Nevermore: Shurmurball hits new nadir in home loss to Ravens

by Cleveland Frowns on November 5, 2012

“The Browns’ locker room was transformed into Believeland this week, with confidence and optimism permeating the air as if it had been spritzed out of the automatic air-fresheners.”Mary Kay Cabot

“The vibe is really good. We really believe we can beat the Ravens, not just come close. They’re a good team, but we feel like they’re ripe to be beat.” — Josh Cribbs

“They’re a beatable team.” — Joe Haden

“I make my living off of the Browns.”Terrell Suggs

“I’m getting tired of coming close and not getting over the hump. I’m just fed up with it. With the game on the line, our offense and defense couldn’t make a play.”DQwell Jackson

“God damn! I’m done guys.”Joe Haden

“No comment.”Brandon Weeden

“I don’t want to say anything I’ll regret.”Josh Cribbs

It’ll be a fun thing for everyone to talk about this week, just like when we lost the game (in Indianapolis) and I didn’t go for it. I don’t know what you’re talking about, my nature? I don’t know you that well. You probably don’t know me that well. … You know what, in both situations, the decision didn’t lead us to a victory, did it? So that’s why we talk about it. So that’s why you talk about it. Had we converted it and we move forward then it would have been talked about in what a gutsy move it was, right?” — Pat Shurmur

—————

Contrary to Pat Shurmur’s belief, his fourth-quarter decision to go for the first down on 4th-and-2 from the Browns’ 28-yard-line in what was at that point a one-score game in which the Browns had two timeouts remaining with four minutes to play is not a fun thing to talk about. That decision, and the head coach’s comments about it after the game, are actually incredibly tedious and depressing things to talk about. Of course, the problem is that when they happen, they make it impossible to talk about anything else.

It’s hard enough for the best analyst to fairly distribute criticism among players and a coaching staff without knowing the plays that are called and understanding how each play fits into an overall game plan. But when something like yesterday’s fourth-quarter fourth-down decision happens, it’s too hard not to connect the dots.

Yesterday the Browns moved into the Ravens red zone five times and came away with five field goals. The Browns came into yesterday’s game with six red zone touchdowns on the season, good for second-worst in the NFL. What could be going on here?

It’s really hard to believe Shurmur when he says that he’d have been lauded for “a gutsy move” had the fourth-down play worked. It’s hard to know what people would have said if the play had worked, because there’s never been another head coach in the NFL who would have risked giving the ball to his opponent in field goal range in such a situation. And to defensively compare the decision to the one to punt on 4th-and-1 at the Colts’ 41-yard-line in the fourth quarter in Indianapolis two weeks ago?

It’s like if Pat was in the Hunger Games and came upon a hot steak dinner, but passed on it because he was worried that it was poisoned or something. He later comes to learn that the steak dinner was fine, and that he should have eaten it. So in response, he finds an electric barbed wire fence and starts chewing on it.

It’s shocking when people do things like that, and it’s hard not to see Weeden’s bad overthrow of Greg Little on the play as a natural reaction to a decision that so aggressively played in the opponent’s favor. However many other ways this sort of thing played out yesterday, or has played out over the course of the season, is something we can only try to infer from the thundering failures like yesterday’s that anyone can understand; as well as things like red zone success rates, postgame “no comments,” and penalties and timeouts burned due to inability to get the right personnel lined up correctly on the field.

Which is where we’re at going into the bye week with a 2-7 record after having missed out on a watershed win over the Ravens that was right there. How many chances at a win like that does a team get in a developmental cycle? If the Holmgren Era is supposed to be over, why half-step? How could an interim head coach possibly be worse?

  • ClevelandFrowns

    Thanks to bupalos for the Pat the Bunny cover.

    • Shadow_play

      Love the “Pat the Bunny” esp. the Author.

      also love your Hunger Games analogy.

      • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

        +1 for the Hunger Games analogy…

        • Beeceeinla

          that cracked me up bigtime

  • Frank

    Nicely written :-) But I’m wondering… an interim coach as in Chilly or Jauron? Or hiring someone who knows they’re the piece of scotch tape (not even duct tape) because a more permanent fix is coming anyway next year?

    • ClevelandFrowns

      Whoever. Whatever.

      • Petefranklin

        Big picture Frownie…Draft position.

    • Butzmark

      There’s no one on the staff now that can be seen as anything more than a guy to finish off the season, so firing Shurmer now would be more punitive than positive. If there’s an unemployed coach out there that management thinks is a long term answer though..there is a guy in town.

      • thebearchoo

        Patty’s sheer ineptitude deserves a punitive decision…I’d take an actual bunny suit as the interim HC at this point.

        “Alright, they’re expecting a pass after that TD so, alright, we’ll run it on 3rd and 11 and pop them where they least expect it, alright?”

      • ClevelandFrowns

        You’re assuming the conclusion here re: punitive v. positive.

      • trashycamaro

        I’m cool with punitive. “If you are a dumbass you don’t get to coach my team”. Works for me.

      • Shadow_play

        Don’t you think that it might be damaging to this young talent to be coached by an obvious lame duck coach with questionable (read: Nonexistent) skills?

        • thebearchoo

          Are you referring to Shurmur or the would-be interim HC?

      • bupalos

        I don’t think it has to be punitive. The reality is that Shurmur hurts our chance to win week in and week out with simple calls a computer can make. There is nothing wrong with simply showing that this is how the organization is going to be run, we are going to do everything we can to win every week.

        Put Chilly down there. Put Jauron down there. NO ONE is as dumb and complacent as this guy.

        • NeedsFoodBadly

          Would you trade KC straight up for Romeo?

          • Petefranklin

            Id trade them Marecic for Hillis.

  • ClevelandFrowns

    I know folks want to hear about how many open receivers Weeden missed downfield. Hopefully we’ll get more from Rod on that this week.

  • thebearchoo

    I’m not going to give up on the guy and he has had some good moments, but at the end of the day I haven’t really seen much from Weeden through nine games that differentiates him from Derek Anderson…the inconsistency is mildly alarming.

    • Bryan

      In the six weeks from Week 2-7, I thought Weeden consistently made progress. He improved areas of weakness and made lots of huge plays that propelled our offense to a full touchdown more per game than last year’s. The SD game was ugly, but it was hard to blame Weeden given the insanity of the conditions.

      This week was different and definitely very bad. He should not play this poorly this far into the season. That said, I think “alarming” is a bit too strong. We are still looking at a rookie who is surrounded by talented, but very inexperienced, pieces on offense and working for arguably the worst HC in the league. This was a clear step backwards, but I don’t think we should forget all of the progress he made from Weeks 2-7.

      Obviously, the remainder of the season will be key. If performances like yesterday’s become the new norm, his future will stall. If he gets back on track, I think we are OK.

      • BernietoCatcherGuy

        I agree…it looks like he just needed to take a break, breathe and get back into the game. Instead he kept pressing. Let’s see if calms back down and just plays the game after the bye.

    • Alexb

      @bear: Thank you he looks just like DA. People forget DA had some monster games for the Browns and we were all in real emotional love with him…..for a minute. Look at throws RG3, Luck and Wilson are making. That’s all you need to see. I wasn’t expecting Weedon to match those guys but what’s alarming is that those guys seem to already understand at least to some extent what NFL defenses are trying to do to them. Weedon doesn’t look like he understands where he can and can’t go given the coverage.

      And what’s even more alarming is that Weedon has ALL FUCKING DAY to throw. RG and Luck don’t have this much time.

      • Petefranklin

        It’s the coaching.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BQTEGZW3BCTX4ZDEN4PVU4GBBM Ed

    Patrikios is such a narsisstic turd. Maybe clevelands foremost hack will end his vigil for Turdmurs job. BTW, said cle hack is now using my emails and editing them into poorly worded non intended ‘hey tony’ questions. Demonstrates his character, or lack thereof. Mr. Haslam, commence termination.
    Mike, Dover

    • ClevelandFrowns

      There’s only so far they can legally go editing those things. How bad is it? And who’s Patrikios?

      • http://www.autismspeaks.org/ PML

        I think it’s Cliff Patrikios. He’s a real butthead.

        • actovegin1armstrong

          PML, you miss-spelled my name.

          • http://www.autismspeaks.org/ PML

            touché

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

    Only Pat Shurmur would need to call a timeout after 2 consecutive false starts to figure out which play he wanted to run.

  • BIKI024

    I’d have to believe Weeds’ 22.2 QBR may have had more to do with the loss than anything. a lot will be made of going for it on 4th and 2, but we had plenty of other chances to punch it in prior that woulda coulda should changed the flow of the game. kicking 4 FGs from inside the 16 yard line is definitely not efficient, even though the drives to put is in that position were pretty solid. just weren’t able to finish, which tends to be typical with a team as young as the Browns, particularly at QB and WR.

    Cowboys -8.5 is my prediction on the line for Game 10..

    • bupalos

      We had 5 chances to go for it deep in the opponents end for points and 1 chance to go for it deep in our end to… extend a drive. Shurmur murders this team.

    • Petefranklin

      +6.5 to open and might get to 8.5.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/353RMCG4SCQSGHPMKN7TMON654 S. A

    I have a confession to make. I was secretly hoping Shurmur could turn this thing around and save his job just so that would guarantee Heckert stays (New coach wants his own guys philosophy). Despite all the prevailing evidence I had also hoped that the two victories were attributable to our staff rather than the ineptitude of the opposing coaches. After yesterday’s debacle that delusion is now over, I’m all for blowing this thing up even if it means we lose Heckert.
    On WKNR last night Will Burge had an excellent quote which I paraphrase : ” one of the roles of the coach is to extend the game to give his team a chance to win. The 4th and one call effectively ended the game for this team”.

    • BernietoCatcherGuy

      I agree. I was hoping we could have some consistency for once.

      • Beeceeinla

        consistency just for consistency’s sake is not necessarily the answer. i remain unconvinced that a WCO and a 4-3 vanilla defense philosophy match up well *in our division*. even the packers with their offense clicking to perfection needed to be able to force the steelers into a couple of INTs with their 3-4 to edge them in the super bowl back in 2011. and with heckert you’ve got a guy who’s used to looking for personnel to fit into a WCO and 4-3 defense, but still has yet to answer for picking up mitchell when he was going to be absolutely NO USE to mangini & ryan (and it turned out, no use to shurmur/jauron either. and recently the eagles have played like $#&@ despite their apparent talent.

        yes, the steelers and ravens are currently looking vulnerable due to aging personnel, but they’ve demonstrated over time that they do manage to reload and i don’t see why they won’t do so again. and at full strength, i don’t see a WCO & 4-3 team beating them consistently. and it’s awfully hard to make the playoffs without a winning record against division opponents.

    • Steve

      The WKNR quote is filled with vagueness and inaccuracies (a WKNR-double-special). It is not Shurmur’s role to “extend” the game, but to win it. Shurmur has to figure out a way to win football games, not delay the inevitable and drag the torture on for as long as anyone will let him. Going for it on fourth and one didn’t end the game, but the playcall and execution sure did. Yeah, the normal thought is to punt and play defense, but our handy-dandy 4th down calculator says to go for it:

      http://wp.advancednflstats.com/4thdncalc1.php

      10% chance you win if you go for it, 6% if you punt. Either way, you’re a long shot, especially when you’re the Browns against the Ravens. And when you’re already 2-6 and playing for the 10th pick in the draft instead of the 1st, you might as well take the Pringles motto “f it, cut ‘em up”.

  • The Cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugs

    How about the failure to “feed the dog” more when Richardson averaged over 4 yards per carry?

    How about the idea of coming out passing instead of running, allowing your opponent (who was second-to-last in time of possession) to hold the ball for over twelve minutes in the first quarter and put you into a fourteen point hold?

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    I swear I saw Childress shaking his head at one point up in the box.

    That is how gifted you are Pat. You made THAT guy shake his head.

  • trashycamaro

    Sadly I couldn’t watch the game. However, I was excited at the half because it seemed like Pat remembered he spent a #3 overall pick on a RB this year and multiple high draft choices on an offensive line/running backs and called running plays that numbered in the high teens (18?) at the half. But then at the end of the game I saw a total of 25 carries for Trent.

    Maybe he is scared of wearing Trent out…but we also have a 2nd round pick moldering on the sideline. Call me crazy but…when you have a big bruising back, seems like you might want to give him the ball on 3rd and 2, 3rd and 1, 4th and 1, 4th and 2, ETC. Lord know I watched Trent run the eff over people enough in EXACTLY those play situations. He knows how to do it – certainly better than Weeds everytime.

  • Beeej

    I love Richardson’s hard-nose running style, but can anyone see him lasting more than a couple of years? Some of the hits he takes instead of stepping out of bounds or going down when he already has 3 guys wrapped around him are just plain crazy.

    Haven’t had a chance to read yesterday’s thread yet, but WTF was with the first down run call when we got the ball at the end of the first half yesterday?

    • bupalos

      How about the 3rd and 11 run right after the recalled TD. WTF was that?

    • Alexb

      @beej: No he’s not gonna last a couple of years. We need to bring in another big heavy lifter and a beast FB. Trent will not last 2 years if he’s gonna get 25 of those kinds of carries a game. We went through this with Hillis, same thing. God i wish we had both of those guys in our backfield.

      • Beeej

        Like I said, I love watching him run because he likes to punish people, but not stepping out of bounds or fighting to stay up when you are obviously going down is just asking for injury and/or a short career.

        • Alexb

          of course we love to see guys like that run, why we liked Hillis so much. And you have to run like that in the AFC North. Thing is we need another guy like him, a Hillis type guy who lowers his pads and hits the gap no matter who’s waiting for him. If we still had Hillis I’d have him doing all the short yardage running. Between those two we’d have healthy RB’s the whole season and pgh/balt would have that smirk wiped off their faces when they see us on the schedule.

          • Beeej

            The problem I have with Hillis, other than being nuttier than squirrel poop, is that he couldn’t protect the ball. But yeah having the two of them to run the ball is a scary thought.

            Also, unrelated, but why didn’t we go right after Ed Reed after that awesome crack back? After being on the receiving end of a couple of those hits back in the day, there is 100% chance he was seeing stars if he could see at all.

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            Regarding throwing to Ed Reed, you ask why didn’t the coaching staff adjust to something that happened on the field?

            Why did Colt get to continue play after a concussion?

            Why did Alex Smith get a handoff?

            Why can’t a coach call a play in the space of time it takes to get two delay of game penalties?

            Questions are a burden to others. The essence of Shumurball is not to question; it is to be (and to battle).

          • Beeej

            “It says right here on my play card. ‘Ed Reed is really really good. STAY AWAY!!!’ As for the other questions you’re going to have to ask Mike. What’s that? He said to ask me? Uhhhh. Lookout behind you!” (running sounds followed by slamming door followed by car engine revving followed by screeching tires)

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Crack back blocks have a strong chance of the blocker getting hurt later in the game.
            You have to find a way to land with your knee in their stomach the next time they are on the ground, or your elbow needs to find its way up under their facemask.

            Crack back blocks SUCK!

      • Believelander

        I still think the Holmgren regime was sniffing glue for not retaining Peyton Hillis. Not because he was some transcendent talent at running back, but because he was obviously a more than passable running back, a well above average pass catcher at running back, and his primary position coming up was fullback.

        The current regime was stupid for not keeping him because Peyton Hillis was a perfect FULLBACK for the West Coast offense. Who cares if you don’t pay a FB 3 mil? It’s not like we’re suffering for cap space. He’s, like, a guy you could put in an I-Formation then move into a second TE spot or slot, wheel out, run drags with, run flats with, block with, or hand off to. Oh, and who is literally built like a brick shithouse and proved time and time again that linebackers and defensive backs were people he ate for breakfast when they WERE trying to tackle him, which makes me wonder what he could do to them running full speed when they WEREN’T trying to tackle him.

        Don’t even get me started on the Vickers thing. But yeah. Peyton Hillis as Browns starting fullback. That could have been sweet.

        • Alexb

          we’ll never know what really happened in that lockerroom. It’s possible after Holmgren blew off the FB position enitirely that Hillis saw that the new guy weren’t serious about the power running game and that’s why he shut it down with the team. I don’t know, he could be a giant dick…but you don’t see any of that coming out of KC. He was more than amiable to go run behind Jamaal Charles. Who now is hurt and Hillis is gonna start getting the carries again. It’s probably a pipe dram but I’d love for them to go after Hillis again this offseason, he ran with Charles so I see no reason why he wouldn’t be amenable to running with Trent. And if we cut Marecic and get a real FB we could have something scary.

          But I don’t see Hillis as a FB. He needs to line up deep so he has that full head of steam when he hits the line. The KC game against SD he got hit in the backfield and dragged a couple people for a couple yd gain….he’s still got it.

  • http://twitter.com/GHClevelandSprt Mike Stein

    The odds of the Browns making that first down and marching down the field to score a tying TD were higher than of the Browns punting, stopping the Ravens, getting the ball back, and marching down the field and scoring the tying TD. In fact, later that evening the Giants punted the ball deeper in their territory with a similar amount of time left and never saw it again. And even later that night, the Cowboys couldn’t stop the Falcons at all in the final five minutes or so.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/353RMCG4SCQSGHPMKN7TMON654 S. A

      The ball was on our 28 yard line if I remember correctly. All the Ravens needed to do was go 3 and out and kick a field goal to make it a two score game which they did. Your odds calculation don’t factor that in which is why it was a terrible call. At least if they punt the ball back they could have gotten it back given our defense’s performance during the game.

      • BIKI024

        again, there are no guarantees that you get it back, per Mike Stein’s examples. it is what it is. it’s not the reason we lost the game. kicking 4 FGs from inside the 16, instead of converting 1 or 2 or heck all of them for TDs would’ve clearly made a difference.

        • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/353RMCG4SCQSGHPMKN7TMON654 S. A

          That’s not the reason we lost, just the icing on the cake of bad coaching decisions and management that plagued us throughout the game.

          • BIKI024

            of course it’s easy to point at that when we lose, but again, not sure how much the delayed plays calls really hurt us in the grand scheme. we still had our chances despite the “mismangement”. Weeds clearly seemed in the Weeds on more than a few occassions, starting with not signaling down to Oogey Boogey to be lined up properly on that Gordon TD that was called back. Heck Baltimore got called for that same penalty on 2 or 3 occassions, but you don’t hear Ravens fans complaining too much since they won the game.

          • bupalos

            This whole line of “X isn’t the whole reason we lost the game” is stupid in the extreme.”

            Bad decisions are bad decisions. You add them up and you lose the game.

    • bupalos

      >>>The odds of the Browns making that first down and marching down the field to score a tying TD were higher than of the Browns punting, stopping the Ravens, getting the ball back, and marching down the field and scoring the tying TD.>>>

      First, you’re just wrong, especially going by the flow of the game. The Ravens went 3 and out on the majority of their 2nd half drives, I want to say the vast majority. Our 3rd and short conversions were terrible. It was a terrible numbers play, made all the worse by the fact that they were already in fairly automatic fieldgoal range when they got it.

      Pat isn’t the only coach who botches these calls, for instance Coughlin blew a big one 4th and inches on the 50 with 1:30 left in the half, and likely paid 6 points for it. The one you’re talking about was a correct call. Just because correct calls don’t work out sometimes and incorrect ones do doesn’t mean they aren’t objectively bad decisions. That’s what AskPat is trying to argue, that the only measure for a decision is how it turns out (with a corollary that the result of every play is determined 100% by player execution). It’s an astonishingly incompetent position to take, and I would say also a cowardly one that sets a horrible example as far as personal responsibility.

      • Beeej

        Bill Belichick did it against the Peyton Manning Colts. The thing is, Belicheck weighed being able to run the clock out with a first down vs. giving the ball to Peyton. He made a dumb decision, but he actually had stats to say it was the best decision to make in that situation.

        Pat’s excuse, “Well you wanted me to go for it last time.” Textbook OAFL.

  • Bryan

    Weeden’s Presser is very interesting. They asked him why he checked down so much in the Red Zone and he said, “Well, Phil is a helluva a kicker. We were running routes that weren’t designed for Cover 2 and they were in Cover 2, so I am going to check it down rather than force it. People can boo, but that is all I can do.”

    Shurmuball: “We were running routes that weren’t designed for Cover 2 and they were in Cover 2.”

    • NeedsFoodBadly

      Right. Shurmur doesn’t let his QBs audible to take advantage of defenses. No wonder the players are upset.

    • Wiseoldredbeard

      Wow — this is pretty meaningful. It also explains the little sideline episode where Weeden appeared to be yelling at Shurmur after a stupid play call. This shit needs to be righted, and fast!

    • Believelander

      This is very interesting. Sounds like Weeden’s a little pissed at his training wheels but doesn’t want to come outright with it.

  • Bryan

    Weeden, in response to a question about whether it made sense to go for it at 4th and 2, said “That’s not my decision. I just call whatever is in my headset.”

    Sounds like Ol’ Weeds doesn’t have much freedom to change things.

    Shurmurball.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      At least Weeden knows how to use his headset.

  • zarathustra

    How troubling is it that the head coach of a professional football team appears unable to differentiate between the two 4th down situations? Forget whether the calls he made were correct or not. He doesn’t see a difference between the two! Holy Moley. Fortunately, these are riddles that poor Pat won’t have to worry about as New Mexico State qb coach next year.

    • bupalos

      I don’t think he see’s a difference between practically any play call at all. His bottom line is that all decisions are good or bad simply by the outcome, and the outcome is completely determined by player execution. There is no responsibility here at all.

  • BIKI024

    the sad thing for Cleveland fans is that November is going to be brutal for the Cavs. starting with this West Coast road trip this week, and looking ahead at the schedule, it’s possible we may not win a game the entire month, 2 wins max.

    • Cranky M

      Crazy talk!

    • actovegin1armstrong

      I will take that bet Biki.
      Set the over under at 2?
      I want the over.

      • BIKI024

        man, i really set the bar low.. they have 13 games left this month (10 on the road), so you would only need to go 3-10.. let’s do it. what’s the action?

        • acto

          How about two cheddar points?
          Shall we ask the Executive Commitee?
          If you lose i get two of your points, if i lose you get two of mine.

          • BIKI024

            ha, very interesting! but no shot, that is not fair to the rest of the entrants

        • acto

          Or tickets to a browns game.

      • BIKI024

        life changing event? don’t worry, don’t believe everything they say about Obama, he’s actually a real swell guy.

        • actovegin1armstrong

          Come on Biki,

          If you have read any of the political banter here you have to know that I am an Obama guy.

          I am not rich enough to be a Republiclown.

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

    This is actually a pretty mild post, Frowns. I thought you were going to come out guns blazing this morning. Everything re: how incompetent Pat Shurmur is has been covered here so I will just add one thing that I found especially hilarious (in the most depressing way ever, of course). When the Browns got the ball back at the end of the first half with about 1:16 remaining, one timeout left and the ball at around their own 35 or 40 and with the momentum on their side after scoring 9 straight points, Shurmur, in the most Shurmur move ever, decided to run a draw. As about 20 seconds ticked off the clock, the stadium went nuts. I was sitting in the upper deck at the stadium, and the entire place showered Shurmur with boos. Suddenly, on the very next play, Shurmur calls a pass out of the shotgun.My buddy and I joked that it was almost like after calling the draw, he heard the entire stadium collective saying “WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING?” and immediately called a pass next time out to appease the angry mob. Of course then the Browns didn’t have enough time to take a shot at the end zone, never ended up using their timeout, and kicked another god damn field goal. And don’t even get me started on Shurmur then running a draw on 3rd and 11 in the second half.

    I haven’t been as harsh on Shurmur as some, but witnessing that atrocity in person yesterday was about it for me. I just don’t understand how someone can be in the NFL for over a decade and still not understand the most basic concepts of football. It is infuriating.

    • BIKI024

      It’s easy to criticize the draw play with the benefit of hindsight 20/20. Even with only a timeout left, 1:10 or whatever was left is an eternity. Just like everyone in the stadium was expecting a pass, that is also what you hope the Ravens were expecting and who knows, Trent could’ve ripped off a nice run there, but he didn’t, so everyone screams bloody hell. We still ended up with a FG though, so all was not lost.

      Shurmur’s a dead man walking, but crying over a run play that has gotten us 10+ yards with TRich many times is just overkill, again, we still got a FG, which

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

        I don’t think any of that is overkill. It doesn’t matter how many yards Richardson got on that draw, whether it was 2 or 20. By the time the Browns ran the next play, almost 30 seconds had run off the clock, which directly led to the Browns not having enough time to take a shot in the end zone. If Shumur wasn’t going to use the timeout, then is no excuse to run the ball there. Sometimes, even when the defense knows you’re going to throw, you still have to throw. And saying “we still got a FG,” like it’s a good thing, on a day when the reason the Browns lost was because ALL they did was kick field goals, is kind of ridiculous. What if instead of wasting 30 seconds on a run that did nothing, the Browns had more time and scored a TD going into the half? Sure would have helped huh? I think it’s “easy to criticize” because it’s another awful decision by an awful head coach.

        • BIKI024

          Not sure if Weeds has earned the trust of the coaches to take shots at the endzone at end of 1st half yet.. get a FG there and despite the horrific start we’re down 14-9 at the half.. throw a pick there and some of the momentum is lost. There were MANY things to criticize, but this wasn’t the worst, we still went into the half with some momentum.

      • Believelander

        No, the draw call(s) was(were) terrible. Get cute when you’re an offense who strikes fear into the hearts of opponents. And actually, I would defy you to tell us what quantifies ‘many’ gains of 10+ yards on draw runs to Trent Richardson.

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    24 teams played an NFL football game yesterday.

    2 of them managed to do pull something off that is really hard to do.

    The Browns handed the ball off to Trent 25 times and not a single other player got a carry. Is Hardesty alive? Is Chris only allowed to catch swing passes on 3rd down? Has Alex Smith learned to receive the handoff yet?

    The Titans also pulled this off by only giving Johnson the ball 16 times. Of course when you are down 28-2 in the first the game plan may change slightly.

    Shurmur is just a complete failure in every way shape and form when it comes to not only calling the plays but managing the roster.

    • NeedsFoodBadly

      That’s one of the things that boggles me the most, the distribution of running plays. Other teams will hand the ball off at least a couple times a game to other backs, but we don’t. Why? We’ve got a lot invested in our running game… why not use it? Every time Obie gets in the game, we know it’s a pass play. What the hell?

      • GrandRapidsRustlers

        Yeah. Chris has 5 carries. This year.

  • bupalos

    >>>It’s like if Pat was in the Hunger Games and came upon a hot steak dinner, but passed on it because he was worried that it was poisoned or something. He later comes to learn that the steak dinner was fine, and that he should have eaten it. So in response, he finds an electric barbed wire fence and starts chewing on it.>>>

    That really is almost perfect. I can even hear the presser after, talking about the poor execution of the poison tester and the guy he thought was going to deactivate the fence.

    • Kamov

      “Look, it’s one of those things where you can’t tell if the fence is electrified just by looking at it… I mean, really, if it hadn’t been electrified and I’d managed to eat it, you’d all be praising me right now! I get that and that’s how it goes sometimes. The point is that I battled that fence as hard as my fanny could work challenging it to battle, and I’m genuine when I say that.”

      -Hungry Games Shurmur

    • actovegin1armstrong

      Good Stuff Bupa.

      Pavlov’s Mentally Challenged Dog named Shurmie.

  • http://www.autismspeaks.org/ PML

    I received a text yesterday from a Chargers fan that said: “Norv is super pissed that all his hard work securing the title of League’s Worst Coach was just stripped away from him in an afternoon by Shurmur”.

    I miss the days when our incompetence was at least buffered by immense likability – O Romeo, how I yearn for your moobs patrolling our sidelines.

  • Wiseoldredbeard

    Right now, somewhere in TN, Haslam is thinking: “Good lord, why did I tell Pat Shurmur he could have the rest of the season?” Right now, somewhere in Berea, Pat Shurmur is thinking: “Wow, this is really something! Why can’t I ever find the light switch in my office?”

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

      You would think that something like finding a light switch wouldn’t affect him. After all, he spends every Sunday in the dark.

  • BigDigg

    One positive way to look at this – this team was yet again reasonably competitive despite being grossly outcoached. Makes me think we might make a leap one of these years if we can find a guy that at least knows how to tie his own shoes. Look what happened to the sad sack 49’s when they hired Harbaugh.

    Like frownie i don’t see much drawback for going straight to an interim coach now. We have two coordinators that have some head coaching experience and it’s clear that we won’t be harming the talent we do have. In fact more than W’s/L’s at this point I’m concerned about losing the team and poisoning the young guys. There’s only so many times Shurmer, err…Lucy…can yank the football away before our reasonably competitive games turn into late December embarrassments.

    • Believelander

      Thinking about Harbaugh pisses me the f*** off because he was hired at the same time as Shurmur.

  • Ess Eh

    Food for thought, Shurmur gives us the best chance to secure #1 pick in the 2013 Draft.

    • Beeej

      Is there a true #1 that we would want this year? I keep thinking of Courtney Brown as I pour another three fingers out of my Tim Couch commemorative bottle of Maker’s Mark.

      • thebearchoo

        It’s kinda destiny, the one year without a true #1 we finally reach out and seize it…next year with Clowney, Marqise Lee et al available we’ll do just good enough to not get one of them per the usual.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        2013 is a terrific draft class
        I would love to see the Browns get any one of these three.
        Star Lotulelei
        Jarvis Jones
        Barkevious Mingo

        • actovegin1armstrong

          There is even more talent that could be had between picks 5 and 15.
          Bjoern Werner
          The Marvelous Manatee
          Luke Joeckel
          Johnathan Hankins
          DeMarcus Milliner

          I would love to see that Knucklehead, The Marvelous Manatee playing for the Browns next year.

        • Believelander

          This is an exciting draft upcoming (and one with a dearth of top-notch quarterback talent) which is why I really wish we’d win a few more games and take the decision out of the new GM’s hands whether to spend a top pick on an overrated crappy top QB prospect because Weeden’s old/not ‘their’ guy, because they’re all off the board. We don’t need to get a top 5 pick to come away with top level talent, and it’d do some good for these young bloods to learn winning.

    • Believelander

      This isn’t a draft I want anything to do with the #1 pick except to trade it for cheddar. Because with the #1 pick and a new GM who didn’t draft Weeden, the pick would put us in danger of overrated terrible QB prospects that always find a way to go REALLY high in drafts.

      • Ess Eh

        completely agree. trade down RG3 style.

        • Alexb

          unless the LB from ND is out there, Teo is it?

      • Alexb

        yep, we’d go after Barkley. Unless Haslem has his wits about him which remains to be seen.

  • nj0

    I made the executive decision at half time to go out drinking with my friends. I do not regret that choice.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    how can i say this.. im ok with losses this season. even ugly ones. i admit to higher complacency/tolerance/resignation. for me, every loss is accompanied by the silver lining found in considering the alternative: the worst of all worlds would be to win these ugly games and for the ‘pro-continuity’ people to gain any high ground and maybe to prevail resulting in a knee-jerk 3rd year contract extension.

    im not going to pick on shurmur today. i want to mention that i KNEW he was going for it on the 4th/2 and be honest, you all knew it too. there was NO WAY he wanted to be asked about a two yard pattern on a 3rd/4 and by god.. mission accomplished. not a lot of talk about that playcall.

    on the plus side, there are several items ive not seen commented on yet:
    1. we seem to have a sneaky effective pulling interior o-linemen. seems like every sweep we run is netting 5-10 yds. why we dont run it more is a separate question. but im happy with the progress in that element of the run game.
    2. on the same theme — we have honest-to-god effective block-downfield WRs. littles has shown a willingness to stick his nose into a CB and hold a block; gordon was showing the same yesterday. this is EXCELLENT.
    3. i dont share the anxiety on weeden. ill grant that ed reed circa 2008 had two additional picks, one to the house. i saw some overthrows too. but it all seems coach-able. i still say he throws a lovely spiral and we have had exactly one QB who was proficient at that in my lifetime and that would be vinny t.

    • etc

      Thanks Jim, that helped. The line does seem to be coming together now. The pass blocking has been really good for a couple weeks, while the sweeps and tosses help establish a run game when holes aren’t open in the middle. Greco seems like a capable replacement for Pinkston, and we still aren’t talking about Schwartz much. All good signs.

      Seven more games. My liver can handle that.

    • actovegin1armstrong

      jk,
      You must be a young pup.
      Otto Graham threw the ball as if it had the wings of angels guiding it to his receivers, well…. That is what my brother-in-law says.
      Mike Phipps threw a beautiful spiral and he could put a lot of zip on the ball. Unfortunately he oftentimes threw the ball to the wrong team.

      Do you remember Derek Anderson? He threw the ball rather well.
      It is far too early to be down on Weeden, but it does take more than a lovely spiral to make a F*&^%$#!^ Quarterback.
      (Please see, Kosar, B Sipe, B)

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

        i agree on the phipps spirals, but it wrecked the narrative. besides, you and titus are the only ones able to call me on that here i believe.

        never saw graham, true. never even saw youtubes of him.

        but ryan, nelsen, sipe all wouldve made billy kilmer look fundamentally sound.

        • actovegin1armstrong

          I am friends with the guy who started Rackspace, (Graham), Server Beach, et cetera.
          If it is the Sales Guy I am thinking of, I trained him way back in 1999.
          Tell that chump to call acto, I have a very large old school collocation deal for him.

          (NOT MANAGED SERVICES.)

      • Believelander

        Correction, Acto: Derek Anderson throws the ball far, not well. He has absolutely no finesse or touch, nor a particularly photogenic spiral. He could deliver a ball 50 yards on a rope but not with any exceptional accuracy, and he showed an inability to actually take something off his pass. Weeden is a completely different passing animal than Derek Anderson, because he is a better pure passer than Anderson ever was or will be, because of his clean spiral and ability to throw the ball correctly, not just hard and far.

        The problem is, with any rookie QB you’re gambling on them being able to learn all of the mental side of the game that’s even more important, and Weeden’s got a truncated time table to do so. The physical passing? He’s fine. But he’s got to wrap his head around the game, and that’s what determines whether almost any QB will be a boom or bust. Unfortunately, Weeden’s got like, uh, no time to do it and he has to learn while doing.

    • Believelander

      Kanicki, I like your look at our wide receiver blocking. Gordon and Little have shown a willingness to more than stick their nose in – I’ve watched them crush some of these tiny guys they’re sent to block like tin cans (not even including Gordon obliterating Ed Reed’s face). That particular one was kind of dirty and actually illegal as of this year, but I’ve literally seen Little just sumoing guys flat on a few run plays. This is awesome.

    • Alexb

      @kanicki: He wasn’t throwing a spiral sunday. I thought it must be the gusts but Flacco was throwing ropes going both ways so I really don’t know what to say. Weedons balls were not flying right sunday.

  • Bandit

    The real problem with ShurmerLogic is that he is always correct; at least in his mind according to his statements. That is assuming of course that he actually thinks before he speaks. I mean how could you ever be wrong and yet be 2-7. The Shurmer Uncertainty Principle perhaps?

  • jpftribe

    I live in Asia now, so I was expecting to wake up today and find Shurmur canned. Disappointing morning…..

    Weeden is getting better, question is whether he will get good enough. In the SD game, he had Richardson open in the flat all day long, he never even got to him in his reads. This week he found him a number of times, albeit late.

    Gannon was obviously focused on Weeden’s reads this week during the game. He also called the SD game, so he sat through at least two weeks of watching him on game film. No accident he was all over him for missed/late reads in the Baltimore game.

    Who is the QB coach and has he ever played a down in his life?

    Who is coaching Shurmur? Seriously. This guy is a second year HC with no previous HC experience and only one year as an OC. There’s no doubt Holmgren was supposed to play that role, and obviously didn’t, or didn’t do it very well. With Holmgren gone, who critiques this guy? Who is coaching him on managing the media? No many of us are self aware of our weaknesses and without knowing you have zero chance of addressing them. IF that is the role Chilly and Jauron are supposed to play, that is a totally dysfunctional setup.

    If they are going to keep this guy for the rest of the season and this is not addressed, we will watch the death spiral down. That is not good for this young team.

  • ClevelandFrowns

    Glad to take points with the Eagles (+3) over the Saints tonight. Philly hasn’t had a chance to play against a truly horrendous defense all season. Yes, I’m giving the Browns some credit here, but still, since Week 1 (when Vick was adjusting to game speed anyway having not played the pre-season), the Eagles have played the Ravens, Giants, Cardinals, Steelers, and Lions. None of those defenses is on the level of horrendousness of these Saints. Eagles can stay right in the NFC East race with a win here and should come in ready to tee off on the turf. The distraction over Payton’s contract can’t help New Orleans either.

    • Petefranklin

      Throw in the over 52 for me.

  • Philhernon

    Knowing where the first down markers are………….taking bad angles on tackles……..forcing throws……cracking under pressure…….I do not see enough film work/preparedness on the defense…..I think we are a few plays away each game but unfortunately these 2-3 plays are always the difference. Until we truly practice harder and smarter, it will not happen very soon. We need a task master as a coach…..a hard ass…..tough guy, Ditka type.

Previous post:

Next post: