“You can’t win in the NFL playing your third and fourth string running backs…”

by Cleveland Frowns on November 9, 2011

“You can’t win in the NFL playing your third and fourth string running backs”
is the latest in this Season of No Excuses from the Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot. And if you take away the fact that the best Browns win of the last eight years came with the team starting its third string running back, she might be on to something.

Which is interesting for a few reasons, but mostly for what it teaches us about NFL football.

Of course most people will remember that last season, the PD didn’t run a single piece about how “you can’t win in the NFL playing with a rotating collection of third-string quarterbacks, including a rookie, none of whom would start for a single one of your NFL counterparts.” In fact, you won’t remember anyone at the PD ever even suggesting as much, and actually, the editorial line there was the precise opposite. Something like, “you absolutely have to be able to win in the NFL playing with a a rotating collection of third-string quarterbacks, including a rookie, none of whom would start for a single one of your NFL counterparts, or your head coach doesn’t get to keep his job, even though his team stays competitive in every football game with about one-third of a functioning NFL roster, has managed to beat two of the league’s best teams even with the third-string rookie quarterback, and has gained a league-wide reputation as a group that nobody wants to line up against.”

Which leads us to the inescapable conclusion that running backs are more important than quarterbacks in the NFL. Something we wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for the experts at the PD, which is exactly why you have journalism.

P.D.Q.E.D.’d

—————

Relatedly, here are your Vic Carucci No Excuses quotes of the week:

“[Holmgren, Heckert and Shurmur] trust that the system works and that it will eventually work with the Browns. The bottom line is that they do not have the players to make it work.”

This isn’t necessarily meant to offer any sort of consolation to Browns fans, but the Texans have an excellent team.”

It’s fair to say that there was nothing the Browns would have been able to do from a schematic or play-calling standpoint to change things.”

—————

And have you seen the Rams’ schedule? 1-7, but against the Eagles, Giants, Ravens, Redskins, Cowboys, Packers, and Saints. Vic Carucci will tell you, this is no ordinary 1-7 NFL football team.

Four more days who can even wait? You should be able to get in the building for $15 on Sunday so really, no excuses.

  • Anonymous

    technically OogieBoogie is the team’s 5th RB they added to the roster this year and the new guy is the 6th..  

    Starting training camp the depth chart was:RB1:  HillisRB2:  B.JacksonRB3:  HardestyPractice squad RB:  Armond SmithThen we signed OogieBoogie and Clayton Thomas..  it is what it is.. 

    • Anonymous

      Great. I would just add that there aren’t many things dumber than the purposeful mangling of a person’s name for the sake of personal convenience. What grade are you in?

      • Anonymous

        you’re obviously not a Tim Burton fan.. 

        • Anonymous

          Tim Burton is fine. I have a much bigger problem with xenophobes, and people who help make the world a safer place for them.

          • Anonymous

            wow, tough crowd.  guys can’t have nicknames around here?  i guess i should change my avatar to Bikram024

          • Anonymous

            wow, tough crowd.  guys can’t have nicknames around here?  i guess i should change my avatar to Bikram024

          • Anonymous

            wow, tough crowd.  guys can’t have nicknames around here?  i guess i should change my avatar to Bikram024

          • Anonymous

            I think you’re fine, actually. Maybe we can pick this discussion up again one day if Ogbonnaya starts commenting at phenomenal websites with the “OogieBoogie” handle.

          • Anonymous

            Frownie,
            I actually have an Oogie Boogie night light in my bathroom.
            Does that make me part of the problem?
            Should I call it a “Native Nightmareian” night light?

      • Anonymous

        you’re obviously not a Tim Burton fan.. 

  • Ess Eh

    P.D.Q.E.D’d

    Love it!

    • http://bryanjoiner.com/ Bryan Joiner

      Me too, but I prefer Q.E.P.D.’d. Though that might be the alternate name for the Queen’s guard.

  • kjn

    Didn’t the Packers just win a Superbowl running John Kuhn for half the season and a what’s-his-name sixth round pick for the last six weeks?

    I also have a problem with a team using a second-round pick on a RB with injury issues and then using his eventual health problems as an excuse. As Malcolm Little once said, that’s chickens coming home to roost.

    • Anonymous

      James Starks, sixth round rookie out of Buffalo. Dude single-handedly ruined the Zips finale at the Rubber Bowl. Actually, he had a lot of help from Chris Jacquemain. But still.

    • Anonymous

      top to bottom this team is lying to itself, and honestly I dont know if they even know the difference anymore. What I do know is it is a disgrace to the fans.

      Nightmare before Christmas and Malcolm X references in the same discussion? Color me intrigued.

      • http://twitter.com/cnp3 Chris P.

        there’s no one in this organization to tell them they’re doing anything wrong.  not even reporters.  

        it’s like when 38 secretaries in a row walk up to berlusconi and tell him how young and hot and virile and well hung he is and then no one can understand why he’s making passes at the 39th.

      • Anonymous

        being in a position to hopefully finally draft a playmaker next year with a Top 10 pick should turn that frown upside down..  

    • Anonymous

      actually they were running Brandon Jackson for half the season..  

    • Anonymous

      actually they were running Brandon Jackson for half the season..  

    • Anonymous

      actually they were running Brandon Jackson for half the season..  

      • kjn

        John Kuhn led the team in rushing in four games and they went 3-1 in those games.

        My original point: if the caliber of the running back doesn’t effect well run, well coached, well staffed teams then why does it effect us? Why can the Packers win running a FB while we can’t win with a 3rd string RB?

        • Anonymous

          ever heard of a guy named Aaron Rodgers?  don’t you think having an All-Pro QB who keeps the defense on their heels and prevents them from stacking the box would have a positive impact on the running game?   or having world-class speed at WR to stretch the field would create some openings for RBs to navigate through?

          • kjn

            Which is exactly the point!

            Saying “you can’t win with a third string RB” is a bold face lie. Teams do it all the time. We did it under Mangini!

            If MKC was being honest, she’d say, “the Browns currently can’t win with a third string RB because we are devoid of talent and our coach is a fool”.

          • Anonymous

            i don’t put much stock into what MKC or most if not all the writers at the PD have to say.  not sure why it is still even a topic of discussion around here anymore..  

            but did you even listen/watch her SBTV segment?  she definitely talks about the offense being devoid of talent and the other injuries on the offense..  http://www.cleveland.com/ohio-sports-blog/index.ssf/2011/11/cleveland_browns_you_cant_win.html

            give it up to the PD editors for making the headline “you can’t win in the NFL playing 3rd and 4th string RBs”.  that’s not what she said.   

          • Isjoe10

            Wasn’t it the first thing she said though? as if was the main cause of all the offensive woes? as if Playing a number 1 back would lead to an undefeated season?

            I’d rather not listejn again thanks.

          • Anonymous

            Her exact response when asked  “what it would mean if the Browns lost to the Rams:” 

            “well i think what it would mean is being down to your 4th or 5th RB just really isn’t going to cut it…. this team just isn’t where it needs to be offensively talent wise right now and it’s very difficult to make plays and stay on the field under these conditions.” 

            nevrer does she make the comment that is the title of the SBTV link or at the top of this post..  

          • Anonymous

            Sweet feathery jesus.

          • Anonymous

            well she doesn’t, but good job with running with a non-story once again Frowner… 

          • Isjoe10

            Thanks for the Transcript. I see your point, that she covered her bases by saying they don’t have talent.

            The correct response would have been “This team stinks from top to bottom nad can’t compete at a professional level, and Browns fans will be even more embarassed then they already are.”

  • kjn

    Didn’t the Packers just win a Superbowl running John Kuhn for half the season and a what’s-his-name sixth round pick for the last six weeks?

    I also have a problem with a team using a second-round pick on a RB with injury issues and then using his eventual health problems as an excuse. As Malcolm Little once said, that’s chickens coming home to roost.

  • Anonymous

    We also used our kick returner as a QB for a good part of that game.

    I love how we are just supposed to ignore that a coaching staff won that game but no one wants to ask any questions about the sheer incompetence that we are seeing out of Berea.

    No excuses. Of course if you don’t say anything…

  • Isjoe10

    I had no real problems with Mary Kay Cabot until I listened to that bit from her. That’s why we’re losing?! The Running Back situation?! You can’t think of anything else? Like, the poor play-calling, the non-existent passing game due to the combined lack of effort/talent of the QB, O-Line and WR corps, or any of a number of other factors? She pretty much lost me on that one.

    • The Cuuuuuuuuuuugs

      No excuses.

      Granted, this team would be much better with a healthy Hillis/Hardesty running tandem. But I think Isjoe is right in saying the poor play calling would have negated any significant impact these guys would have had.

      We all heard Shurmer’s press conference after the Miami game where he “hoped we were happy” the Browns ran the ball as much as they did. And it’s plain the rest of the NFL heard it too.

      Personally, I’d rather have a coaching staff that withholds a little too much information than one that blurts too much out… but that would make journalism difficult to do at the PD.

  • kjn

    MKC: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol is working like a charm!
    Lisa: That’s specious reasoning. By your logic, I could claim that this third string running back keeps wins away.
    MKC: Hmmm… how does it work?
    Lisa: It doesn’t work. He’s just a third string running back.
    MKC: Lisa, I would like to buy your third string running back.

    • Isjoe10

      A good Simpsons quote is always welcome.

  • David McCullough

    Something to look for in the Rams game when talking about the future of the Browns……

    Sam Bradford has regressed terribly this year. It is not because of his WR’s being injured. It is being noted more and more in national publications. Shurmer did a fine job with him last year. Josh McDaniel has not this year.

    If the Rams finish with the worst record, for sure they take Luck. But even if they finish with one of the 3 worst records, I suspect they take a QB. Why? Because with the new NFL CBA, rookie salaries are under control. A drafted QB will cost them half of what they’re paying Bradford. In turn they can flip Bradford on the trade market. Holmgren loves the guy, and Shurmer did a nice job coaching him. The Browns have plenty of salary space, as well as 2 first round draft choices. The Browns tried trading for him before the 2010 draft, and it would be natural for them to do it again. Colt McCoy is a nice guy. But one wonders how anyone can see him as THE guy. Just too many questions.

    If the Browns do in fact beat the Rams, the possibility of Sam Bradford being the QB of the Browns next year is very real. 

    • Anonymous

      i really don’t see them giving up on him after 2 years..  2nd OC in as many years, lack of WR talent, weak OL as well as some injuries, they aren’t going to give up on him especially since Josh has done well with far less talented QBs.. 

    • Anonymous

      Shurmer(sic) did a fine job with him last year.

      please explain in what way shurmur did a fine job with bradford.  provide data to support your assertion.  

      this isn’t the PD you’re writing for.  

      • David McCullough

        Golly……

        Maybe because he threw for more yards as a rookie QB then anyone since Dan Marino and was named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie Of The Year.

        Sorry, thought I came to a site where people followed pro football. Apparently this is just another “bash the Browns” site, where everything that anyone associated with the Browns ever did is bad. No problem.

         

        • Anonymous

          >>threw for more yards>>>
          he had the third most pass attempts (behind brees and manning) and the 2nd lowest yds/attempt (in front of claussen).  if you throw enough of 5yd passes i guess you’ll create yardage.  dont see how this demonstrates anything other than shurmur’s sorry performance as OC.  if anything shurmur gave him check down mania and mcdaniels has to undo the damage.

          >>>Offensive Rookie Of The Yea>>>
          #1 overall draft pick, qb, starter, is selected rookie of the year.  in other news, dog bites man.

          dave, ‘shurmur developed bradford’ is right there with ‘shurmur is an offensive-minded coach’ in terms of MKC-created mythology that we cant take any more of.  there is simply no basis for saying he’s good at anything on offense.  

          i mean… you’ve watched the games, right?

          • Anonymous

            these facts were stated in a previous set of comments within this website when referencing Shurmurs influence on Bradford. thanks for restating them.

          • Anonymous

            jk,
            ” there is simply no basis for saying he’s good at anything on offense.”

            You are missing the point….  His “stop thinking” mantra is offensive, his play calling is offensive, his lack of experience as an NFL head coach is offensive and him being a cornerstone in the Holmgren Wall of Voodoo is particularly offensive.

            What were you thinking jk?

        • Ess Eh

          yeah, nobody follows pro football here :roll:

          games
          yds/g
          comp%
          td%
          ints%

          Bradford
          16
          212
          60.0
          3.1
          2.5

          McCoy
          8
          197
          60.8
          2.7
          4.1

          2010 season stats.

          Wow, Shurmur did such an amazing job with Bradford and Daboll sure did suck with McCoy, staggering difference in numbers there.  17 more yards per game!!!!!   Please ignore the fact that the Rams played one of the easiest schedules last year and the browns one of the toughest. 

          • Ess Eh

            sorry, typo, 15 more yards per game.

          • Bandit

            Lets add 2011 stats as Colt has played 8 games under the genius of Shurmer.

            8
            220.5
            57.5
            3.2
            2.0
            QB Rating 2010:74.5   2011:76,5

            Hard to see how the previous regime was so offsensively inept compared to the current regime. Lets not forget Colt went on an interception tear in the last two games, add he did rush for a 4.9 yard average in 2010 vs. 3.2 in 2011. These stats are not news worthy to the PD either.

        • Anonymous

          Sam Bradford did far more for Shurmur than the other way around.  Sam Bradford was an NFL-ready QB coming out of Oklahoma.  He could make all of the throws.  His release is super quick.  

          I wonder what Shurmur has done in this league to merit this degree of respect.

  • Ricky Feacher

    I agree with your entire post. And I do think the PD’s minions truly believe they have a stake in running the Browns, and their coverage is reflective of their feelings toward the coach/GM etc.  They ran the best coach we had (since the last best coach  we had they ran out of town) out of town, because they didn’t give good interview to Don Grossi.

    The biggest problem though, is the owner. His poor decision making has hampered this franchise since he took over.  He should not have given Butch Davis the keys to the kingdom.  Why was John Collins ever our team president? Why hire Mangini before having a GM in place (Ill tell ya why, RL is a New Yorker, and he knew Manginis name from the Jets, and thats what happens when you have a part time owner)? Why hire a new team president destined to be at odds with your current coach? Why not try to find someone who can work with what you have?

    Any way we can get Lerner to sell the team to Mark Cuban? Any of the old money Cleveland billionaires want to step up by chance?

    • Anonymous

      Spot on analysis.

      The body rots from the head.

    • Anonymous

      Spot on analysis.

      The body rots from the head.

  • Anonymous

    um – joe pa says he’ll retire *at the end of this season*???????

    i want all my chedder bay marbles/credits/whatever on joe pa getting assassinated on saturday.  for real.  shot and killed.  people are out for BLOOD.  has anyone been listening to talk radio nonstop like i have since i had to stay up all night two nights in a row to mine salt?  ok so you know then – like i do – about the BLOOD LUST.

    • Anonymous

      Yes.  I need to wrap duct tape around my head before it blows open.  I’m wondering if we may be hearing of a suicide, but then again I doubt any of those bastards have the balls to off themselves.

    • Anonymous

      i dont think that’s done yet.  i’ll be surprised if psu lets him finish the year.  shocked.

      • Anonymous

        they are insane to let him. he is delusional to think they will let him.

        • Anonymous

          From JoePa’s (PR guy’s) hand – “That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address.”

          Umm… I think the Board of Trustees SHOULD discuss your status. 

          • Anonymous

            Agree agree couldn’t agree more.

          • Anonymous

            p_4,
            I disagree.I agree with Joe Pa, the ” Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute.”They should fire him in less than a minute.

          • Anonymous

            ^^transparent attempt to manipulate the board of trustees.

            now they have to fire him.  wonder if they will.

          • Anonymous

            The cornhuskers are going to be my lock of the century for KARMIC reasons. F Paterno for that audacity of a press conference last night and his attitude towards the whole thing. He is a true piece of shit.

          • Anonymous

            Just read that the Board of Trustees did the right thing and fired Paterno and Spanier. Good. Decision was unanimous.

            Now I wonder what they’ll do with McQueary, the GA who saw the rape (and somehow didn’t intervene) and is now one of PSU’s assistant coaches. He needs to go too.

    • Anonymous

      p_4,
      You are certainly tougher than I am.   I have spent three days not listening to Sports Talk Radio, I do not want those horrific images in my head all day.   My salt mine requires a constant smile and an ebullient demeanor.
      I had almost forgotten that this radio plays music too.
      I am going to keep blowing money on itunes until this blows over.

      • Anonymous

        That’s a good idea I mean I’m pretty good natured (lol don’t say a word frowns) but even I have super blood lust after all this exposure.

        • Anonymous

          I can cope with the sadness and iniquitous nature of our (and I use the term loosely), civilization, but when it comes to children or animals it hits me so hard I want to play judge, jury and executioner.  
          I like to think that I am not a bad person, but stories of this nature bring out the 13 year old thug in me.  I understand everyone’s thirst for blood.

  • http://twitter.com/byRiverBurns River Burns

    I finally got around to watching the Shortcut of the Browns-Texans game last night (I was “advance scouting” the Rams on Sunday).  It looked to me like it didn’t matter if it was Chris Ogbonnaya, Clayton Thomas, or Jimmy Brown in his prime running the football against Houston.  With this offensive line, with this complete absence of a threat of throwing the ball downfield, the 2011 Cleveland Browns are never a threat to run the ball.

    And, color me confused on what the dynamic of the WCO is supposed to be.  I thought it was short passes that featured pass catchers who carved up defenses with YAC.  All I’m seeing is poorly thrown balls to receivers that are lucky to knock the ball away from defenders and checkdowns to Tight Ends with their back to the endzone who fall down to maintain possession (0 YAC); in either case, neither ever seem to reach the line to gain.

    It would be nice if this quarterback were given an understanding of the offense from a coach who has experience working with young quarterbacks, perhaps the Browns should hire an offensive minded head coach.  Oh wait, disregard this entire paragraph.

    • Anonymous

      I can see your confusion. The Browns are running a variant of the WCO called the NORTH Coast Offense. It differs slightly in that it is still reliant on the pass, but with an exclusive focus on passing short of the first down marker – as far as you can get, actually (running the ball is for nerds). What this does is lull defenses into a false sense of security as you repeatedly punt the ball, looking like you can’t gain yardage. Then comes the last five minutes of the game and WOWZERS LOOK OUT! Time to score the points! Those defenders won’t know what hit ‘em!

      We’re still working on trying to score 24 points in 5 minutes, but by golly we’ll get there! 

  • denverdawg

    Frowns – What do you think is the reason for the PD’s vendetta against Mangini while continuing to apologize for Shurmur and co?

  • David McCullough

    Regarding the Browns and their play Sunday……

    The problem in Cleveland sports is that the overwhelming majority of the writers, commentators and bloggers in NE Ohio simply don’t understand how the sports they’re covering are played. So everything turns out to be an exercise in spin as uninformed media members compete to be top dog in influencing fans perceptions. Fortunately I’ve found that the color commentators  in Cleveland sports – Doug Dieken, Austin Carr and Mike Hegan (now retired) along with Indian play-by-play man Tom Hamilton, can explain their sports while others take pot shots. 

    The latest example was Terry Pluto’s article in Monday’s PD about the Browns defense regressing. To listen to this 30-plus year observer of Cleveland sports, one would think the Browns defense is now going downhill, and so we have to find someone to bloame, as we always do in Cleveland sports. But as has happened to me so many times over the years, I caught Doug Dieken being interviewed Monday evening, and he calmly explained what happened in Sunday’s game –

    > Doug called it “frustrating” but then referred to it as “baby steps”. Two of the Browns defensive front 4 are rookies (Taylor, Sheard) , and another starter (Jayme Mitchell) is starting for the first time in the NFL. Sunday was the first time this season the Browns played a zone blocking team. In Dieken’s words the Browns D-linemen were “out of their element”. The Texans not only zone block, but they are one of the best zone blocking teams in the NFL. As Doug said, sooner or later they have to learn, and Sunday they had their baptism. 2nd and 3rd stringers at practice do not prepare a team for what they experienced against the Texans.

    While it is fun to talk about the other starting players on an NFL team, the fact is that the game is usually won or lost in the trenches. A football team’s O-Line and D-Line either give the other players enough time and space to play their game (if the lines are doing well), or put them in a situation where those players have to have exceptional games just to hold their own (if the lines are not doing well).

    Personally I have doubts about Shurmer. But the reality of the Cleveland Browns situation is that for once under the Lerner regime, the Browns are going to have to build a core of young players and stick with them for 4-5 years. The Texans came into the league after the Browns, and a few years ago the national media was full of stories saying that Gary Kubiak might be a decent offensive coordinator, but he was not a head coach. The owners ignored the unqualified media, stuck with the plan, and it’s working. 

    So one can beat the Browns into the ground daily talking about this perception and that one, but they are finally doing it correctly. They have a philosophy now as to what they want to do and what the teams identity will be,  as opposed to trying to come up with tricks on special teams and defense every week. The “fans” and self-appointed media can complain, but the Browns have gentlemen such as Holmgren, Heckert, Jauron, Haskell and Rhodes, that have been in the NFL over 25 years and have won. They’ll make the necessary adjustments over time.

    • Anonymous

      what happened was that a defense used to playing bottom-tier teams got exposed by a competent, good offense. It didn’t regress, it’s been that good all season. People have been making that point here and elsewhere. 

      How come this is the first time that “the Browns are going to have to build a core of young players and stick with them for 4-5 years.” Hasn’t that been the goal of every Browns regime? What makes this time different? Did previous coaches and GMs not have a philosophy? Did they not have  decades of collective NFL experience? What makes these guys different from Crennel, Davis, Savage, Policy, etc.? 

      Don’t get what you’re going for with the “fans” and “self-appointed media” bit. 

  • Anonymous

    Is it clear the Browns would be better off with Hillis and Hardesty rather than Ogbonnaya and Clayton. But does anyone really think the results of any of their games thus far would be different had we had those players in the lineup? I don’t think so.

    Having a legitimate NFL running back is clearly crucial to a team’s success. Ogbonnaya and Clayton probably aren’t legitimate NFL running backs. But legitimate NFL running backs are also pretty easy to find. The Browns had three of them, but they are all hurt. How many times do you see a team’s stud go down and then the #2 guy comes in and more or less doesn’t miss a beat? Seems like a lot. Foster was down earlier this year for Houston and Ben Tate was putting up big numbers. McFadden is down for the Raiders and Michael Bush is putting up big numbers. Hardesty was doing ok for us while Hillis was down. Yes, at some point the drop off becomes too severe (i.e. I am not suggesting Thomas Clayton would be putting up big numbers for the Texans) but the downgrade from starter to backup on most teams is not that great. 

    QB is a whole different story. Look at the Super Bowl winning QBs from the past decade: Rodgers, Brees, Roethlisberger, E. Manning, P. Manning, Roethlisberger, Brady, Brady, Johnson, Brady. Brad Johnson is easily the worst of this group and he still light years better than any QB the Browns have had since they were reborn. Go back one year more to the Ravens SB win and you get the first real dud in Dilfer, easily the worst SB winning QB in who knows how long (ever?) But he is still probably better than any QB the Browns have had since Couch/Holcomb (including the later version of himself) and that team is obviously a special scenario as they had perhaps the greatest defense of all time. 

    The key thing here is that many of these teams really didn’t have great running games. The Packers bunch of Starks, Kuhn, and Jackson weren’t world beaters. Bush and Thomas for the Saints weren’t anything special. Willie Parker was good but not a game changer. Earth, Wind and Fire was a very very strong group but none of those guys have ever sniffed being an All-Pro. Addai was no better than solid. Bettis was very very very good coupled with a great defense allowing a young (but way better than anything we’ve had since the rebirth) Big Ben to be successful, Michale Pittman never had a 1000 yard season, and the Patriots backs were mishmash of ok guys highlighted by Kevin Faulk and Corey Dillon. 

    The point is that serviceable NFL backs you can win with are everywhere. QBs you can win with are not, and the Browns really haven’t had one. In any event, it’s going to be a shame watching the Browns draft Matt Barkley and then watching him be prohibited from throwing to a receiver more than ten yards down the field. 

    • David McCullough

      blah, blah, blah with the RB’s, WR’s and QB.

      When the O-Line squares itself away we can talk. Until then you can put Brady in as QB, Peterson is as the tailback and Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald in as WR’s and they’re not going to have the time to do very much. I’ve seen what Brady and Manning do when they’re rushed, and it’s not pretty.

      • Anonymous

        Pretty sure that if Brady or Manning were quarterbacking the Browns they would make damn sure there were “hot receiver concepts” built into the offense, recognize the blitz, change the play, or hit the hot receiver. I as big of a proponent of upgrading the O-Line as anyone, but no matter who you put out there they can’t block nine rushers. It’s on the QB to identify the blitz, make the adjustment, and burn the D by hitting the hot receiver at that point. 

      • cranky m

        is this, perchance, the David McCullough who once knew the family of Percy and Eric Snow? Just curious….

    • Anonymous

      Great post.

      QB is the key – I’ve argued this point ad infinitum here & elsewhere for many moons along with the obvious fact that McCoy ain’t that guy. Believe it or not you’ll get arguments here. 

      Rule changes and interpretations over recent (and not so recent) years have made the league pass happy like never before. It will stay that way until they change the rules to favor pass defense – don’t hold your breath. As the league gets softer & more pussified with each season, this state of affairs will only get more so.

      If you don’t have a QB who can stretch the field, extend the play & make all the passes required of an NFL QB and make them accurately, your team has no chance of extended long term success (i.e., playoffs & SB appearances).

      • Anonymous

        I think you’re correct Terry (about the changing of the league).  I would say that I was a huge McCoy fan in his college days but never once considered him a legitimate NFL savior.  I was teased last year and learned that perhaps he has some tools.

        A few weeks ago, I was officially off of the McCoy bandwagon.  I think that Colt has too many flaws to overcome.  It’s okay to have one flaw or two but the more you have, the less room for error there is.   He certainly has given it his all but that may not prove to be enough.  When his mechanics are good, his throws are great but in today’s NFL you don’t always get to throw with good mechanics.  Sometimes you have to throw off of your back foot or at another arm angle.

        • Anonymous

          Agree 100% Rod.

          McCoy’s a tough competitor & fine college QB
          & seems to be a great young man.  I have great respect for him as a
          man. But it has been obvious (to me at least) that he does not have the
          requisite skills to win consistently in today’s NFL.

          With the
          soft pass D’s dictated by today’s rules the offense can (theoretically)
          put pressure on an area about 50 yds wide & 40 yds deep much, much
          more easily then 20-30 years ago. But to to this you need a QB who can
          make all the throws.

          To the extent the defense can ignore some
          portion of that big rectangle due to QB weaknesses, it makes the D’s job
          easier  & the offenses job more difficult. This is Mc’Coy’s problem
          & the offense’s problem.

          Until the Browns get a QB that has
          the ability to to drop back, read, evade & throw on a rope to any
          spot in the big rectangle, they’ll be a perpetual 2nd division (old
          baseball term) team. Bernie Kosar could do most of those things (evasion
          was not his strong suit) & its no coincidence the team hasn’t been
          worth a shit since he left.

  • Jaceczko

    What sucks the most about this season? We had no reason to hope to begin with. That’s the worst. When I was in college, I used to get excited about Tim Couch and the new Browns—I didn’t KNOW in my bones that there was no way we were going to win, so my optimism and love for the Browns and the togetherness of family and friends all conspired to make me expect and hope for the best. 

    Beat down by the disappointing 2008 season, the hire of Mangini (whom I did not expect to be a capable coach), the devastating moment when they fired the coach that won me over to a 180° change of opinion when they KNEW that a lockout was looming and no head coaches would be willing to work for a head coach (Holmgren), and finally the oh-so-predictable fruition of my fearful expectations for a team with a new offense, new defense, new special teams, no head coach (or is it no offensive coordinator), beat down, I say, by all of this, I no longer look forward to Sunday’s at 1:00, I no longer even enjoy saying the words “Touchdown Browns!” (even when that event actually happens in the 4th quarter), I no longer reflect on games thinking that we somehow could have won (as one did, for example, when Chancey Stuckey fumbled that ball in OT against the Jets, which single event, more than any other, defined Mangini’s tenure in Cleveland).

    Yes, that was all one sentence. Thank you and good bye cruel world.

    • Anonymous

      you mean the Jets game where they put up 456 yards to our 303?   28 1st downs to our 19?   where Nick Folk went 2-5 on FGs?  but yeah, all we can remember is Chansi Stuckey’s fumble. 

      • Anonymous

        Sweet feathery jesus.

        • Anonymous

          lol. i really do love every minute of this.

          • Anonymous

            the better team clearly won that day..  but kudos to Nick Folk, i mean Sanchez, I mean Mangini for keeping the game close.. 

          • Anonymous

            Right, kudos to all of them. I wonder how long it will be before Shurmur starts to get players on an NFL semi-finalist to help keep a game against the Browns a close one.

          • Anonymous

            Bengals game was pretty close, but yeah, the collective brainfart by the entire team and coaching staff prevented a victory, because you know, you play to win the game..

          • Anonymous

            Bengals game was pretty close, but yeah, the collective brainfart by the entire team and coaching staff prevented a victory, because you know, you play to win the game..

          • Anonymous

            If there’s one thing you can say about the 2011 Bengals, it’s that they’re destined for the AFC Championship game.

          • Anonymous

            Bengals-Jets baby

          • Jaceczko

            That’s my point, BIKI. The better team won, and Mangini’s inferior team always had a chance to win. What are you, weird?

          • Anonymous

            always had a chance to win??   LOL

      • Believelander

        Biki you’re a loveable hypocrite.

        You were frothing about how sweet Rex Ryan was for beating a Chargers team in 09 where the Chargers’ MOST ACCURATE KICKER OF ALL TIME SINCE FOREVER IN THE FOREVER OF THE NFL shanked 3 FIELD GOALS. But man was Rex awesomerest than Mangini for that win.

        Nevermind Nick Folk was available because the Cowboya straight cut him for sucking too bad. A 2/5 from Folk is par for the course.

        Go back to Sociopathland.

        • Anonymous

          yes, i get excited when a team I am heavily invested in continues a crazy run with a rookie QB with a team that continuously underachieved under Mangini..  

          yeah, Tannenbaum def took a gamble with Folkie last year and bringing him back this year, the dude is notorious for missing pooch shots.. but it was probably Mangini and Brad Seely’s amazing ST coaching that caused those misses..  

        • Anonymous

          No way Believe,
          Do not send him to me.

          Greetings from Sociopathland!   (AKA Texas.)

      • Jaceczko

        All we can remember is Chansi Stuckey’s fumble because when he caught the ball, the live in-game win probability (according to advancednflstats.com) for the Browns shot up over 90%; the fumble sent it back under 50%. You can’t name another play that swung live in-game win probability for either team like that because there wasn’t one. I’m just reporting facts here.

        • Anonymous

          we were fortunate to even be in the game at that point.  if not for Nick Folk missing some chippy’s the game would’ve been over.. but kudos to Colt for that comeback drive at the end to force OT.. 

    • Anonymous

      I share your pain. I think we all do. 

  • Jaceczko

    What sucks the most about this season? We had no reason to hope to begin with. That’s the worst. When I was in college, I used to get excited about Tim Couch and the new Browns—I didn’t KNOW in my bones that there was no way we were going to win, so my optimism and love for the Browns and the togetherness of family and friends all conspired to make me expect and hope for the best. 

    Beat down by the disappointing 2008 season, the hire of Mangini (whom I did not expect to be a capable coach), the devastating moment when they fired the coach that won me over to a 180° change of opinion when they KNEW that a lockout was looming and no head coaches would be willing to work for a head coach (Holmgren), and finally the oh-so-predictable fruition of my fearful expectations for a team with a new offense, new defense, new special teams, no head coach (or is it no offensive coordinator), beat down, I say, by all of this, I no longer look forward to Sunday’s at 1:00, I no longer even enjoy saying the words “Touchdown Browns!” (even when that event actually happens in the 4th quarter), I no longer reflect on games thinking that we somehow could have won (as one did, for example, when Chancey Stuckey fumbled that ball in OT against the Jets, which single event, more than any other, defined Mangini’s tenure in Cleveland).

    Yes, that was all one sentence. Thank you and good bye cruel world.

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

    The Panthers seem to be pretty good on offense this year, maybe the Browns should hire away their offensive coordinator.

    Oh wait, http://www.panthers.com/team/coaches/rob-chudzinski/4256904b-b890-4f70-b6a3-b745cece0685

    • Anonymous

      CHUD!

      Steve Smith has more talent on his pinky than any of our WRs..  not to mention their RBs who are averaging 4.8 per carry..   but yeah, even though they ar 2-6, lot to be excited about over there..  

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

        That’s an interesting comment because it points to how people perceive teams.

        Because the Panthers are 5th in the league in offense, people (not pointing at you, but the public) get excited or think the Panthers are improving, but the reality is they are 2-6.

        Maybe they are getting better, but they still stink. If the Browns were scoring points but still losing, people would just bitch that the defense stinks or find something to fault (the opposition is weak, etc.)

        Maybe the Browns just need a better PR staff.

        • http://twitter.com/cnp3 Chris P.

          Oh the media tried so very hard to tell me the defense was awesome.  just awesome.  and if we could score a few points by golly we’d be a playoff team.
           
          well we’re not scoring still, but since we’re down 2-3 touchdowns at halftime now, the defense seems less awesome.  luckily since we’re spending so little time thinking about how to not give up yards and points we can get there so much faster.

        • http://twitter.com/cnp3 Chris P.

          Oh the media tried so very hard to tell me the defense was awesome.  just awesome.  and if we could score a few points by golly we’d be a playoff team.
           
          well we’re not scoring still, but since we’re down 2-3 touchdowns at halftime now, the defense seems less awesome.  luckily since we’re spending so little time thinking about how to not give up yards and points we can get there so much faster.

  • JoshW

    You forgot to mention the segment on Minister of Information Carucci’s show when he lauded McCoy for his 4th quarter drives when he led his team downfield, thereby ensuring that “there would be some hope and some good game film to build off of next week.”  Yep, here’s hoping for an even more efficient meaningless garbage time 4th quarter march to the endzone!!!

    Also, did anyone see how San Diego scored meaningless garbage time 4th quarter touchdowns?  That’s how it’s done.  The Shurmur/McCoy version resembles a 2nd quarter drive for the other 29 teams. 

  • Chip Douglas

    When you hire an offensive coordinator who ran a 30th ranked offense as your head coach/offensive coordinator, you shouldn’t be suprised that you get a 30th ranked offense.

    • Anonymous

      That really doesn’t follow. Or if it does in this specific case, it’s not for that reason. This is actually the same as when Biki says “5-11, 5-11.”

      Anyway, I knew you’d bang the Like’r there, Jim.

      • Anonymous

        i watched the rams a lot last year.  he’s running the same crap offense as last year.  it was a very unimaginative offense last year and it is this year.  bradford was 30th (out of 31) in yds/pass-attempt last year; mccoy is 33rd (of 34) this year.

        chip is surely correct in pointing that the 30th ranked offense. … it’s just not Ivy League, now is it?

      • Anonymous

        10-22 is more like it.. 

        • Believelander

          Every week I Lap. It. Up. watching how wrong your frothing Mangini hate was when the Browns get creamed. This was a win win season for me…

          Now for some more MD 20/20.

          • Anonymous

            Red Grape sizzurp

          • Anonymous

            we’ll never know how wrong or right any of us were.  just because we were in games last year rarely means anything in terms of the future trajectory of the team..  (i.e Houston)  we still would have the same glaring roster weaknesses this year unless of course Mangini could’ve prevented the countless injuries we have sustained throughout the season.   although maybe he would’ve traded Hillis a couple weeks ago since we can’t have any locker room cancers..  #OogieBoogie25!

  • Anonymous

    Agree 100% Rod.

    McCoy’s a tough competitor & fine college QB & seems to be a great young man.  I have great respect for him as a man. But it has been obvious (to me at least) that he does not have the requisite skills to win consistently in today’s NFL.

    With the soft pass D’s dictated by today’s rules the offense can (theoretically) put pressure on an area about 50 yds wide & 40 yds deep much, much more easily then 20-30 years ago. But to to this you need a QB who can make all the throws.

    To the extent the defense can ignore some portion of that big rectangle due to QB weaknesses, it makes the D’s job easier  & the offenses job more difficult. This is Mc’Coy’s problem & the offense’s problem.

    Until the Browns get a QB that has the ability to to drop back, read, evade & throw on a rope to any spot in the big rectangle, they’ll be a perpetual 2nd division (old baseball term) team. Bernie Kosar could do most of those things (evasion was not his strong suit) & its no coincidence the team hasn’t been worth a shit since he left.

  • Anonymous

    I had hoped the Penn State board would do the right thing tonight after so many, many wrongs.  Too little, too late to be sure. 

    The moment that any of these so-called men who protected that monster meet their Maker will ultimately define their time here on earth. 

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