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Posted by Oct - 22 - 2011 0 Comment

Pregame thoughts and musings as the Seahawks fly east to face the Browns:

  • The 2-3 Seahawks are 1-2 on the road, with that one win coming last week in New York against the Giants. That makes them 1-9 in their last 10 trips to the East coast. The Browns are 2-3, and 1-2 at home. The Browns have to start winning at home, period. If the Browns miss this golden opportunity to get to .500, I’m not sure they will the rest of the season.

 

  • At QB for the ‘Hawks will be  Rob Zombie Charlie Whitehurst, getting the start in place of the injured Tavaris Jackson. After relieving Jackson in the middle of the Giants game two weeks ago, Whitehurst went 11-19 for 149 yds and a TD. While Whitehurst doesn’t have a ton of game experience (9 appearances since 2006) he has appeared to do well in Seattle’s no-huddle offense, which they run often. Look for the uptempo ‘Hawks to push the ball up the field against the Browns, and perhaps catch the home team defense out of position a-la the Bengals in week one.

 

  • The Browns defense will again be missing a key starter as LB Scott Fujita was sent home twice this week from practice while suffering from post-concussion symptoms. He will be replaced by Kaluka Maiava. You might see Chris Gocong rotate over to Fujita’s strong side position, freeing up Maiava from having to deal with the TE. As far as the health of CB Joe Haden, he was seen moving around well at practice Friday, albeit in individual drills. Whether or not he plays will be a gametime decision.

 

  • During an interview this week, Colt McCoy expressed his concern about the Browns sluggish starts in the first 5 games this season. The Browns have scored a total of 3….3!…points in the first quarters of all 5 games combined, while scoring 45 in the second quarters. In what week does the Browns offense begin playing inspired and successful football at kickoff, and not 15 minutes into the game clock? The blame falls on everyone on the offensive side of the ball, but the control of changing it rests with the coach and QB. They’ve talked all they can about wanting to change it. This week, there’s no excuse for not doing so. The Seahawk defense has its share of injuries, and even when healthy is not that capable. The Browns can ill-afford to enter the second quarter even so much as tied 0-0. God forbid they are losing to the ‘Hawks after the first stanza.

 

  • For the first couple weeks, the prevailing sentiment was that the Browns simply were young, and had yet to play up to their full potential. Lack of offseason OTA combined with a new staff and young players unfamiliar with new schemes had hindered them with a very large learning curve. But I have found myself wondering in recent weeks if the sense of this team’s potential was just too great? Can this current squad of players just not be capable of living up to the expectations of fans in this town? At the end of the day I say no, because a some of these guys we have seen play very well and at a high level (McCoy, Hillis, Haden…) but are we asking too much of them too soon? Again, I say no. The things that ail this team are repeated mistakes that are resolved by either better coaching, or better execution. I’ve lost count of the false start penalties on the Browns. I am beginning to lose count of the number of times G Shaun Lauvao has been a complete bonehead and cost us 15 yards for unnecessary roughness after the Browns had a successful play. An illegal shift cost the Browns a nice gain by Hillis on a screen last week on a drive early (see 1st qtr!) that was moving well. The end result of that drive was a punt, and should have been points. Montario Hardesty was dropping passes in practice this week. Practice!! Where no opposing defender is bearing down on you to blow you up! These are the things that have the Browns at 2-3. When do they stop? When do guys start playing and coaching like professionals? This week in Berea was rife with talk and posturing, as The Big Show spoke to the Cleveland media in an attempt to calm everyone’s nerves (some of which he got on by getting on with Seattle media first), while Coach Shurmur and several Browns players spoke of quicker starts and exhibiting better discipline. The talking has to be done, and the doing it has to begin. If it doesn’t being this week, it probably won’t this season. I think, given the opponent and the sense of urgency, it starts this week. I hardly expect them to have it appear anywhere near fixed, but at the very least show signs of improvement. One would have to guess that given all the hyperbole this week, that not coming out and at least appearing to back it up would be career suicide. I see the Browns winning a game by 3 that they should otherwise win by 14. Browns 20, Seahawks 17.
Categories: Cleveland Browns

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