Browns make a big one in post-bye-week “statement game” in Oakland

by Cleveland Frowns on October 17, 2011

We were expecting a quiet day here today even before we knew Terry Pluto would sum things up as well as he did after the game. Coming off a bye week, the Browns had a good chance to make a statement yesterday in Oakland. And a much better chance once the Raiders lost starting quarterback Jason Campbell in the middle of the second quarter and had to replace him with Kyle Boller, whose “bolo passes” and inability to complete anything but the short inside slant were duly recorded by the local press.

The Raiders came into this game banged up on defense as well, missing starting end Matt Shaughnessy and with rookie cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke making his first career start in place of the injured Chris Johnson. Folks were expecting that the Browns might struggle defending against the Raiders’ rushing attack and speedy receivers, but the idea was that the offense would keep them in the game against an Oakland defense that had been giving up more than 400 yards per game before yesterday. All that time spent not practicing special teams was supposed to have been put to better use practicing something else. We were told that the first four games served as something of an extended pre-season for the Browns, and that they’d use the bye week to make changes to the offense based on what was learned in the season’s first quarter.

Which isn’t to say the Browns didn’t make a statement in Oakland yesterday, because of course they did. Which was mostly to say they’ve got a much longer way to go than a lot of folks thought they did.

Seven drives for the offense, five punts and one lost fumble before the Raiders took a 24-7 lead late in the third quarter in a game that only became interesting late because Hue Jackson, apparently extremely bored, decided to pass on a field goal to go up three scores with 4:44 left in favor of a failed 4th and 1 run from the Browns’ 5.

We’re not interested in trying to sort out whether its the coaching, the roster, or just the quarterback* other than to note that we weren’t the only ones who saw receivers getting open yesterday; And that, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information service, Colt McCoy “faced pressure from a blitzing defensive back on 22 of his 50 dropbacks, completing only 35 percent of his passes for 56 yards in those situations [after having] entered Sunday averaging 3.1 yards per attempt when the defense blitzes a defensive back, the fourth-lowest average in the NFL this season.” Yet McCoy and Alex Mack said after the game that they were “a little surprised when Oakland came out blitzing.” Why? And why isn’t Colt finding the receiver that’s supposed to be open every time the opponent sends a defensive back on a blitz?

On the bright side, a full three games had passed since the Browns had allowed an opponent to put them away on a pee-wee trick, which technically marks exponential improvement.

And of course, if the 2011 Browns have made a statement about anything at all, it’s what an excellent job Eric Mangini did to keep the 2010 version competitive week in and week out with the very same quarterback (and worse). With each passing week it gets harder to see that guy not having a head coaching job somewhere soon.

—————

*Not Peyton Hillis. There’s no reason to believe he doesn’t have a hamstring injury, and the Browns probably had good reasons to avoid advertising that injury during the game.

  • http://www.redright88.com Titus Pullo

    If the statement was “here’s a nice turd sandwich to munch on” then the Browns can consider the message delivered.

  • Anonymous

    woulda been nice to have  healthy Hillis for the entire game..  forget the curse of the Wahoo, the Madden Curse is back in full-effect..   doesn’t make up for Colt’s innacuracy but definitely opens things up for Raiders D to pin their ears back for Colt since Hardesty isn’t really commanding much respect yet (and he didn’t do much yesterday to change the Raiders defensive strategy..)  

    • Anonymous

      Colt is mentally a different player when Hillis his “baby blanket” is in the backfield.  How many times did he dump off a little pass to sticky hands Hillis when things were dicey in the pocket? 

      And can we stop with the Hardesty short pass experiment?  Epic fail.  Any confidence he may have had at one time is shot.

      Michael Vick didn’t get on the cover, and he’s already had a concussion and hand injury.  The Almost Made the Madden Cover curse? 

      • Anonymous

        I think that is dead on. Hardesty has screwed the pooch on blitz pickup and singlehandedly trashed McCoy’s completion percentage with drops. Pretty instructive that they sent in Hillis with the bum leg just for blitz pickup.

        There is no reason to give up on Hardesty at all, but you have to say he really isn’t game ready apart from carrying the rock.

      • Anonymous

        I like it!

        The Almost Made the Madden Cover Curse.

  • wiseoldredbeard

    This game made me want to barf.

  • Anonymous

    All I know is a .597 average, and a .647 essay percentage is exactly the kinda performance Cheddar Bay should be about.  Even with the ridiculous endings to Toledo and SC, if you dont have a bunch of extra cash in your pocket this morning, then I just dont know what to tell you.  

    • Anonymous

      Don’t laugh, but how would one go about converting lucky guesses into this extra cash?  Serious question.

      • Anonymous

        Outside of living in Las Vegas, there are a couple ways.   I happen to know all the wrong people, which is one way.  Online sites are probably the way to go though, as you wont ever pay with your knee caps since you have to have the cash beforehand.  They are reliable as far as I know.  www.bodog.com is a popular one, and I know some people who use http://www.sportsbook.com as well.  

        • Anonymous

          Thanks – I think.

          • Anonymous

            Dont mention it.  Theres never a shortage of good information and perspectives around here.  I wish my 401K was doing doing a fraction as well as my investments in Stanford and Wisconsin this year.

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, well, stanford still sucks.

      • Anonymous

        Invest in that internet thing.
        It may just be a passing fad, but you will still make a few dollars.

        • Anonymous

          I’ve never had actual lobster, it’s on my bucket list.

          I could really use the extra $$; 2 kids in higher education equals unending cash vortex.   But who among us couldn’t use it?

          Tentatively will watch and hopefully learn the ins and outs of sports wagering for real.  I must say, my daughter’s boyfriend once dragged me to a roulette table at a casino and I hit on a bunch of consecutive spins.  Maybe somebody up there likes me.   

  • Anonymous

    if i found out hillis was faking, i think i might be fine with it at this point.  just because shurmer  seems like such a condescending dick to him, i get not wanting to put up with his shit and his dumbass offense where we have zero ability to stretch the defense and he has a fullback that might be the smallest guy on the offense (sans colt).  

    its seriously dumb watching them anymore.  

    and our receivers do really suck, with several second half drops (or at least it seemed that way – have not seen stats).  

    totally nuts that the raiders didnt kick that FG, though.  so at least our staff didn’t make probably the dumbest decision of the game.  

    • Isjoe10

      The way the offnse looked anemic and the way the Raiders were putting the pressure on I would have faked it too.

      • Anonymous

        ick.

  • DK45

    From the Football Outsiders Twitter feed: “At 13.4%, 2011 49ers have the third-highest special teams DVOA through Week 6 since 1992.” Godspeed, Mr. Seely.

    • Anonymous

      a certain dude named Teddy Ginn might have something to do with it too..  

  • http://twitter.com/clevezirm Jordan Zirm

    My thing about Shurmur and this whole Hillis situation is how Shurmur and the upper management is handling it. Again, like two weeks ago against Tennessee, we see shots of Peyton Hillis standing motionless on the sidelines, a few times directly behind Shurmur as if he was waiting for a moment to ask Shurmur what the hell was going on. Was he hurt? Sure. Maybe he is. But for the Browns to wait so long to notify the press of his hamstring injury, then throw him out there to block on too plays just to take him right out again is just such a complete mismanagement of a problem that is swelling by the week. I read about 20 different reports about what happened with Hillis during the game, none of them the same. It’s become more than just this dreadful offense, it’s become how Shurmur is letting this season become a circus outside of the locker room. The mysterious Hillis situation, the Josh Cribbs quote. To let your lock room be this out of control after 6 weeks is a terrifying, terrifying sign.

    • St. Chem

      You are absolutely right.  And things are no better on the field with respect to discipline and focus, as Pluto points out in his article.  His parting shot pretty much sums up the regression as well as anyone could:  “But perhaps the worst thing about this afternoon was how the Browns have lost two aspects of their game that generally were productive the last few seasons — the running game and special teams.” 

    • Anonymous

      why exactly do the Browns need to notify the press of his injury??  

      • Anonymous

        I’m with Biki on the Hillis thing, which looks like nothing more to me than another example of the press’s lowest common denominator focus on a non-story making things unnecessarily hard on the organization. 

        • Anonymous

          I overreacted to the Hillis stuff in yesterday’s thread, but there’s still something weird about Mary Kay Cabot getting told by a Browns rep that Hillis wasn’t playing due to coach’s decision.

          I don’t think there was fakery with the hamstring, but the team and front office need to get their story straight to quash the rumor-mongering. 

        • Vari

          Truth.   For sure.  The press just wants to get the juicy morsel and drive the wedge as deep as possible.  Either way that Mangini dismissal is looking more and more like the bad idea it was/ is.

      • Brian Sipe

        Grossi said they do need to annunce injuries during games.  I did not even know that but I guess teams have to give updates on injuries which seems odd

        • Anonymous

          And it’s the favorite pastime of the credentialed Browns press to use this rule against the franchise at any chance they get.

        • Anonymous

           Jeff Phelps and Andy Baskin on The Fan also mentioned that teams are required to update the press box on injuries during the game.

  • Etjohns_420

    #RE-HIRE MANGINI

    • Anonymous

      Technically, Mangini is still under contract right?  And maybe Romeo as well.  We could have Mangini as head coach, Romeo as defensive assistant/special teams, and Shurmur as the OC…margarita mixer.

      • Brian Sipe

        HA!!!!!!!!! That would be funny as Hell.. Mangini coching Romeo at D Cord… might as well get McDanils to run the O

        • Anonymous

          Seriously, it seems like we give them 5 year contracts, and/or extensions then fire them after 2.  I think we have at least 3 HCs under contract right now.  4 if you count Juron…and I think Davis opted out of his last year.

      • Bandit

        No Romeo is DC at KC. Thus no longer under contract. Mangini did turn down Philly as a special consultant. Perhaps he can come back as a special consultant here to figure out what in the hell Holmgren does.

    • Ess Eh

      does anyone not believe that the browns would be 4-1 or 5-0 with Mangini as coach?

      • Anonymous

        No.

        • Anonymous

          Feownie,

          Please let me get this straight….
          Are you saying “no” to “anyone not believe”?

          • Ess Eh

            it’s always fun asking questions with a negative. such a pain to answer :)

          • Anonymous

            Esse,
            I am easy to confuse, however Frownie figured it out.

            When someone is annoying me I like to ask this age old question.
            “Have you stopped beating your wife?”

          • Ess Eh

            it’s always fun asking questions with a negative. such a pain to answer :)

      • Anonymous

        What wouldn’t have happened is giving up moronic TD’s..and Mangini Teams coming out of a bye week…well

        • Anonymous

          Agreed. I think the moron factor would be removed.

      • Anonymous

        I think it’s probably true, but I can’t say I “believe” it. One of those wins was predicated on taking some downfield shots at the right time, which I felt like Mangini had no feel for. I THINK they’d be 4-1 and be a marginally better team than they are, but frankly if Colt was playing the way he has played overall, if Hillis was sick/hurt/sulking, then there is no way we’d be undefeated, 4-1 may be a stretch, and I don’t know we’d be seeing as much of Little. Counterfactuals are counterfactual.

        My glass is still at least 1/3 full here.

  • Anonymous

    *sigh*  Going back to cleaning the basement every weekend.  Biki, any idea where I could meet up with your buddy Henry in the Richfield/Bath area?  I could use a friend.

  • Bryan

    Q:   you know what makes sense when you have a sh*tty f&cking qb, but a good 0-line and an athletic 240 lb RB?  

    A:  sign a big @ss FB (like lawrence vickers), come out in an I-formation, and run the motherf*cking ball down the god d@mn defenses throat!!

    mangini for life.  

    this is freakin’ heartbreaking.

    • Anonymous

      sort of seems our O-Line sucks this year, though (w/ injuries being the main problem)

      • Vari

        Agreed.  Steinbach missing is really hurting.  We still have a huge RT problem.  Need another guard.  Blocking TE would be nice.  Although Moore does a nice job.  We have a North/South RB who they are for some reason expecting to make a cut and we have a 3rd down back who can’t block or catch in the West Coast Offense.  Receivers whom can’t run routes well and a QB whom doesn’t have the strength or accuracy to get the ball down field.  Which is hard to do when you have 2 seconds to make a decision.  

  • Anonymous

    I think that football fans are tolerant of a lot of things and you can ascribe some struggles (timing, for example) to the truncated off-season.  Some things, however, are intolerable.

    Giving up two special teams touchdowns in one game is unforgivable.  Brad Seely is one of the best special teams coaches in the league and he now coaches for the 49ers.  Some teams emphasize specials at practice and others do not.  The Browns appear to be in the latter group from what I’ve read.  That’s not good; especially when you give up a TD that looked like it was straight out of pee-wee football.  No one noticed Boss just running out for a pass?  It looked terribly ridiculous.

    What this game said to me is that the Browns can’t keep from being outcoached even with a two-week chance to prep.  Last year, we came out of the bye and destroyed the New England Patriots.  That felt like progress.  This feels like anything but that.   Eric Mangini had to go because Holmgren said so.   Lost in that logic, however, is that Eric Mangini’s teams were minimally penalized and consistently well-prepared.  The execution didn’t always happen but the game plans were sound.   People bitched and moaned about how Mangini didn’t have enough personality in his pressers.  What now?  We have a coach who (and CTIL said it best…) “looks  like someone needs to check a pulse”.  He’s frequently outdone by his defensive opponent.  Some people are pissed that he has no OC.  I could care less if he actually did a good job with the offense.  I don’t know if he’s allowing Colt to audible or not but someone needs to get them out of some of these runs against 8-in-the-box.  Perhaps it shouldn’t matter since no receiver on the Browns roster can seem to win a one-on-one battle anywhere.  Ever.   No separation and no fight down the field.

    The last thing I won’t stand for is this side-drama of Peyton Hillis.  Yes, he’s gimpy…or so the spin doctors say.  The fact of the matter is that he seems like he has to prove himself all over again to a coach who, honestly, doesn’t have the credentials in my book to question if he’s worth it.  Holmgren and Heckert have botched the handling of Peyton Hillis’ contract but Shurmur appears to have botched the handling of Peyton Hillis.

    “Turd sandwiches” and “barf” are what this game said to other commenters and I can’t say I disagree. 

    • Anonymous

      so Shurmur botched Hillis’ hamstring??  those are the worst injuries and even a tweak can hinder the guy and then you run the risk of it dragging on and on over the course of the season.  the trainers obviously felt that it was something serious enough to not push it, and he went in later to test it and it still was bothersome..  we’ll see what the MRI comes back with but i really don’t get how this is a a Shurmur/Hillis thing..  and how exactly has Heckert botched the Hillis contract?  he won’t comment publicly on it other than that they want to sign him and they are working on it.. but what does that have to do with Hillis getting hurt??    

      • Brian Sipe

        I think the Shurmur issue is the play calling

        • Anonymous

          yeah it kind of sucks when the guy on the cover of Madden is out for the game..  

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

            That would suck, but he wasn’t out for the game. They had him pass protecting late in the game.

          • Anonymous

            fine, he was ruled out for running plays..  pass protection is a little different on the hammy than running full speed with the rock in your hand.. and it was only for a couple plays so that Colt didn’t get his head knocked off

      • Anonymous

        The best front offices don’t let their lone star player on offense get to this point without an extension.  There are games being played on both sides of that ledger. 

        As for Shurmur, he needs to commit to Peyton Hillis.  If not a vote of support now while he’s injured…at least a voiced desire to coach this guy in the future.  I will offer that I overstated the Shurmur involvement with Hillis but the fact is that Peyton has been marginalized in the offense and that’s not because of injury. 

        • Anonymous

          Hey Rod,

          Maybe Hillis is perceived as a Mangini guy? 

          • Anonymous

            I don’t know.  The way Hillis runs…he’s an “any coach can coach me” kinda guy.  That would be a pretty poor excuse.  If he’s really injured then fine but this Hillis “non-story” can get pretty toxic quickly if they don’t do something.  Just like no  one wanted to hear about Cribbs not being paid in 2009, no one wants Hillis strung along either.

          • Anonymous

            Agreed..Colt needs Hillis..badly

        • Anonymous

          The only game he was “marginalized in the offense” was the Titans game, and we all know that game got away from us too early to be able to continue to use him the way they did in the first 2 games, where he actually averaged more touches than he did under Mangini..   He was OUT for Miami game and he was only able to play in 3.5 drives yesterday and he had 6 carries and 1 passing target and one of those drives resulted in a TD..  we have no idea how the game would’ve played out had he not tweaked his hammy..  but i guess you’re the latest commenter on Frowns who has a nice new crystal ball..

          another thing to keep in mind about Hardesty and young RBs is their pass blocking, Colt got smashed a few times because Hardesty is still learning how to block..  that was another reason why we missed big Peyton yesterday as well..  

          • Anonymous

            No need to be snarky.

            Peyton Hillis came back for a couple of plays in the fourth quarter.  If the trainers/coaches were really worried about his health, then why was he on the field?

            I don’t buy the excuse that the Titans game was out of hand.  In the first 20 offensive plays, they ran the ball 7 times.  That doesn’t sound like a commitment to the run to me.  For that matter neither does passing the ball 22 times in the first half while it was still a one-score game.  I won’t give him a pass for that.

          • Anonymous

            because Hardesty can’t block a fly.. he even said that he didn’t want to let Hardesty hang out to dry so he tried to go in for a few plays..  until i hear from Hillis that he was healthy enough to run and carry the ball, i’m not going to think there is any issue here other than Hillis hurt himself on the 2nd or 3rd play as he said in his presser..  

            it seems to me that the pass verse run ratio on the 1st half of the Titans game when the game was close is blown a bit out of proportion..  all those short pass right, middle, and left are all basically extended handoffs..  

            i just don’t agree that there is nearly enough sample size to make the claim that he is being “marganilized”..  again if you look at the first 2 games, he averaged 27 touches..  so that leaves the Titans game where they couldn’t get any sort of groove going before it got too out of hand..  hopefully he can get healthy and we can see how we use him these next few games.. 

          • Anonymous

            extended handoffs that aren’t handoffs to Peyton Hillis.

          • Anonymous

            OK you’re right, in the first half of the Titans game when the game was still within reach he was marginalized in the offense..  but he was anything but marginalized in the first 2 games where he had 54 touches, i guess those games don’t count..  he’s basicaly only played in 3.32 games, and still averages 23 touches in that 3+ game span.

          • Anonymous

            >>all those short pass right, middle, and left are all basically extended handoffs.. <<

            so basically our entire offense is just an extended handoff since colt throws it no more than 7 yards from scrimmage….

          • Anonymous

            except that nice 12 yard TD lob to MoMass for the back door cover!  

          • Anonymous

            i like it! but it is simply an outlier.

          • Anonymous

            outlier schmoutlier, it was his 8th TD pass of the season thru 5, on pace for 26TD passes this year..  only 3 picks..  yes his completion percentage is terrible, absolutely turrible, as is his yards per attempt and even yards per completion, but it’s typically baby steps with guys  still only 13 starts in the NFL..   we’ll see if he is able to make some progress over the season..  hopefully the rest of the unit can do their jobs to make it a bit easier on the kid..  

          • Anonymous

            we all hope Biki, but let me not speak for all, I am certainly with you in that hope. I also appreciate your pov, it helps keep me grounded and balanced in my outlook.

            However I have to question (and will do the research later for my own curiosity) how many of those 8 tds are during garbage time/prevent defenses. Of course, a td is a td is a td, but through 5 games 3 total first Q points and 6 total third Q points, so baby steps is indeed appropriate.

            How long (in your opinion) is appropriate to expect measurable improvement out of McCoy? Or the team in general? Next year? I there some missing cog to making this machine hum? I mean you took the over right? Had to be some faith or glimpse you saw.

          • Anonymous

            i think you gotta at least give him the full season and then make a decision.. 

          • Anonymous

            Hardesty is a disaster on several levels.

        • Anonymous

          I’m still finding it troubling that a 6’2″ 250 lbs guy, who runs a 4.5 40 and could catch syphilis in Islamic Heaven somehow doesn’t fit in in the WCO.  Does anyone else see a problem here?

          • Hamfist

            We have a winnah!!!!!

        • Anonymous

          Holmgren just called him “our best player, one of our best players” in his presser. Maybe it’s just intended to do so, but it makes me think that the Browns have a good offer out there but Peyton is holding out for Madden money.

          Hope it all works out. It’s sure nice having a guy that punishes the backers the way he does.

    • Anonymous

      couldn’t agree more on Hillis.  

    • Anonymous

      not making any excuses for the ST unit, but prior to the KRTD the Browns had 12 kickoffs returned for an average of 22.5 per return, good for 10th best in the league.. (we’re still ranked 13th in PRavg) so i don’t believe it’s some systematic failure of our coaching..   sometimes you have to give credit to the other team for executing properly, especially to Jacoby Ford who did a helluva job staying in bounds as he tiptoed down the sideline..  
      FWIW, the 4-1 Ravens are dead last in the NFL, allowing 39.4 per return (and 1 returned for TD), with former Eagles ST coach John Harbaugh being their HC..    

      • Anonymous

        “FWIW, the 4-1 Ravens are dead last in the NFL, allowing 39.4 per return
        (and 1 returned for TD), with former Eagles ST coach John Harbaugh being
        their HC.”

        Maybe John Harbaugh should have hired Seely.

    • Bandit

      Not just Hillis, but Jackson also. How do you make CG the fifth highest played linebacker in football and forget Jackson.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t disagree, however, Jackson has a significant injury history having missed basically the last two years.  It’s not exactly the same.

        • Bandit

          Agreed that at least Jackson got a one year deal which makes him forth highest paid linebackerin AFC

      • Anonymous

        5th highest paid LB in football?????   he’s not even 5th highest paid LB in the AFC North..  

        • Bandit

          A quick check of salaries shows that Gocong’s new contract pays him $18.5MM over four years which is currently 5th highest in the AFC and 9th highest in NFL with 2 of the NFC linebackers actually tweeners playing end/linebacker.

          • Anonymous

            buddy, come on, you’re forgetting signing bonus/guaranteed money..  he is nowhere near the top 10 in total compensation..  most of the top paid LB’s average $9m a year if you spread out the bonus over the course of their contract.. Gocong’s average is $4.56

          • Anonymous

            i’m not disagreeing with you that we should take care of Hillis too… 

    • Anonymous

      “you can ascribe some struggles (timing, for example) to the truncated off-season”

      Hasn’t affected the 49er’s all that much.

      • Anonymous

        Terry,  for the record, I agree with you but I am trying to keep an open mind and give some benefit of the doubt. 

        If we agree that there is no excuse at this point, six weeks into the season for a lack of timing and playbook issues…then there really are no excuses at all and the coach has to bear the responsibility for being unprepared and undisciplined.  Of course, he is a Holmgren guy so he will get more leniency from his bosses.  I’m sure their mutual agent can advise them accordingly.

      • Anonymous

        the 49er’s have basically the same roster as they had last year, and oh yeah, a healthy Frank Gore who has been a beast so far and one of the main reasons they’ve been winning so far.. their defense hasn’t been that spectacular but it’s been a bend but don’t break defense..  

        Alex Smith had a 60 QB rating yesterday…

  • zarathustra

    Yesterday’s shit sandwich would normally be hard to stomach, but thankfully I’ve abandoned all critical thinking and now rely solely on empty slogans.
    In Holmgren we trust.

    • Ronnie James Dio

      Amazing.

      +1

  • Brian Sipe

    I agree… If you think Heckart is good then you have to assume there is more talent now than last year… So why were we so much more competative last year than this year?!

    • Anonymous

      how is the offense any more talented than last year??  we lose Steinbach right before the season and Hillis was out for most of the game yesterday..  so adding GLittle, Hardesty is more talent?   I agree that they probably should’ve brought in another veteran WR, but having Hillis and Steinbach out puts them back a ton..  

      the defense is playing pretty good overall and for how often they are on the field.. higher rankings than last year in yards allowed and points allowed  (not counting ST and Colt’s Pick 6).. granted we haven’t played any top-rated offenses thus far..  

      • zarathustra

        Could not agree more. The defense is so much better than last year. Anybody with eyes can see that. And with Dick Jauron leading the unit the sky is the only limit.

        • Anonymous

          I’ll bet you this D finishes the year with a higher rating than last, despite being about a billion years younger.

      • Anonymous

        I do think the overall solid play of the defense is getting totally ignored and overshadowed by the offensive/ST woes. This horrible miserable hopeless sucky team played pretty decent d without its best player and contained what might be the toughest running matchup it will face this year.

        • Anonymous

          agreed, but we got a big break with JC goin down.. not that he is the 2nd coming of Rich Gannon, but we definitely dared Boller to throw the ball on us and loaded it up to try to contain DMC.. but we can’t control who we play and their are some things to be encouraged about when it comes to the defense..  let’s hope Fujita’s concussion isn’t something that keeps him out..  although i have to imagine his wife will have something to say about that..

        • Anonymous

          The Raiders moved the ball at will on the Browns until Kyle Boller came into the game.

          • Anonymous

            sucks for JC, that looked painful!  

          • Anonymous

            Kind of a small sample size. They had one great drive and were getting shut down at the moment we broke the guy. Bottom line is that is a running team with a particularly terrible matchup for our lack of speed, and QB flubs or not, they got a total of 10 points off the D.

          • Anonymous

            One great drive to open the game, and then on the second drive the Raiders got to midfield before Campbell fumbled, and they were moving the ball again when Campbell got hurt on the third drive. Bottom line is that Kyle Boller was a complete abomination and the Browns were really lucky the Raiders were forced to put him in the game or it would have been much more embarrassing (though maybe they wouldn’t have had to do the fake punt, which would have been nice).

      • Anonymous

        I am posting to agree with you (we have to agree on something, right? ;))

        I personally don’t think that Steinbach is worth losing sleep over.  He isn’t that good.  I wouldn’t say we are more talented on offense either.  We lost Vickers and gained Marecic (that’s a loss in my book).  Pashos is still here.  Lauvao is about the same.  The WRs aren’t any better.  Yes, Little is a promising rook but he’s a project at this point.  MoMass wouldn’t be more than a third or fourth WR for most teams and Robiskie wouldn’t MAKE most teams.  Cribbs used to be phenomenal on specials (hasn’t looked right in about a year and a half) and is a limited contributor on offense. 

        The defense is better.  Don’t apologize for whom you’ve played.  It is what it is.  I don’t think that they can keep this up without some upgrading in personnel (they’re slow at LB and the secondary still needs work).  The front four is going to be excellent at some point and that’s probably the best way to start building.

        • Anonymous

          Steinbach is still an experienced quality veteran to have out there, and i think we can agree that he is an improvement over Pinkston the rookie..  hopefully Pinkston and Lauvao can improve as the season goes on..  Mack definitely isn’t improved from the seasons past seemingly due to his appendicitis as well so the line play as a whole is definitely not improved from last season, not all of which is Heckert’s fault…   

          • Anonymous

            I won’t agree that Steinbach is an improvement over Pinkston. 

            Yes, I just said that. 

            I spent most of last season dissecting the offensive line and Steinbach was consistently getting manhandled.

            If you go back and look at Pinkston yesterday, he played 69 snaps.   I went back and looked at all of them.  To make the grading easy, I gave him a “+1″ if he successfully executed his block and a “-1″ if he didn’t.  Any block that was inconclusive was not “won” and given “-1″.   Most grading systems of offensive linemen will grade the stance and the footwork too.   I didn’t get into that but generally there were no problems with his pre or post snap stances (unlike Steinbach) and his footwork was quite good.

            He graded +1 on 59 out of 69 snaps.  He was -1 on 10 snaps.  There were 4 snaps where he was exceptional (e.g., blocked two guys) and 2 where he was beaten fairly badly (one pass block that didn’t figure into the play and one run block).  He was good in G-power as any LG should be.  If you watch the TD to Alex Smith, he shows the athleticism to molly block the edge rusher.  That’s something you don’t see that much these days.  The LT blocks down and the LG “mollies” out to pick up the edge rusher.   I would say his run blocking isn’t as good as his pass blocking but it wasn’t horrible.

            Pinkston did most of this (I would venture to say over 75%) matched up against Richard Seymour who is one the best defensive linemen of the last ten years.  He held his own with punches to the face and even on one snap where Seymour/Moss anticipated the snap and was already in the gap.  I’d say Pinkston is a much better LG than he gets credit for.  Yes, he’s inexperienced but he held his own against a good front yesterday without committing a single penalty.

            I wouldn’t worry about Alex Mack.  He’s going to be fine.  It takes a while to recover from surgery.  This wasn’t elective.  The only elective appendectomies happen during other surgeries.  Apparently, Alex was having appendicitis symptoms during the Titans game.  The offensive line hasn’t been as bad the last few games as I would expect.  They gave up two sacks yesterday and one was a coverage sack that McCoy stepped up into the pocket and got sacked going forward. 

          • Anonymous

            Well in that case… In Heckert We Trust! To find a rookie gem of a LG in the 5th round, can’t wait till next year’s draft! and i never said he sucked, and i’m glad we’re gettin the young guy some valuable experience but i’m not sure i agree that he is better overall than steinbach, but we’ll see.. overall the proof is in the pudding and the rush and pass blocking has been a disappointment this year, even though the sack numbers are down, colt is still getting hit and hurried too many times..

          • Anonymous

            That surprises me Rod. I felt like pressure did come from his side all day, but you’ve done the analysis. What part of the line is failing then, because it seemed to me the base rush and blitzing was incredibly effective, even accounting for Hardesty’s benchable offenses? I know Mack got understandably no push at all, but that wasn’t the problem in protection.

          • Anonymous

            If you look at where the pressure was coming from, it’s a lot of safety/CB pressure off of the edge.  The line (for the most part) is blocking inside out.  I noticed a lot of delayed blitzing which is very tough to pick up and honestly, I’m not sure whose responsibility all of that is but I imagine a lot of it has to fall on Colt’s shoulders when his blockers engage everyone they can.  I think that Lauvao had a much more difficult time on his rusher but RG is inherently more difficult than LG.

            If that’s the case then it’s a play-call/scheme problem because they have to then keep more guys in to block.  In all honesty, I didn’t concentrate on the right side of the line as much in this analysis because I was simply trying to see if my first impression of Pinkston’s performance was correct.   I thought he drew the most difficult assignment in Seymour and Shurmur actually mentioned him individually on NFL Radio the other day in an interview.

  • Anonymous

    Whats even worse we had one of the top special teams guys in the NFL and we let him walk (Seeley)
    San Fran is one of the top ST in the league..They should have offered this guys whatever he wanted.
    I guess since he doesn’t have the same agent as Holmgren,Shumer,Heckert and Jauron there was no way they could have kept him.Did anyone notice that the Cowboys basically shut down the mostprolific offense and QB in the NFL..When is the last time you saw Brady look that bad..Oh yeah I remember now..FYI..The last coach to put a home loss on NE in the regular season was WHO..Oh yeah right.SO MANGINI BASICALLY GETS BAGGED SO WE CAN RUN WCO..4TH WORSE SCORING OFFENSE IN THE NFL..JUST GREAT

    • Anonymous

      That whole big happy family under the same agent thing is what ticks me off the most about this mess. 

    • Anonymous

      we didn’t let him walk, he didn’t want to stay out of loyalty to EM..  some guys stayed and some guys bolted..  

      NE and Brady got shut down??  they still put up nearly 400 yards of offense in spite of being so sloppy with the ball, turned it over 4 times!   (yes dallas d should get some of the credit of the turnovers, but NE was sloppity slop)
      oh yeah, they are also 2-3, same record as the clownies..  

  • Anonymous

    thank god i bought the hook to put it up to 7.5, talk about back door cover!  thank you Hue Jackson!!!!  

  • Anonymous

    It gives me no great joy to say this, but this team (the 2011 browns) is a lost cause and beyond repair at this point.

    The flat, uninspired and bumbling performance of the coaching staff after coming off a bye is inexcusable.

    This team can only muster one meaningful drive every game or two (the fourth quarter one was in garbage time against a team with discipline problems on defense that was already mentally walking off the field).

    It is patently obvious to me now what the root problem this season really is:

    We have a head coach who was handed his job.

    We have a quarterback who was handed his spot.

    We have a president who was handed his position.

    All because they had done the proper things, said the proper things or knew the proper people–no real competition, critical review or objective research.

    So you get a real study in contrasts when comparing last season to this season.

    Last season the Browns were playing with the energy that comes from knowing that you have to fight for every damn inch of ground because someone who has a title, a name and a pedigree that is judged to better than yours can come in and take what you have worked so hard to achieve/build away at a moments notice without providing a real reason or rationale beyond uttering a few empty phrases and massaged statistics.

    The worst of it all is that everyone is technically a “rookie” this year, so there is a possibility that there is another year of this on the horizon.

    • Anonymous

      Can’t disagree with the sentiment. A little excessive maybe, but definitely there is a point here.

    • Anonymous

      Couldn’t agree more that the worst of it is that these jerks get to be “rookies” again next year.

  • Anonymous

    Frustrating stat of the day:  Just heard the Browns have managed only 9 plays resulting in 20 or more yards this season – lowest in the league.  Yes, we had an early bye week, but that’s still over 5 games. 

    • Anonymous

      Sorry about the brewcrew ctil. But aren’t you glad you joined CB now? A ray of pink sunshine shines on the top tier once again. Congrats.

      • Anonymous

        I am glad I caved to peer pressure - it’s fun, and it sure did brighten an otherwise crapola day yesterday, thanks. 

        • Anonymous

          I second Bupa’s sentiment; congratulations CLTIL.
          If we keep this girl power rolling for another year and you win this thing CLTIL, I will send you something shiny.

          • Anonymous

            Ooh, something shiny from Texas.   A gun?

          • Anonymous

            Super like on that one CLTIL!
            I am leaving Tejas soon and gun crazy, maniacal rednecks certainly played a part in my decision.
            They gives kids guns here when they get their first tooth.
            I wish this “Global Warming” stuff would hurry up, I want to move back to Cleveland.

  • zarathustra

    I don’t know why everybody is so fixated on special teams and penalties. You do know we are running a west coast offense now, don’t you? We don’t need to worry about such trifling things. I repeat we are running the west coast offense. And Mike Holmgren is the team president. THE Mike Holmgren. And don’t you know that Dick Jauron is the d coordinator. He used to be a head coach you know. The browns cannot fail with these guys in charge. It is a metaphysical certainty. Penalties. Lol. Special teams. You guys are funny.

    • Anonymous

      5-35 in penalties isn’t the worst..  but yeah, ST was terrible.. no excuses for what happened there..    Free Josh Cribbs!

    • Anonymous

      zara, people must understand that this is a precision offense that requires timing and the QB and WRs need time to develop chemistry.  the shortened pre-season really affected the browns.  i, like you, am surprised these things haven’t been pointed out.

      and let’s not forget:
      YAC.

    • Zulads4

      Not to mention that Colt McCoy has moxy and has all of the intangibles to play quarterback in the National Football League.   He also wants to play like a Ford truck.  America! F*ck Yeah!!

    • Anonymous

      Hey fine, pile on a straw man. Pile on the revisionist history. Wallow in your misery.

      The start has been disappointing, mostly because of a handful of big plays and two or three big brainfarts by the least experienced team in the league. I’s are getting crossed and T’s dotted. Details are being neglected. Yes, these are warning signs. Yes, it’s hard to watch, hard to lose on this stuff, pretty much toxic. Yes, I’m concerned about Shurmur’s game prep.

      But get real, we are 5 games into new systems on both sides of the ball, with injuries to two of our three most important players, while the other one seems to be either having a sophomore slump or simply isn’t very good. People were falling all over themselves last year to praise the coaching and excuse the string of loses as simply injury driven. By and large it was, but guess what, when you run the oldest team in the league, you look like you’re really well coached and you get heaps of injuries.

      Take a step back. Snap to snap, this team is competitive, especially the defense. We are not getting walked on, we are getting stung. The d-line is coalescing, they are decent now with rookies playing major roles. The O-line, well, the old guys are injured and that plus the Hillis injury are flat out destroying both the running and passing game. So the offense has looked ugly.

      I’m not sure how far this clownishness negativity is from the folks who melted down after Mangini’s start, where the team (for good reasons) did not look remotely good in any sense. Yes, you can make a narrative out of these 5 games that has Pat Shurmur as a lazy stupid nepotistic nephew who is in over his head. But when you have a small enough sample size, you can make pretty much any narrative out of anything.

  • Zulads4

    It’s sad that our defense gives up essentially 10 points and we still lose. 

    Is it just me, or does anyone else get the picture of coach Red Beaulieu from Waterboy flipping through “Football for Dummies” when watching the Browns’ offense?  I am baffled by Shurmur’s idea of the WCO.  Isnt it supposed to use short passes to open up the run game and long passes?  In our offense, the short passes open up more short passes.  I am lost, and can’t blame Colt for being just as lost.

    To be honest, that fake field goal for touchdown was just brilliant.  We were down by ten and if they hit that field goal they are up by 13, practically putting this game out of reach.  They have an excellent field goal kicker who can hit from anywhere.  They knew we were going to send everyone to try and block it, essentially trying to stay in the game, and they pull off a perfectly executed fake.  Just a perfect display of recognizing the moment and taking advantage.  The type of cerebral football that was present throughout last year and I miss immensely this year.

    These games are just not fun to watch.  Last year you could sit and watch the game and know you would see disciplined football that would keep you close and, with luck, win you the game.  Unfortunately, we were the most unlucky team in the league last year so those wins were few.  But to see us get punked and make stupid mistakes (12 men on the field after a time out) is not worth my time.

  • Zulads4

    On a side note, based on Cam Newton’s success so far, would anyone be averse to taking Robert Griffin from Baylor this year?  Not as large as Cam, but has the same game, with probably more athleticism and speed (track star). From what I read, can make the throws as well, and is very smart.  

    • Anonymous

      If by “can make the throws” you mean can throw further than 2o yards downfield, and by “smart” you mean he doesn’t depend upon holographic patches to improve his game, then yes.

    • Anonymous

      I love Griffin to death. I can’t believe where he’s currently listed in draft ratings. I’m pretty sure he’ll be top ten in the end, and it won’t surprise me if he ends up as the best QB of the 2012 draft.

  • Anonymous

    here’s the leading media outlet reporting on the shurnur hiring.  “unrelentingly bad.”  you have to watch this.

    http://www.cleveland.com/ohio-sports-blog/index.ssf/2011/01/pat_shurmurs_hiring_would_get.html

    my sixteen year old daughter needs a job.  she’s watched zero football games.  i think she would provide more insight than MKC.

    • Anonymous

      I’m sure Grossi would take her under his wing…

    • Anonymous

      Your daughter has never watched football?  That is borderline child neglect, Kanicki. 

  • Anonymous Browns Fan

    Fuck.

  • Jaceczko

    Herewith my weekly exhortation not to fire head coaches before their contract is at term, together with the observation that such a decision reflects much more poorly on the office that offered the contract than the coach.

    But you know what bothers me the most about this loss? The fact that India-freaking-napolis is going to get Andrew Luck, and then get Manning back next year and go back to having winning seasons every year, then retire/push Manning and continue being great à la Packers/Rodgers/Favre.

    [rhymes with "Luck"]. (it’s been said already but it bears repeating)

  • Jaceczko

    You know what our last coach’s players said after games?

    We have to execute better.

    You know what the players say now? (along with everyone else)

    We have to game plan better. (A variation of: wait, what in the @#$% was their plan there? There was a plan, right?)

    I’m so glad everyone is unified in their philosophy. I just wish anyone at all could tell what it is.

    • Anonymous

      Can’t disagree. I believe all 3 games the players have inadvertantly talked about all the things they didn’t expect, or that the other team “had never shown before.”

      This is the most worrying thing to me.

      • Anonymous

        There again is that seed of doubt in the leadership that the players – most of whom are quite young – are carrying with them.  It has to be almost like a cult mentality on a football team, to be semi-brainwashed into the belief that if they do what they are supposed to do, there will be a favorable outcome.  Except for the QB, it’s probably not a good thing for them to think too much about what they are doing out there, just following their natural instincts and the plan. 

        I don’t know these things to be true having never played, but that’s kind of what it looks like to me.  It’s somewhat like a medical emergency situation, where you go on automatic pilot to carry out your part in the sequence of events, then think about it later.  If you don’t have full faith in the doctor that is running the thing, that creates all kinds of hesitancy and second-guessing that can really affect the outcome.  Not exactly comparable , but I know that feeling of doubt that can really wreak havoc in certain situations.

        • Jaceczko

          Yes. Except here there is no surgeon, and the intern is in charge, and there are no instructions.

          • Anonymous

            Yep, well the surgeon is watching from afar sitting on his fat ass, while the intern (or resident) is head down, frantically studying the laminated cheat sheet while rest of the team knows from experience what should probably be done next but must wait for the order.

            I know what it’s like… I went from years of working at a non-teaching hospital where things ran like clockwork under the attending doctors, to the new era where the support staff (yeah, me) had to guide the newbie trainee docs.  It’s a necessary evil for them to learn, but the level of care went south.  I can feel for the vets on the Browns, it’s brutal sometimes. 

          • Anonymous

            …and all of us newbie trainees appreciated it back in the day.  Well, ok, maybe just I did. ;-) but that was back when we were actually frequently exhausted and actually accountable.

          • Anonymous

            I think OB was a particular challenge for them, with 2 patients for the price of 1, including one that they couldn’t actually see or touch.  Then the legalities…it’s no wonder so few are choosing that area of practice, at least in this area.

            Most of them did great, and we even had a few over the years that came back to us as attendings. 

  • Anonymous

    http://images.forbes.com/media/lists/10/2010/norma-lerner.jpg
    Can Randy’s mother go batshit crazy after this one. She kinda looks like she could blow a valve.

  • Jim5283

    2010:  Competing, even when there looked like no hope.

    2011:  They would have competed more last year.

    2012:  Landry Jones?

    • Anonymous

      i’ll say it now:  vontaze burfict and jonathan martin (OL, stanford).  figure out the QB and WRs later.  fix the o-line, get a playmaking LB.  for once, do the right thing.

      • Anonymous

        “figure out the QB…………… later”

        No, no, no.

        QB has got to be the #1 priority. It must be fixed ASAP.

        It’s the most important position – by far! Hell, its the most important position in all of team sports.

        Good QB’s make so-so WR’s & OK O-linemen look like Pro Bowlers.

        • Anonymous

          come on terry.  youre old enough to remember mike phipps.  high draft pick qb does not equal position fixed.  
          we’re not going to be #1 overall and landry jones or matt barkley dont seem like sure things.  but what we can do is stop relying on tony pashos’ ankle and we can at least try to get a ‘playmaker’ on defense.

          • Anonymous

            Agree totally on – high draft pick does not necessarily lead to great QB – but without a QB we’ll never get anywhere. This is particularly true now with the pass happy league rules in place.

            Fix the O – line without a QB & you’ll be a perpetual 4-12 to 7-9 team.

            Fix the QB position & you’ll be a perennial contender.

        • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

          Good O-lines make average quarterbacks hall of famers.

          See Aikman, Troy.

      • Anonymous

        “figure out the QB…………… later”

        No, no, no.

        QB has got to be the #1 priority. It must be fixed ASAP.

        It’s the most important position – by far! Hell, its the most important position in all of team sports.

        Good QB’s make so-so WR’s & OK O-linemen look like Pro Bowlers.

      • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

        #ImperfectForBurfict?

        Has a better sound to it than  #SuckForLuck

  • Anonymous

    I was feeling nostalgic remembering the glow we had last year watching the product of the bye week, so watch if you want to feel momentarily warm and fuzzy.  I know it’s never good to look back, but I really needed it.

    http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/media-center/videos/ATT-Locker-Room-Report-/62e1bac7-ffc8-4666-b722-ca910ee7595a

    • Anonymous

      this is must viewing.  

      that was a team truly building for the future.  god they were going in the right direction.  nothing succeeds like success.


      i got some revisionist history on an wfny thread dismissing the saints win as just due to a punter and a 34 year old d-linemen.  
      … 
      when browns fans get it wrong, they really get it wrong.

  • Jim

    Tony Grossi used to mock Mangini because he would sign guys and put them on special teams. He never gave up a special teams touchdown. I guess Tony knows best.

    • Anonymous

      ray ventrone was good enough to make the new england patriots’ roster.

      nuf ced.

    • Anonymous

      When Mangini first got here, he cut (not traded…simply cut) half the roster (I believe the number was 26 but it might have been 24) guys.  He couldn’t cut everyone.   Of those players, how many guys were on NFL teams in the 2009 season?  Two.  They were practice squadders.  That does not say much about the talent that was on this roster then.  Mangini cleaned house.

      Ask yourself this: What player has Mangini cut that went on to become a significant player in the NFL?  Answer?  I can’t think of one.  Remember the griping about Jerome Harrison?  What’s he doing these days besides failing physicals?

      How about traded guys like Winslow, Braylon and Wimbley?  I would argue that only Wimbley has been significant in a new scheme and Winslow is still the same underachieving clown he was here.

  • Anonymous

    I am so glad The Browns organization from top to bottom are moving in the same direction now…

  • Anonymous

    OK, I just made myself re-watch some of the game.  ENOUGH about the Hillis deal. 

    Just look at early 2nd quarter, 1st and 10.  Hillis gets a pitch to the left and grabs his left hamstring after being pushed out of bounds.  Next play is the illegal shift, when Hillis takes the short pass from McCoy and goes 16 yards, brought down by 5 or 6 Raiders, again grabs the left hamstring.  Brought back, end of Hillis for the game except for the later blitz blocks.

    Any questions?  No, I don’t think so. 

  • Anonymous

    Shit! We shouldn’t have broken JC.

    Bengals get potentially 2 #1′s for Palmer. Bengals stupidity ends up playing in their favor. 

    • Anonymous

      AFC North team of the future. 

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