Good – I guess the Browns had a handful of stops on running attempts by the Buccaneers. There was a few times where the three and five technique ends got up field and held their own. While not perfect, Jamie Meder did make some nice stops in the middle of the defensive line.
Bad – There was little improvement from the run defense for the Browns in this matchup. They were not pathetic, but they need to improve a substantial amount and as quickly as possible. Overall they are still deemed as poor, however.
Ugly – Getting up the field was still something that was non-existent for the Cleveland Browns. Winning at the point of attack appears to be a battle the Browns simply will not win in 2016. That makes the jobs for the back seven that much tougher and that does not make me feel great.
Linebackers – Good – I cannot envision a tremendous thing that occurred for their linebackers. They were not pressuring Jameis Winston nor were they forcing ball carries into bad situations. But I’ll save this for later.
Bad – Speaking of bad, the linebackers were porous all game long. I was waiting to see one of the guys to stand out and it never came. There were ample opportunities and they never came – maybe next game.
Ugly – More of the same for this category. There were no strong points for this defense and the backers surely did not help. Perhaps a sleeper candidate (or two) will emerge from this group and be serviceable in the regular season.
Secondary – Good – Not a whole lot of good by this bunch – I guess that Ibraheim Campbell made a few solid plays in this contest. I’m not sure if anyone can step up for this group (I hope Joe Haden) but the secondary needs to look much better in the coming weeks.
Bad – Anyone not named Gilbert (he’s coming up); the secondary for the Browns was less than stellar in this matchup. Jamar Taylor gave up a few receptions and Joe Haden was invisible; I am a bit worried by this position group.
Ugly – Justin Gilbert’s play – seriously, he is not good in coverage. The Browns’ cornerback was bruised and battered in coverage consistently and the only saving grace was his lone tackle. The Browns just need to cut him already.
Conclusion: That’s pretty much all she wrote for the preseason – the Browns have got some work until the season opener in Philadelphia. Maybe there’s something good that can happen in the preseason finale. I’m not going to be a negative Nancy, but improvement is required.