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Posted by Sep - 26 - 2011 0 Comment

*My apologies for no pre-game notes, as the job I have that pays my bills (and for this site) took me to our Nation’s capital this weekend. This short list of post-game notes comes as I wait for my flight back to Cleveland.

  • The Browns’ defense is getting better and better each week. DC Dick Jauron’s group may bend a little here and there, and isn’t as exotic and aggressive in schemes as Rob Ryan’s was, but they are getting the job done. They are putting the offense in position week after week to trade touchdowns for field goals for the opposition. 2-3 rounds of that give you the potential for a two possession lead each game, thereby making the opposition’s offense one dimensional. Given the Browns’ better than average pass defense, that plays well to the Browns strengths at the moment.
  • That said, the Browns offense HAS to start playing 4 quaters every week. You are not going to get far in the league taking the first quarter off or not building on the momentum a solid quarter brings you. If this keeps up, one of these Sundays the Browns will find themselves in a hole they can’t get out of.
  • While Colt McCoy toggles between games of completing half his passes and two-thirds of them, he is doing something so far this year just about all his predecessors have failed to avoid, and that’s turn the ball over. Through 3 games, he has 5 TDs with just 2 INTs. Projected over 16 games, that’s a season of 27 TDs with just 11 INTs, and well over 3,000 yards. If he can do that and have a completion percentage in the low to mid 60’s, I think most fans would (and should) take that. Remember, he’s started just 11 games in his career going back to last season and is on his second OC in that time with no offseason.
  • My biggest complaint so far this season and was my biggest concern with Pat Shurmur when he was hired is that he is the OC. This is something I think he’s struggling with. Way too often we’re seeing the Browns in 2nd or 3rd and short, and McCoy is in the shotgun with a play that ends up looking as ill-suited for the situation on the field. Granted yesterday they were without Peyton Hillis, but its incumbent upon the guys playing in his place to make plays when called upon. Call a better play and put them in position to make said play. They became predictable in short yardage yesterday, and had little in the way of consistent success converting those opportunities. Shurmr needs an OC.
  • I can’t gush every single week about Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard, and the job these two rookies are doing for the Browns. But to not mention the impact they consistently make each game would be unfair. But one reason they are doing so well is the play of their veteran counterparts on the D-line in Ahtyba Rubin and Jayme Mitchell. This front four is as talented as we’ve had in Cleveland since the days of Michael Dean Perry and Bubba Baker. They can put pressure on the QB without blitzing, and play well against the run (despite some misleading stats to the contrary). Yesterday, they made plays against Chad Henne to force him into decisions that put their field goal unit on the field while inside the Browns’ end of the field. You could argue they are playing as well as any other of the D-lines in the division.
  • Another rookie that is slowly but steadily coming along is WR Greg Little. Little wasn’t targeted much through the first three quarters of the game yesterday, but he wasn’t distracted or disinterested when it mattered late. He made solid catches and plays after the catch that contributed significantly to the Browns success on their game-winning drive. And something tells me that his play is pushing Mo Masaquoi to play better. That can only be good for this young group of receivers.

See you on the ground in Cleveland!

Categories: Cleveland Browns

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