X’s and O’s with the Bros: On a bad day for Brandon Weeden v. Baltimore

by Cleveland Frowns on November 7, 2012

Welcome to the latest edition of X’s and O’s with the Bros by X’s and O’s editor @rodofdisaster. This feature represents a basic attempt to look deeper into the game of football, learn something about the X’s and O’s that make it go, and better appreciate the games within the game. It’s called “X’s and O’s with the Bros: because you don’t have to be a player, coach, or rocket surgeon to get something out of taking a closer look at a football play, so please enjoy the post and the discussion in the comments.

This week Rod focuses on a number of problems with Brandon Weeden’s play last Sunday in a loss to the Ravens.

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Suffice to say at the season’s half-way point that fans of the Colts, Redskins, Seahawks, Dolphins or Browns expect their respective rookie signal-callers to be better today than nine weeks ago, whether or not it’s become obvious that their team will be set at quarterback for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately for Browns fans, they have more to worry about than any of the rest of these groups on this front, especially after last Sunday. Brandon Weeden has impressed at times this season, but in a winnable game against the Ravens there were a number of plays that show that there’s still a lot of work to be done if #3 is ever going to lead the Browns to the top of the NFL.

Play#1
1st Quarter, 15:00
1st and 10

Here we see the first play from scrimmage. This was man-free coverage and Weeden chooses Little on the “Fade” or 9-route. While somewhat predictable, I understand Shurmur trying to come out aggressively on this one. But there are three problems with Weeden’s choice here:

1) Williams has good coverage on Little.
2) Other than a brief look to the check-down, Weeden is completely locked in on Little.
3) Notice Watson is past his defender down the seam and Gordon has one-on-one at the bottom of the screen. While he might have considered Watson and we just can’t tell, he never even looks in Gordon’s direction here.

While the option of Watson or Gordon might be debatable, the fact that he’s seemed to lock on to Little is probably not.

Play #2
1st Quarter, 8:28
1st and 10

In this play against what initially looks like Cover-4 but is actually Cover-3 zone, we see Weeden systematically read: the TE crossing, the WR comeback and then the dumpoff to the RB on the right. I’m not going to suggest that there’s anything wrong with the progression here but again, he’s reading only half of the field making it easy for safeties to cheat. And look at the WR at the top of your screen (Gordon), open on a post. You might recall that this is the play that Kruger tried to jump for a pick six after Weeden held the ball for an eternity. He held it for 3.5 seconds, which is simply far too long.

Play #3
2nd Quarter, 14:03
1st & 10

On this play, Weeden held the ball in the pocket for 4.8 seconds before scrambling. His eyes were downfield the whole time. There was an illegal formation penalty here but that doesn’t explain the failure see the tight end (circled) running into wide open space downfield. Weeden certainly wasn’t under any pressure when the receiver broke open.

Play #4
2nd Quarter, 10:12
2nd & 9 (from Baltimore 16)

Here we see a play where Weeden couldn’t pull the trigger to Gordon on the shallow cross. He holds the ball for 3.7 seconds before settling on the back to the left flat and throwing an uncatchable, incomplete pass. Notice that Cameron has position on his defender down inside the 10? Weeden never looked at him. That’s pretty clear on the All-22.

Play #5
2nd Quarter, 0:24 left
1st & 10, Baltimore 41

Here we see the Browns at the end of the half throwing a six yard “whip route” to Little for a first down, but notice the three receivers breaking open at the next level. Watson is open down the middle. The defense is covering quarter-quarter-half deep. Gordon comes open on a corner route at the bottom that goes for a TD if Weeden hits him, but the quarterback never looks at anyone but Little. This play ended with 17 seconds remaining. Even a slightly longer play down inside the five would allow you roughly 12 seconds if you use your time out. A quick pass to the end zone and you’ve either got a TD or a stopped clock for a chip shot field goal.

Play #6
3rd Quarter, 13:21
2nd & 3

Most of you will recognize this throw as the one that was nearly intercepted intended for Cameron. It immediately precedes the one that WAS intercepted intended for Cameron. It’s hard to see on the game film but on this throw, a few things happen:

1) First, this is just a horrible throw. Weeden’s upper body comes through the throwing motion faster than his lower body, and he steps with his foot to the left of his target line. The upper body falls away to his left while he’s trying to drive the ball to the right. He loses a little bit of zip and the ball drops like an off-speed pitch.

2) He stares at Cameron the whole way. Ed Reed comes from the opposite half of the field (totally ignoring another Browns receiver in the process) to make a play on this particular route based on Weeden’s eyes.

Almost a disaster. 100% on Weeden. I don’t know that Alex Smith (to the right of Cameron) would have been any more open than Cameron himself but he was pretty demonstrative after the play.

Play #7
3rd Quarter, 6:05
1st & 10

Here we see yet another zone coverage by the Ravens. It’s quarter-quarter-half again. Weeden never looks deep. Instead he goes from a covered Cameron right to a dump off to TRich that falls incomplete on a penalty against the Ravens. With the weak safety rotating over to Gordon (bottom of the photo), Watson is wide open and in the clear.

Play #8
3rd Quarter: 4:43
3rd and 4; Browns threatening the red zone

Here Weeden is under pressure and flushed from the pocket, but at this point he has time and space to set and throw, probably most effectively to Little breaking open in the deep middle (though it would have helped if the receiver would have adjusted his route straight upfield here. There’s also Watson is crossing, and Gordon at the bottom of the screen with a step on his man who would have had no help on a deep throw toward the sideline. Weeden ends up tucking and running here instead.

Play #9
3rd Quarter; 3:30
2nd & 9 (red zone)

This play resulted in a minimal gain to Alex Smith on the sideline. There’s not much else here other than Cribbs with position on his man to the corner, but at this point it was already too late to make this throw. What’s remarkable about this play is that Weeden has held on to the ball so long that the receivers have run their routes to completion. Not the worst result but clearly indecisive.

Play #10
4th Quarter; 4:26
1st & 10

Here Weeden looks only to the right flat and throws a 6-yard pass to Massaquoi with Little breaking wide open into the deep middle.

DISCUSSION

As much I admire Andrew Luck for his ability as a rookie to see the field, manipulate defenders, and deliver the football, I understand that Brandon Weeden doesn’t have to be Andrew Luck. But he has to be a lot better than this.

When Mike Holmgren came on board, he was lauded as a “Quarterback Guru.” He worked with Montana, Young, Favre and Hasselbeck, but he also worked with Brock Huard, Josh Booty and Jeff Kelly. Pat Shurmur was touted for his work with Sam Bradford (inasmuch as it all took place in one season), and Brad Childress is credited with developing Donovan McNabb. Yet, with this overflowing bounty of quarterback expertise, the Browns head into the bye at 2-7 and with a quarterback who actually looks less comfortable than when he started. Is Brandon Weeden in danger of becoming the next Trent Edwards, aka “Captain Checkdown”? It’s hard to question the rookie quarterback’s desire to bring the Browns back to relevance, but at this point of the season he’s showing an alarming lack of consistency in his ability to see the field, deliver the ball on time, and keep consistent mechanics, especially given the excellent pass protection he’s been getting.

While I still want to see Weeden taking the snaps for the Browns, I would like to see more evidence of learning and coaching to validate the continued suffering of the fans. While the rookie has had some very poor outings this year, including, of course, last Sunday, the totality of 2-7 can’t be put on his shoulders given the lack of a consistent running game and woeful game management. We also have to wonder how much better things would be if the coaching staff would give Weeden more freedom to audible.

The Browns head into the bye week with a new boss in town and evaluation criteria now in the hands of a new owner and a new CEO. What makes this a lot different than 2009 is that this roster has had four seasons of consistent improvement since then.  It’s clear that a lot of these guys can play. Hopefully it was an anomaly, but last Sunday leaves me feeling as pessimistic as I’ve been since Week 1 about Brandon Weeden being one of them.

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The complete “Xs and Os with the Bros” archive is available here.

  • Beeej

    I keep thinking that he is not being prepped correctly. I know this is a bash Shumur site, but a lot of these plays/throws remind me of McCoy’s play last year. It is like they are being trained to go for the “safe” throw over the big play. In youth baseball our coach always drilled into us that, “You play like you practice.” It looks like Weeden is practicing entirely too many outlet passes.

    • bupalos

      I don’t know if it’s so much him being safe so much as simply guessing ahead of time. It looks to me like he picks one receiver before the play, and either throws that ball or checks it down. I’m surprised Rod didn’t show the int to end the game too, I’m pretty sure that was a wide open TD, but he held it an extra 2(!) seconds and badly underthrew it.

      My base suspicion is the same as it was. I’m afraid the guy can’t think on his feet under pressure. I think he’s doing this short-read thing because he’s scared of pressure that he’s not even getting.

      • Beeej

        From my experience in sports and life in general, the more prepared you are the faster you are able to react when things don’t go exactly as planned. If he steps up to the line and can say, “I recognize that the defense is trying to do here, therefore I should…” I thought that was his whole offense in college. Read defense then pick from the 2-3 plays that were called in the huddle to best take advantage of what the D was giving up.

        The articles I read about Weeds in college also said that he taught his new coach (o-coordinator?) the system so he doesn’t seem like the type of guy who isn’t studying/watching film/trying to get himself ready. I just really wonder about the tools the coaches are providing him to prepare with. You don’t use a cannon to kill a mosquito. Unfortunately, I feel like Shumur is giving him a fly-swatter to kill an NFL defense.

        • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

          Taught the coordinator is an over-statement. He asked Gundy to let him have some input in the choice of coordinator.

          Several people close to the team have said he doesn’t know the play book yet, and remember after the 2nd or 3rd game he said he was going to have to START watching more film..

      • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

        I think you’re absolutely right.

      • rodofdisaster

        Benjamin was wide open down the sideline

    • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

      A lot of times McCoy was being buried under D-linemen before he got 2 steps away from the center. That’s a lot different from having more than enough time to see the whole field and make a decision.

      • Believelander

        Eh…no offense but Colt McCoy wasn’t hit or sacked an inordinately high amount compared to league wide. He was sacked a bit more than average, but actually got hit and sacked less per dropback than a lot of very successful QBs. The pass protection wasn’t that good, but it wasn’t all that awful.

        For instructive video on awful QB protection, just watch a Cardinals or Eagles game. Michael Vick got sacked 7 times Monday night and got took harder -legal- hits than any QB I’ve seen in the last few years of overzealous QB protection, because blitzers were coming free and able to take clean licks at him before he could actually set his feet.

        • rodofdisaster

          Last year’s Browns weren’t quite in Eagles or Cardinals territory but McCoy was not just shoestring tackled for sacks. I was at the Texans game and between the four of us in our party…we all agreed that we’d never seen a beating like the one McCoy took at the hands of the Texans. No questioning the kid’s toughness after that.

          • Believelander

            Love having Colt McCoy on our team. He’s the kind of backup you want – intelligent, team player, adept at running an offense. Oh and brick shithouse tough. Dude’s a gamer. If there was a way for him to make up his lack of physical talent compared to other NFL QBs, he’d be a great QB, in my opinion. But….

          • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

            You think McCoy can’t play? Look at 3rd down conversions. this year we rank 27th in the league. Last year with a crippled offensive line, injured running backs, and the same horrible coaching, the 2011 Browns ranked 12th in the league.

            And rethink that “lack of talent” concept. McCoy completed more long passes (20 yards or more) in his first 8 games than Weeden has, 14 for McCoy and 11 for Weeden. Mccoy’s yards per attempt in his rookie season was 7.1 yards compared to Weeden’s 6.2 and in yards per completion McCoy averaged 11.7 yards to Weeden’s 11.3.

            Weeden throws a pretty pass, and the coaches worked with him all summer to improve his arm strength, so he looks good until he feels pressure and then he makes too many bad plays.

        • bupalos

          No comparison to the time to throw this year vs last. I don’t want to see McCoy back really at all, ever, but there is simply no comparison. Weeden is getting ALLLLL DAYYYY and then some. Overall this is some of the best pass protection in the league. And at least in the last game, guys were open.

          • Believelander

            Oh, I didn’t say McCoy didn’t have less time – he had quite a bit less – but the story line (which is all that it is) that he was constantly getting crushed every game every week is tiresome and inaccurate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1546786514 Chris Parker

    I don’t think he “thinks” fast enough at this level. In college guys were o – p – e- n. I don’t know if he can adjust at this level. I can’t believe the Browns neglected to get their QB a legitimate binky-type WR each of the last two years. For that reason ALONE the current leadership should be shitcanned.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      As much as there’s a Cavs joke to be made here, I see your point.

    • Believelander

      Of course, that same statement can be made about nearly every quarterback drafted since forever, so.

      The main issue is whether he can learn fast enough, considering his 6 year disadvantage over most.

      • bupalos

        There’s some saying about dogs and tricks that wants to be heard here.

        • Defenestration

          Oooh, oooh. I know it! Trick a dog once, shame on the liberal media. Trick a dog twice, don’t get tricked again!

  • ClevelandFrowns

    PS I could have Bleacher Report’ed the living daylights out of the title to this post. I hope everyone appreciates my restraint here.

    Thank you.

    • bupalos

      Cleveland Frowns is nothing if not the home of restraint.

      Well, this time anyway.

      • Believelander

        I would go so far as to say any time, except when talking about Cleveland sports. Or LeBron.

  • Wiseoldredbeard

    Rod — do we have any idea whether Weeden is being encouraged to throw (or not throw) to a certain receiver in the checkdown? I really don’t know how much freedom NFL QBs have to throw to anyone in the progression that is open… Do you have any thoughts?

    • rodofdisaster

      I think that young QBs are generally on a shorter leash and have to earn their way off of it. I can’t say that I know one way or the other what Shurmur’s marching orders are in that regard.

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    Great stuff as always.

    The one thing that just seems to jump out at me after watching Colt and Brandon the last 2 years is that they just look handcuffed and gun shy.

    Change a play. Throw a pick. Who gives a shit.

    Peyton Manning fired 28 passes to the wrong team his rookie year. Life went on.

    I may be wrong on Colt but seeing him a bunch as a Colorado fan in college I always saw him as a mobile gunslinger. He took chances and he moved around.

    Brandon was in a high speed spread offense but he forced the ball down the field a lot and took chances.

    They show up here and we have Shurmur so far into the head of Colt Mccoy that on family night he checked down to a RB WHEN THERE WAS NO DEFENSE ON THE FIELD.

    My final comment is a plea to the networks: When talking about Pat Shurmur can we please stop talking about how he groomed Sam Bradford. Bradford? Really?

    • http://www.facebook.com/anne.dunn.144 Anne Dunn

      Yeah, enough of that stuff. Shurmur nearly ruined Bradford. But I’m convinced Shurmur gives the broadcasters talking points and slips them a few bills. I think the guys this week refused the money.

      • nj0

        I’ve watched a lot of terrible Browns games with terrible QBs being commented on by terrible commentators and I can’t ever remember one being as openly critical of a QB as Gannon was to Weeden. Most of the CBS crew just spouts vanilla observations (Wisdom of Solomon!) so it was weird to here someone go after a player.

        • rodofdisaster

          True. He went absolutely nuts on that completion to Gordon on the busted coverage. He went on about the bad throw and giving Gordon a chance to make something happen.

          • bupalos

            It’s hard to argue. That was garbage. He missed wide open scores at least 2 and really more like 4 times.

      • rodofdisaster

        I’ve always said Bradford did more for Shurmur than vica versa.

    • bupalos

      That’s why we need to move off this assclown who thinks he’s trying to save his job (boat sailed 3+ weeks ago, Patsy!) There is no way he’s going to risk his already burnt future by trusting a rookie QB. Which means said rookie QB is set back.

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    Week 11 Cheddar Bay Essay

    Sometimes people in Vegas get blinded by past performance. This is understandable because numbers are important and you are trying to find trends. When looking at Bowling Green this year a few things pop out to me.

    - They have covered their last 5 games.

    - In those 5 games they have allowed only 33 points.

    - Those 5 opponents however were Rhode Island, Akron, Miami OH, UMass, and Eastern Michigan. None of these programs will be confused with Oregon or anyone who plays my Buffaloes.

    - They have played 3 above or average teams this year. Florida, Toledo, and Virginia Tech. All of them were double digit losses.

    - They also had one other game this year that just happened to be against one of my whipping boys this year. Idaho. Who they managed to squeak by at home 21-13.

    Ohio is a legit football team. A night game in Athens with a national audience and they only have to give a FG? I’ll take it because the more you look at Bowling Green the more the numbers just do not add up.

    Ohio (-3) over Bowling Green

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

    Great analysis as usual Rod. In Weeden’s post game remarks he mentioned Baltimore was running a cover 2 defense but the Brown’s routes weren’t planned to counter this hence he was gun shy. Is this true and if so is it a legitimate excuse for his performance? Or was he so terrified of Ed Reed that he resorted to whatever option was closest to him? Also did you identify any coaching adjustments in the game to counter Baltimore’s D?

    • rodofdisaster

      I didn’t chart the defenses but there was a ton of zone coverage. I’m not buying his excuse. Planned or not, there were guys coming open. He might have gotten shocked by not seeing what he expected but on at least a few of those, there were options.

      As for adjustments, I don’t consider myself very good at divining those but one thing that jumped out at me in the second half was a little more use of bunch or unbalanced formations. That’s just a gestalt, I didn’t tally those.

      • rodofdisaster

        OK…charted defenses. Let me post a new comment…

  • humboldt

    Thank you for taking the time to compose this Rod, and nice touch with the Gifs.

    Since you watched the All-22 film, was curious about what you thought of Weeden’s comment that the Ravens played more cover-2 than anticipated, and the play calls were largely calling for routes that aren’t effective against that alignment.

    Obviously, Weeden is not seeing the field well, not feeling in rhythm, checking down too soon. But it could also be a case of not being put in a position to confidently throw downfield because of ill-conceived play calls.

    Curious in your interpretation.

    • rodofdisaster

      See above.

      As much as I bash Shurmur, this post does show guys open against what coverages the Browns saw…not what they expected to see. Weeden is making excuses. Yes, there are effective ways to challenge each defense and guys were not always open but nine of the above show an open player. He just didn’t necessarily find them.

      That sounds like a horrible indictment but any defense is beatable if you know where to go. The Ravens are good at disguising and reacting but in the balance they ran mostly 3 defenses.

  • Bryan

    Agree with all of this analysis. I am confused, though, why you didn’t do any such analysis after the many games in which Weeden was very productive. This week was very bad, but the overall trend in the 6 weeks from 2-7 was very good. Sometimes players just have bad weeks. If this continues looking this bad after the bye week, then maybe we can all start to worry.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      It should be pretty clear that Weeden has never had a game where there’s been anything close to as much good to point out as there is bad to point out here. Though there were positive remarks on his performance in the X’s and O’s post on the second Bengals game.

      • Bryan

        Well, in Week 7 Andrew Luck’s performance was deemed impressive enough to warrant a full breakdown of his positives. In that same week, Weeden had very comparable production by any measure (QBR slightly lower, Rating higher, fewer turnovers, more accurate, etc.) with clearly inferior WRs. One major difference is that Luck’s success was driven by his cerebral nature while Weeden’s was driven by more pure throwing talent. But there are multiple ways to skin a cat, so it strikes me as subjective to rave about Luck’s success and not mention Weeden’s.

        • ClevelandFrowns

          I know you really want to believe that, but that doesn’t make it remotely true. Rod’s post on Luck speaks for itself, and Luck’s performance would have been much more statistically impressive than it was if not for inaccuracy and key drops. Yet even still, if the quarterbacks had switched places that day the Browns would have won by 30. I’m also not sure how twilight Reggie Wayne and a bunch of junk qualifies as “clearly inferior” to the Browns’ receiving and RB corps, but the Browns had a massive advantage in the trenches on both sides that day, especially with Robert Mathis out and Dwight Freeney hobbled for Indy. Anyway, if we’re really missing something about how great Weeden is, there’s nothing stopping you from pulling some pictures together and writing it up. I’d even run it here if you could pull it off.

          • Bryan

            I think you are simplifying my nuanced point. Clearly Luck is a better prospect than Weeden. And clearly Weeden has a lot to learn. The claim here is that Weeden has had much more good than bad throughout the season, including a 6-week stretch of growth that culminated with even you acknowledging the guy has upside.

            Despite these facts, the first breakdown of Weeden’s performance here is after the one game in which everyone knows he was terrible. This seems unrepresentative and overly negative, IMO.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            Yeah, no. It’s been acknowledged that Weeden has elite arm talent. The questions are about what he makes with it. Again, Weeden has never had a game where there’s been anything close to as much good to point out as there is bad to point out with respect to the Ravens game.

            If you want to prove otherwise with anything but vague generalities about “a 6 week stretch of growth,” the tools are available for you to do that.

          • bupalos

            First, have to agree with frowns on the relative receiver talent. You can argue reputation or whatever all day, but the bottom line is watching the two teams the Browns are the one with guys breaking open more. I feel like Rod is slightly soft-peddling the Ravens game. There was stuff all over the field all day. I saw all-22 and almost every play you can scream “pull the trigger!” He was holding the ball because there was a safety 20 yards over the top on some. He wasn’t reading anything and was scarred like a rabit. I’m not one to be overly negative and I was almost pulled across the line on this guy, but I’m at a loss to explain the latest performance.

            Still early. Still early….

          • Bryan

            100% agree on the last performance. I was incensed. He cost us the game. No questions.

            The question is whether it will derail the growth he made through week 7. Growth that caused Frownie to proclaim:

            “At this point it’s clear that Weeden has an elite NFL arm, and not just on the deep ball. Under pressure, he can close his eyes, step off his back foot and deliver a perfect strike on any given throw. That’s what he did on the 4th-quarter pass that Gordon dropped yesterday for what would have been a game changing touchdown (more on that below), and while the Little touchdown required the receiver to make an excellent play, it was thrown under pressure to a place where only Little could get it.”

    • rodofdisaster

      Bryan, I won’t get into the nuance below ;-)

      There are positive comments in these posts about Brandon Weeden. There is a whole post about the TD to Little against the Bengals. There are positive comments in the Luck post. Last week’s post was addressing a major trend that happened to fall on Weeden and, to be honest, I was asked my opinion on that and Andrew Luck. The fact is, I could write a post about many aspects of this team every week. I wish there was more positive to write about.

      I had several people independently comment to me about how badly Weeden performed this week and it really was the story of the game in my mind.

      I didn’t say anywhere in the above that Brandon Weeden can’t come out next game and throw for 350 yards and 5 TDs. To my eye, this week was a regression; Coupled with last week, that’s a trend and it is concerning. Perhaps the point is moot but for all we hear about Pat Shurmur’s ability to groom young quarterbacks or his offensive prowess, what have we really seen from McCoy or Weeden to make us think they are any better at being quarterbacks than before they met Pat?

      After the game, Weeden showed he’s getting obviously frustrated. You can take that several ways but I am starting to wonder if he feels like Shurmur is setting him up to fail. This is from Jeff Schudel:

      “On his way to his locker before meeting with reporters, however, he was heard to mutter: “Can’t even get the play call.””

      Weeden declined comment when asked “What went wrong”. That sounds like someone who is trying to avoid throwing people under the bus.

      • Bryan

        Thanks Rod. These are all fair points, and I am glad to be reminded that you do see some positives with ol Weeds. And there is no debate that last week was really really bad, especially given the point of the season.

  • Cranky M

    I don’t see how he could have possibly gotten the ball to Watson on that first play. There is another defender right there. He broke towards Little because the ball was going that way. Had the ball gone to Watson, he would have been in perfect position to at least break it up, if not intercept it.

    • Cranky M

      Then again, my internet sucks and the gif is moving very choppily for me. So mayhaps i’m missing something….

    • rodofdisaster

      Cranky, that defender (Pollard) has his back to Watson before Weeden even cocks his arm to throw. Watson has wide open space in front of him.

  • rodofdisaster

    By request, I went back and charted the defenses the Browns faced. I used every snap including penalties as long as some sort of look was shown. One caveat is that the Ravens are EXCEPTIONAL at disguising coverage and Ed Reed has such quick recognition and reaction that sometimes the structure breaks down for the tackle.

    Cover-2 zone: 8 times
    Cover -3 zone: 15 times
    Cover-4 zone: 14 times
    1-man (man-free): 23 times
    “Quarter-quarter-half”: 3 times
    Tampa-2 zone: 2 times
    2-man: 3 times

    0-man: 2 times, once on the Gordon TD that was nullified.

    The only take-away I can realistically get from the numbers is that in the second half, the Ravens played a little more 2 and 3-zone and a little less man-free coverage. This was paired with somewhat less blitzing in the second half although I didn’t count the blitzes.

  • BIKI024

    i think we can do a similar breakdown of all the misses Eli Manning had this past Sunday too. of course he has 2 SB rings and plenty of clutch games on his resume to serve as body armour from the rabid Giant fans, but I wouldn’t be so quick to judge this rough day for Weeds as a “regression”, maybe it was just a bad day at the office. he did make a lot of very good throws as well, but of course his terrible, i mean terrible misreads in the examples above obviously is damning evidence that he had the worst day ever. if he has 2 or 3 bad days like this in a row, then we have a real problem. but to me it just seems like a day where he got scurred a few times out there, and hopefully with experience he will minimize. but again, even legendary SB winning QBs have ugly days where they are in the Weeds.

    • rodofdisaster

      Biki,

      I do believe Weeden can be the guy but the previous performance was 11 of 27 (40%). It’s not just one bad game.

      • BIKI024

        yeah well not sure if the SD game was great for either QB, even 5 time probowlers.. but prior to that he had a nice stretch there. it just seems to me that patience should be the key theme with Weeds, he’s still a rookie, with 1st and 2nd year receivers. we’ve all heard how long it takes for rookies to get the WCO, hence the reason it’s so “simple” this season. but sure, it would be nice to see him have a few big games this year, or as Frownie puts it, more good than bad, although I think we can all agree he had a very good game against the Bengals the 2nd time around.

        next week against Dallas will be a nice challenge for him to see if he has the ability to clean up some of the mistakes. i’m sure Rob Ryan will be extra motivated to make the Browns look like Clowns so it should be a good test for the kid.

        but dissirregardless, it just seems too premature to write the book on the kid, even if the season ended tomorrow, i don’t think it’s worth taking a risk and invest another high first round pick on a QB, especially ones with as many question marks as Barkely and Smith..

  • BIKI024

    i guess someone called in WKNR earlier today and said that Tressel and Haslam had dinner together at some nice restaurant near Salem, OH. It could just be that Haslam has always been a fan and with Tress living in the area that they decided to have dinner, but who knows, maybe it was to see if JT had any interest to be HC or serve in some capacity for him with the Browns..

    • Believelander

      I’ll take my WKNR with just a grain of salt, but I really couldn’t see a problem with Jim Tressel as a Browns coordinator or coach, but I’m not sure how well he’d do as a head coach. Maybe he’d be fine, but I’m more leaning towards not. He HAS won everywhere he’s gone, but so have a lot of college coaches who flopped in the NFL harder than Joakim Noah when a 6′ point guard drives the lane on him.

      Plus I’m mostly interested in a head coach where age isn’t going to become an issue any time soon if he -is- successful.

  • Alexb

    let’s be clear here, no browns QB since we got the team back has had this much time to throw the football. It simply hasn’t happened, ever!!! If i had an inkling we could protect the qb this good I would have been all for making a play on Manning during the offseason. It’s simply ridiculous that weedon is only seeing half the field. You have to feel just a little sorry for McCoy since he’s where he is right now pretty much because he had to make every throw on a dead all out sprint for his life.

    • Believelander

      Haha Colt fandom + hyperbole for the win!

      • bupalos

        The thing about the QB time isn’t hyperbole.

        I’m not sure Bernie got this much time to throw. And Bernie got a lot of time to throw.

        Not that I want to see colt, but true is true.

        • BIKI024

          i’m obviously a glass half full kind of guy, so i’m in the camp that feels that these are fixable things, especially because he made a lot of great throws as well. why he chokes up in the redzone or missed some other looks, who knows, but it’s not like he’s lost on each and every play. he deserves a full 16 game season to evaluate his body of work.. most of the pro bowl QBs today had their nightmare days their rookie year and plenty of them, heck a lot of em have nightmare games even with a ring or 2 and pro bowl trips on their resume. it is what it is, let’s let the process play out and then evaluate.

        • Believelander

          Derek Anderson in 2007 was blessed with the best pass protection a Browns quarterback has had in a very long time. He was sacked less than one time per start. In 15 starts, he was sacked the same number of times as Brandon Weeden has been sacked this season through week 9. Weeden’s protection has been good, certainly, but it’s not as good as everyone makes it out to be. There are inherent problems with our offensive line play right now. People want to paint it as Brandon Weeden has infinity time to throw the ball and is too stone stupid to play quarterback, and this is not only hyperbole but increasingly aggravating. (not from you)

      • AlexB

        i’m not a huge Colt fan, i think his arm is too underpowered to really stretch NFL defenses. I’m just saying that Colt was having to throw while running his best 40 times. Weedon has eternity to throw, which i’m really glad about because we have never protected our qb this well. Who knows how Couch would have turned out if he had this kind of protection. Remember the last time we beat the Ravens and Steelers, like in the same year? Pretty sure that guy was throwing for us the last time that happened and i’m not insinuating he was a world beating talent. But if he had this much time to throw, i think we would have gone more times to the playoffs.

        • Believelander

          There are always multiple angles to see everything. A football field is the culmination of dozens of people acting at once. You mention Colt’s inability to stretch the field – the result is allowing teams to check out of Cover 2s and Cover 3s defensively, play Cover 1 systems and send extra blitzers. While the offensive line play has gotten better this season, the physical differences between Colt, and Weeden who has already burned defenses deep for not respecting his arm and receivers a number of times, probably also play a role in reduced pressure.

          It is definitely good that our line is nearly getting back to the level they were at in 2007. But the line play still has a ways to go. As does Weeden. Can’t say he’s the guy, he’s not the guy. Just can’t wait to see whether he can be the guy. What I can say for sure is that he’s got all the tools in the toolbox, he just needs to prove he can use them.

          And re: Couch, I think Tim Couchbear would have been an exceptional to fringe-elite quarterback if he had been drafted by an excellent, stable franchise and surrounded with talent and given time to learn. He did admirably well with exceedingly little in Cleveland.

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki
      • Alexb

        that’s pretty gut damn funny right there

  • Petefranklin

    Non cheddar…OU -2

  • Sam Sneeda

    Going out of town this weekend. Will have to post “all play” later.

    Marshall -3 over UAB
    Rams +11.5 over 49ers
    Cowboys -1 over Eagles
    Lions -2 over Vikings
    Texans +1 over Bears $$$$$$

    Bears living off turnovers (although consistently) but probably won’t get many turnover opportunities against a well balanced HOU offense. I mean, turnovers can happen against the best offenses but the texans seem too balanced and disciplined…with a good offensive line (much better than Chicago’s). Now the bears can get after it on D but damn can HOU run the ball…tough matchup. The real mismatch is the texan defense against a sloppy bear offensive line…I’m thinking it’s houston’s time to shine on national TV. This game screams under…especially if windy or wet.

    24-14 James Harden over Carlos Boozer

  • Beeej
  • Believelander

    BOMB SHELL on Beavercleaverville: Josh Cooper, interviewing on 92.3 The Fan with Bull & Fox, when asked about the offensive playcalling, states that he “doesn’t know what goes on inside those headsets” and that he’s “not sure whether it’s Shurmur or Childress calling the plays”.

    What? The offensive players aren’t sure who their coordinator is? I think there’s more problems inside the organization right now than we may have even expected.

  • tochigi

    very helpful analysis. QUestion is why isn’t Weeden getting help with this? I prefer to blame it on the manacles that PS has put on Weeden.

  • tochigi

    Lots has been said about the poor communication between PS and BW….particulary in that game. if BW was feeling rushed (and hammered not to throw an interception) each time he steps up to the LOS its no wonder he was always checking down.

    Can you give insight into that.

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