Browns Make Changes. That Can’t Be Bad.

The Cleveland Browns make a lot of news for an 0-16 football team.  It’s bad enough the ownership decided to bring back a head coach that has won a single game in two seasons, so if they were totally standing pat, it would be a greater concern.

Since John Dorsey was appointed the GM, the Browns have added more executives well respected in the football industry to their front office, hiring Alonzo Highsmith and Eliot Wolf away from Green Bay.

Although we thought Sashi Brown got a raw deal from Jimmy Haslam, we cannot complain about bringing people with solid credentials in.

Some in the media have been critical that more people from the past regime have not been let go, but that’s just silly.  Why wouldn’t you want as many qualified people as you can involved with building a team that has reached depths in terms of losing that no team in NFL history has seen.

Our guess is Dorsey came in, and much to Hue Jackson’s chagrin, didn’t find a bunch of idiots in the front office, so he kept them around.  We believe the reporter spouting this opinion is echoing the comments of the head coach.

As for the coaching staff, Jackson has yet to give up play calling duties, but he has brought in Adam Henry (who worked on his staff in Oakland) as wide receivers coach, and Ken Zampese (who worked with him in Cincinnati and was fired two games into the 2017 season) as quarterbacks coach.

Running game coordinator Kirby Wilson was let go, but the way the head coach eschews the running game, this position could be considered superfluous.

Rumors emerged yesterday that Mike Mularkey, just let go as head coach of the Tennessee Titans, may come aboard as offensive coordinator.

Mularkey liked to run the ball as head coach of the Titans, especially the last two seasons, but in eight years as a coordinator, his offense finished in the top ten in rushing offense just three times (2001 and 2002 in Pittsburgh, and 2008 in Atlanta).

He did finish in the top ten in scoring offense five times in those eight years.

It would be interesting if Mularkey comes aboard if he can get Jackson to run the ball more often.  In 10 of his 14 years as head coach or offensive coordinator, his teams have been in the top half of the league in running attempts.

The game plan should not be changing, though.  We would go out and get a competent veteran quarterback, one that takes care of the football.  That was DeShone Kizer’s biggest weakness this past season, and he really didn’t progress in that area as the season went on.

Then draft your future franchise guy with the first overall pick.  You have the guy who has been rated the best QB since he came out of high school in Josh Rosen.  You have the guy who was the darling of the college football world after last season in Sam Darnold.

And you have the Heisman Trophy winner in Baker Mayfield.

Don’t overthink it, take one of them and let them learn behind the veteran for at least a season.

Bringing in good front office people is great.  Making changes to the coaching staff is fine.  However, until they start winning football games, it’s all a bunch of noise.

JD

 

 

 

Advertisements

Dorsey-Jackson Combo Raises Draft Questions.

This Sunday is the first without angst since the end of summer without angst for fans of the Cleveland Browns.

No worries about can the team win their first game, no concerns if the coach will ever use the running game, no wondering if DeShone Kizer can keep himself from throwing passes to the other team.

Now, the parades are over, and it is time to start focusing on the “Super Bowl” for Browns’ supporters seemingly every year…the NFL Draft.

Between now and April 26th, when Cleveland will kickoff the selection process with pick #1 (we assume), there will be plenty of speculation what GM John Dorsey will do with all of the selections his organization has.

The big question is how does Dorsey look at the process.  Does he select the players with the best potential to be NFL stars, or does he take players who fit the style of play coach Hue Jackson prefers.

One thing we have learned about Jackson in his two years at the helm is he will try to fit a square peg into a round hole.  We have extreme doubts that the head coach wants to change what he wants to do offensively.

Jackson has said he wants to hire an offensively coordinator, but since he is apparently doing the hiring, he is going to bring in someone who runs the same offensive style he favors, which is going downfield.

The Browns led the NFL is the average distance of their passing attempts at 9.7.  The only playoff team averaging over nine yards per throw was the Panthers.  Three other playoff teams (Falcons, Titans, Bills) were 8th-10th.

Two things come to mind here.  First, throwing downfield was clearly not working for Kizer, but Jackson didn’t care about that.

Second, it appears most successful teams mix in shorter throws as well.  The four teams in the top ten in this stat also rank in the top half of the league in rushing attempts, Cleveland ranked 28th.

We would take this to mean Carolina, Atlanta, Tennessee, and Buffalo throw downfield off of play action.  The Browns rarely do because teams don’t respect Jackson will run the football.

Getting defensive help is clearer because we believe defensive coordinator wants to pressure the quarterback, but didn’t have the secondary to do it in the style he prefers.

Getting Minkah Fitzpatrick would seem to be an ideal fit.  He can play both cornerback and safety and is considered the best defensive player in the draft.  To get that guy two years in a row (Myles Garrett) would help.

It has been reported that Dorsey wants to make a splash in free agency, and that’s fine as long as he isn’t bringing in aging players with a year or two left.

No matter what you feel about the past regime, there are plenty of good, young players here to build around and we would hate to see some of them let go to bring players on their last legs to the roster.

This is the asinine system set up by owner Jimmy Haslam when he decided Jackson would continue to be head coach of the team in 2018.

Our guess is Dorsey will bring in his guys, but then we can expect another season, at least at the beginning, of not utilizing people to the best of their abilities.

That’s why it is still frustrating to ponder.

JD

 

 

The March To 0-16 Is Complete.

We are sure that some will find humor in the play that clinched the 0-16 season for the Cleveland Browns was a dropped pass by Corey Coleman, because it goes along with the narrative that the former first round draft pick is a bust.

That’s the state of the Browns these days.  Fans are divided, and the ownership seems to be in a world of their own.

That world allows them to be content enough with a coach that has gone 1-31 over a two year span, and put together just the second 0-16 season in NFL history, to bring him back for a third season.

Imagine selling that to your fan base, after the 28-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

To be fair, the Browns fought back from an early 14-0 deficit to tie the game at 21 in the third quarter on a 5 yard touchdown pass from DeShone Kizer to Rashard Higgins, the latter’s second TD catch on the day.

The special teams, coached by zombie apocalypse survivor Chris Tabor, allowed a 96 yard kickoff return by JuJu Smith-Schuster which gave the Steelers a lead they would not relinquish.

The turnover battle, normally a loss for Cleveland, was even today, making Hue Jackson’s crew 0-12-4 for 2017 in that category.

Kizer, as he usually does, made some good throws, such as a 54 yard strike to Josh Gordon, and first TD toss to Higgins on a slant pattern.  However, he also spiked several throws throughout the day, and flirted with interceptions several times in the second half before finally throwing one in the fourth quarter.

Consistency is a talent.  Great players aren’t the ones who make great plays, they are guys who make positive plays all the time.  Kizer is the baseball player who gets four hits in a game, but goes 0 for 18 in five other games.  Professional sports is about being consistent.

The rookie quarterback didn’t get any help from his coaches, who failed to protect him all year, by throwing the ball way more than they ran it all season long.

Even today in frigid conditions, the Browns ran the ball with their running backs just 21 times, compared to 42 passing plays (30 passes, six sacks, six runs by Kizer).  By contrast, Pittsburgh had 25 running plays and 33 passing plays (27 throws, three sacks, and three bad snaps).

Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin said he thought the Browns should run the ball more to minimize turnovers early in the week.  Apparently, everyone realizes this except Hue Jackson.

Besides finishing without a win, the largest kick in the groin Cleveland football fans have to endure is the owner Jimmy Haslam’s stubborn stance in bringing Jackson back.

Jackson maintains there is a devoid of talent here, but several articles have come out recently disputing that.  Statistically, the Browns are much better than the ’08 Lions, the only other team that finished 0-16.

And even if Jackson’s claim is true, it simply means he didn’t do a good job coaching.  Good coaches get more out of the talent given to them.  As was pointed out earlier this week, the New York Jets were said to be tanking this season, but Todd Bowles squeezed five wins out of them.

Look, we and anyone reading this could have coached the Browns to an 0-16 record.  Jackson didn’t maximize the talent here, and we believe time will prove that there are good players here.

Hopefully, the owner comes to his senses on this issue and allows new GM John Dorsey to bring in a someone different.

We don’t trust Jackson to be involved with whatever QB Cleveland drafts in the first round this spring, or with a veteran brought in by Dorsey.

Hue Jackson contributed to this mess, he should not get a chance to ruin another football season in Cleveland.

JD

 

 

Haslam’s Opinion Seeking Leaves Us Feeling Hopeless.

It just keeps getting better if you are a fan of the Cleveland Browns.

If it isn’t enough to be watching a team that hasn’t won a game this season, a feat accomplished just once before in a 16 game season, and compounding that with just one measly win in the past two seasons, you get the information that came out yesterday.

It has been reported that owner Jimmy Haslam has consulted with national football writers such as Peter King, Chris Mortensen, and Adam Schefter, to ask their opinions on the Browns.

This seems harmless on face value, but when you think about it, it points out many of the problems with the Haslam ownership, and when you add it all up, it seems hopeless for Browns’ fans.

First, those writers mentioned are certainly great writers, and no doubt love the sport of football.  No one in their right mind would question their passion.

However, if those guys were so good at judging personnel, both on and off the field, they would be employed by an NFL team.  They are information gatherers and reporters.

This isn’t to say media people cannot have a working knowledge of the sport.  But can they tell what would make a good defensive end in the pros, or who would make a dynamite head coach without asking around to their many sources around the league?

Second, it seems Haslam likes to talk.  And then talk some more.

There are sayings, such as “talk is cheap”, and “actions speak louder than words”.  Haslam seems to be a guy who likes to keep talking, but he can’t discern who are the correct people to listen to.

If you talk to “football guys” like Bill Parcells, Bill Polian, and Jon Gruden, you will get three different opinions on what makes a winning team, and quite frankly all of them would be correct.

However, if you put bits and pieces of each plan together, it likely does not work.  Here’s another expression…”too many cooks spoil the broth”.  The point is the Browns’ owner has too many voices in his head.

And listening to the national media is probably the biggest reason it appears Haslam may bring Hue Jackson back in 2018, despite a probable 1-31 record in two seasons.

The national guys love them some Hue Jackson.

Jackson has two major advocates in Mike Silver and Amy Trask, who speak in glowing terms about the Browns’ head coach pretty much on a weekly basis.

This is not to denigrate either one, they have long relationships with Jackson, and naturally people who like other people talk well about them.

However, because they respect Jackson, they are not objective about him either.

Could it be that in conversations between media people, they share their glowing views of Hue Jackson, and that also colors the opinions of King, Mortensen, and Schefter?

Haslam may have made a good move in hire John Dorsey as his GM.  Time will certainly tell, but Dorsey has a solid resume.

But now, Haslam has to trust Dorsey and allow him to build the organization is the way he feels is the best.  And if Dorsey wants to bring in a head coach he respects and feels he can work with, then that’s what should happen.

Someone has to be the ultimate decision maker.  Whether you like him or not, Haslam needs to let Dorsey be that guy.

JD

Does Anyone Still Think Hue Wants To Run?

It was going to be the best play of Myles Garrett’s young career.

He caught a deflected pass and rumbled toward the end zone, breaking a tackle, and getting the defensive score the Cleveland Browns had been looking for all season, putting his team ahead, 9-6.

He fired the ball into the stands in glee.

But as things are when you are 0-14, there was a flag down.  Carl Nassib lined up in the neutral zone, nullifying Garrett’s score.

And that pretty much ended today’s game.  Hue Jackson’s team dropped to 0-15 on the season, 1-30 during his tenure, losing to the Chicago Bears, 20-3 at Soldiers’ Field.

Since both teams are starting rookie quarterbacks, the contrast is startling when comparing the two teams.

On a snowy, windy day, the white stuff was accumulating on the field in the first half, the Bears, now 5-10 on the year, ran the ball 31 times compared to just 20 for the Browns.

As has been the case for most of the year, Cleveland averaged more yards per running play, 3.8 to 3.1.  The Browns didn’t get nearly as much out of DeShone Kizer on the ground either.  He gained just 8 yards on three carries, whereas Mitchell Trubisky (Mentor native, we are obligated to say) picked up 44 yards rushing.

This means Cleveland’s running backs gained 64 yards on 17 attempts (3.8 average) compared to the Bears’ 53 yards on 24 attempts (2.2 average).

Can the national media get it out of their head that Jackson wants to run the football.

It has been clear all year long that despite averaging in the top in the league in average yards per attempt on the ground, and an offensive line with solid pieces in Joel Bitonio, Kevin Zeitler, and JC Tretter, and for part of the year, future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas, that the coach doesn’t want to run it.

After the Bears’ scored their only TD in the first half, Jackson dialed up five consecutive passing plays on a day that screamed running.

The Browns best drive of that half was seven minutes long, leading into the two minute warning.  They mixed six runs and have short passes to move 50 yards.

On a 2nd and 4, after a six yard run by Crowell, Kizer threw for the end zone, where the pass for picked off, the QB’s 20th of the season.

And despite it being just a 6-3 deficit at half, which turned into 10 points after the Bears first drive, but still with over 27 minutes to go, Cleveland ran just three more running plays the rest of the game, and one of them was the last play, a three yard gain by Matthew Dayes.

The lack of an attempt to establish a ground game causes the Browns to lose the time of possession battle, the Bears had the ball for 33 minutes today.

The total yards for the two teams was about even, but once again, Cleveland lost the turnover battle, 3-0.  Reminder, the Browns have not won the turnover game at all this season.

They have been even three times (week 1 vs. Pittsburgh, and both Cincinnati games), and ten times have had two or more turnovers than their opponents.

The last forced turnover by the defense?  Week 11, five games ago, vs. Jacksonville, when Garrett recovered a fumble caused by Christian Kirksey’s sack of Blake Bortles.

The defense did have five sacks today, the biggest output of the season.

Anyway, it’s on to Pittsburgh and one last attempt to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only 0-16 teams in NFL history.  A pretty daunting task.

JD

 

 

 

Is Dorsey Really A GM If He Can’t Hire The Coach?

It occurred to us today that although John Dorsey’s title is General Manager of the Cleveland Browns, he really isn’t a GM at all.

The title infers the Dorsey is managing the football operations, but as it stands right now, he is in charge of procuring players either via the waiver wire or the draft.  That would make him a personnel director, not a GM.

This is because of the crazy management set up by ownership, where the Dorsey and coach Hue Jackson both report to Jimmy Haslam.

This organizational chart just invites a power struggle.  And Haslam should be very familiar with this because it literally just happened.

When Sashi Brown was put in charge of the 53 man roster and Jackson was brought in as coach shortly thereafter, they claimed to be on the same page, apparently Jackson was okay with stripping down the roster and going with a total rebuild.

As the losses extended into year two of the regime, Jackson bailed on the plan, and started throwing Brown under the bus.  He complained about the players, saying he didn’t have enough talent to win games.

Obviously, when we had Haslam’s ear, he kept telling the boss Brown’s plan wasn’t working and the Browns needed to bring a “football guy” in here to speed up the process.

We have no way of knowing if Sashi Brown bad mouthed the head coach in his meetings with the owner.

The disturbing thing is why would Haslam think the very same thing won’t occur again with the Dorsey/Jackson coupling?

The national media have a high opinion of Jackson, assigning him no blame to him for the horrible 1-29 record for the franchise over the last two seasons.

Locally, more and more people are realizing that Jackson is not taking the necessary steps to win football games.  Better use of the running game, which would take pressure off a rookie quarterback, would be a good start.

The Browns throw more passes of 20 yards or more than any other team in the NFL, certainly not taking the pressure off DeShone Kizer.

If Dorsey is truly running the football operations, he must be free to hire his own coach.  That would ensure there would be no backstabbing, and that the coach and Dorsey would be on the same page.  They would have a shared vision.

Another benefit of the harmony could also be no more leaking stories of unhappiness and discord within the organization to the national media.  We think we know the source of that information.

It’s a perfect time to make the move too.  The Browns will likely be picking a quarterback with the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft this spring.  You could have your new GM, new coach, and franchise QB all coming aboard together.

This seems to be a constant issue for this franchise.  Remember in the 80’s when Art Modell picked Marty Schottenheimer over the guy, Ernie Accorsi,  who accumulated the talent for the teams that made three AFC title games in four years.

After a few years, Schottenheimer fell out of favor and was replaced by Bud Carson.  In a matter of four years, both Accorsi and Schottenheimer were gone.

If you are going to bring in a “football guy”, then give him control of the whole shooting match.  That’s the best chance to get this organization out of the malaise it has been in for over 20 years.

JD

 

Another Exhausting Sunday For Browns’ Fans

The Cleveland Browns are exhausting to watch because over the past two seasons every game seems like the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day.

It’s the same crummy game plans, the same dumb mistakes, it’s a complete rerun every stinking, single week.

We may not speak for all Browns fans, but here is a list of things we are tired of seeing, and we aren’t even talking about losing.

Oh, by the way, the Browns are now 0-14 after today’s 27-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in what was mercifully, the last home game of the season.  Hue Jackson’s record as coach of Cleveland falls to 1-29.

We are tired of the abandonment of the running game.  What if we told you that one team averaged 6.8 yards per run, and the other 3.1.  And one team had 31 running plays, the other just 19.

You would obviously think the team that averaged almost seven yards per carry probably used 31 running plays.

You would of course be wrong.

The lunacy is after a drive which gave Cleveland a 7-3 lead in the second quarter and consisted of five running plays netting 96 yards, the brown and orange ran 10 consecutive passing plays.

There was one play where QB DeShone Kizer scrambled after dropping back to throw, and ran with the ball, so there was a rushing attempt, but it was not a running play.

Isaiah Crowell had a 59 yard run on the touchdown drive, then carried it just one more time the rest of the game.

We are tired of illegal formation penalties, there seems to be at least one each and every week.  This is the 14th game of the season, shouldn’t players know where to line up by now?

We are tired of Kizer’s red zone turnovers.  The rookie threw an interception from the Ravens’ 6 yard line, throwing to Crowell when he was covered by not one, not two, not three, but four Raven defenders.

What exactly is Kizer being taught by the so-called “quarterback whisperer”?  It is definitely not take care of the football.

We are tired of not seeing the coaching staff use weapons like rookie TE David Njoku and WR Corey Coleman.  The two combined for one more catch than we had today.

We are tired of seeing tight ends dominate the Cleveland defense.  Gregg Williams’ group had problems covering them in game one, and once again, here on game 14, they still cannot cover them.

Former Brown Benjamin Watson, now 36 years old, caught four passes for 74 yards, including a 33 yard touchdown.

We are tired of the resignation this coaching staff has towards defeat.  Myles Garrett gets held often, but it doesn’t seem like an issue for the coaches.  Joe Flacco obviously intentionally grounded the ball in the second half, and no one complained boisterously.

We are tired of Kizer’s inaccuracy.  He was 20 of 37 on the day, a tick just over 50%, when in today’s NFL, the benchmark is 60%.

That inaccuracy goes with his seemingly terrible pocket presence.  He ran himself into a sack once again today.

And we are tired on seeing the Browns on defense for vast amounts of the game every week.

Today, the Ravens had the ball for 37 minutes, compared to 23 for Cleveland.  Is the defensive scheme perfect?  No.  However, that unit is on the field for long periods every game, due to the team’s lack of a commitment to the running game.

Browns’ fans deserve better.  This team won one game a year ago, and added a number of good players:  Garrett, Kevin Zeitler, JC Tretter, Jason McCourty, Njoku, etc., yet they are somehow worse.

The next installment of this horror film occurs next week in Chicago.  A very Merry Christmas Eve indeed.

JD

 

Browns’ Biggest Problem Is Their Structure.

In the great debate regarding the Cleveland Browns, front office vs. coaching staff, we have been firmly committed as a member of Team Sashi.

That being said, if owner Jimmy Haslam felt adding GM John Dorsey meant adding a better talent evaluator to the front office to go along with Andrew Berry, we can’t argue too much.

However, it really doesn’t address the greatest issue with this football team, the coaching of Hue Jackson.

Jackson’s record of 1-28 as everyone knows, but our feeling is although the Browns need to add more very good players, especially at quarterback, to be a playoff contender, they have as much, if not more talent than other NFL teams who have managed to mix a win or two into their schedule.

The biggest problem is the ridiculous hierarchy Haslam has in place, with Dorsey, Paul DePodesta, and Jackson all reporting directly to the owner.  Name another NFL team with that set up.

We get that since Sashi Brown did not have a lot of NFL personnel experience, it might not be a good idea to have the coach report to him.

But, why not let Dorsey bring in a coach he can work with and let him be the coach’s boss?  That would seem put the coach and GM on the same page, a singular direction for the franchise that would be refreshing.

Besides, it would be a perfect time to do it too.  Most likely, the Browns will use the first overall pick in next spring’s draft to get a quarterback, making it a perfect time to move forward with a GM, coach, and QB.

The problem is Haslam likes to have everyone report to him so he can be everyone’s friend.  He owns the team, he can talk to anyone he wants, but the decision making capabilities should center around one person.

This also makes it easy to figure out who should take the blame.

If Jackson is brought back, the team runs the risk of having its new quarterback having to go through a coaching change during or after his rookie season.  That would seem to be counter to the development of the player.

As we now know, Jackson’s reputation as a molder of young signal caller is vastly overrated, in fact, we really don’t want the coach around Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, or whoever Dorsey takes at the top of the draft.

Also, you have to believe, in his heart of hearts, Dorsey would love to have his own guy in place as head coach, someone who shares his vision, and wants to carry out his plan.

It’s not like Jackson has shown much as the head coach either.  His main attribute is the team is still playing hard, which is something that 28 other NFL teams can claim.

He’s a self promoter who threw his front office under the bus on a weekly basis, has huge issues with clock management, eschews the running game even though he has a rookie quarterback, and his team lacks discipline.

Why would Dorsey want him to lead this team for another season?

The Browns should not be this bad.  Jackson’s team has lost when the QB played well, when the running game has been good, when the defense has been good.

However, there are two common themes:  Losing and Hue Jackson.

JD

 

 

Who Takes Blame For Browns’ Latest Loss?

It was a tumultuous week for the Cleveland Browns, especially on Thursday when Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown was fired by owner Jimmy Haslam, and replaced later that day by General Manager John Dorsey.

Amazingly, Hue Jackson was given a vote of confidence by the owner and it was announced he would be back for the 2018 season, despite a 1-27 record during his tenure.

With Dorsey in attendance at First Energy Stadium, the Browns blew a two touchdown lead they gained late in the third quarter, and lost to the Green Bay Packers in overtime, 27-21, dropping them to 0-13 on the season, and 1-28 since Jackson took over last year.

We have maintained most of the year that the Browns were not as bad as their record indicated, and today was another example, as Cleveland dominated much of the first three quarters, but couldn’t come up with the victory.

Jackson’s team outgained Green Bay, and held the Packers to under 100 yards rushing for the game, but lost because they played not to lose after scoring to make it a 21-7 game, and because of another horrible turnover by DeShone Kizer.

After that last score, with 2:49 left in the third quarter, it seemed Gregg Williams’ defense went into prevent mode, allowing Brett Hundley to complete short pass after short pass, leading to a 13 play, 75 yard drive to close the gap to 21-14.

After the first drive of the contest, the Browns’ defense hadn’t allowed the Packers much, so we don’t understand the change in philosophy.  With three minutes to go in the game, we could understand it, but there were 18 minutes left.

It is worth noting that Jackson challenged a juggling catch, that clearly (on live look) appeared to be a catch, costing the Browns a timeout.

The score that tied the game was set up by a special teams’ gaffe, allowing Travis Davis to return a punt 65 yards to the Browns’ 25 with a little over two minutes to go.

Instead of pinning Green Bay deep in their own territory, they had a short field for the game tying score.

When was the last time the Cleveland special teams had a game without a glaring mistake?

Offensively, Jackson has talked all year about the lack of talent.

Granted, Josh Gordon just returned last week, but Isaiah Crowell, who had 121 yards on 19 carries, has been here all year.

Corey Coleman, criticized recently for being just an average player, caught five passes for 62 yards, and seems to be a good compliment for Gordon.

Unfortunately, TE David Njoku didn’t seem to be part of the game plan, catching just one pass for three yards.

Still, we saw some nice play calling.  The game opened on a play action pass on first down, with Kizer hitting Gordon for 38 yards.

We also saw a number of screen passes, and even a shuffle pass in the red zone, which Duke Johnson turned into a touchdown.

We wonder where that has been all season.

However, with a chance to win, Kizer tried to make a big play when he should have eaten the ball, and threw an interception, his second of the day, when Clay Matthews Jr. hit his arm, forcing the ball to go straight up in the air, where it was picked off by Josh Jones.

That led to the game winning TD in overtime, and the Browns’ 14th straight loss.

File this one into the list of games the team could have won this season.  It’s far too many for a team without a win.

There is talent on this football team, and thanks for that should go to the deposed Brown.  Unfortunately, the problem is poor coaching, and at least for the time being, that problem still exists.

JD

 

Today’s Browns’ Loss? All The Elements Which Caused 0-12.

Another Sunday, another day of insanity from the Cleveland Browns.

First, we had the national media (another leak from the coaching staff) saying coach Hue Jackson devised all kinds of plays to get the ball to recently reinstated WR Josh Gordon today.

Too bad, Jackson couldn’t do the same thing all season for guys like Duke Johnson, David Njoku and Seth DeValve.

Second, you had the local media reporting that Jackson wanted Carson Wentz all along in last year’s draft.  This despite several reports saying the Browns’ head coach didn’t think Wentz was worthy of the second overall pick.

And then we got to the game, which the Browns dropped 19-10 to the Los Angeles Chargers to drop to 0-12 this season.  With the 49ers win today, the Browns are the last team in the NFL without a win.

Cleveland’s first offensive play was a 9 yard completion to Gordon, and seemingly DeShone Kizer spent the rest of the day trying to force the ball to the wide out.

The Chargers were last in the NFL in rushing defense, so of course, Jackson had his offense throwing the ball all over place, with 35 passing plays (including three sacks) compared to just 22 runs.

Jackson continuously says he wants to run the ball, but we now have virtually two years of evidence that does not support it.  The man simply would rather to throw the football.

Unfortunately, he has a 21-year-old second round rookie QB, who is not terribly accurate and has little pocket awareness.  So, why wouldn’t you want to put the onus on him?

Kizer was below 50% today (15 of 32) and is has completed just 53% of his throws on the season, woefully low in today’s NFL.

This was on total display today, as Kizer missed Gordon twice on deep throws which should have resulted in touchdowns, and threw several other passes low and therefore uncatchable for his receivers.

He did make some great throws, two to Njoku come to mind, including one resulting in the Browns’ only touchdown.

However, the good quarterbacks make these kind of throws way more often.  And that’s why the Browns need to address the position in the off-season.

As for Kizer’s pocket presence, let’s just say it’s not showing signs of improvement.

He was sacked and fumbled with a chance to make the score 19-17 in the fourth quarter, because he held the ball after escaping the pocket.

Then, on the next possession, he took a sack in the field of play with no timeouts left and Gordon all the way downfield running a route.

What exactly is Jackson whispering to Kizer?

To us, it seems the Browns don’t seem to know what each part of the team is doing.

Jackson’s reliance on the pass leads to the defense being on the field way too much.  The Chargers had the ball for 35 minutes, and although we don’t agree with everything Gregg Williams does, his unit did allow just one touchdown despite allowing 429 yards, including 335 yards in the air to Philip Rivers.

Gordon did wind up with four catches for 85 yards during the game, but he could have had more with a more accurate passer.

Njoku continues to be underused, scoring his 4th touchdown of the year among his four receptions for 74 yards, but he doesn’t seem on the field as much as he should be.

Throw in two penalties for illegal formation (coaching) and a long kickoff return after the field goal which made the score 19-10, and you have a complete list of what seems to go on each and every week.

To complete things, we are sure Jackson once again said after the game that he doesn’t have the talent to win, and it would be “Groundhog Day” once again.

The only thing more disturbing would be the owner allowing this excuse maker around the Browns again next season.

JD