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

 

 

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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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Browns Don’t Need Help Losing, But Officials Lent A Hand Anyway.

With their record dropping to 0-11 after a 30-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals today, it is pretty clear the Cleveland Browns do not need any help losing football games.

But they received it today from a group of people we have been saying for years does their jobs horribly:  The NFL officials.

Whether the Browns would have tied the game at 23 had they got the ball back after Jabrill Peppers was called for a personal foul in the fourth quarter, we will never know, but we do know they were deprived of the chance.

Cleveland had just crept to within a touchdown at 23-16 when Peppers hit Bengals’ WR Josh Malone as he attempted to catch a pass.  It was certainly a vicious hit, but it appeared Peppers led with his shoulder and the hit lowered the receiver’s facemask into the safety’s helmet.

Cincinnati went on to put the game away with a touchdown that provided the final margin of victory.

Couple that with a very questionable pass interference penalty against Jason McCourty earlier in the game, and the zebras handed Cincy 11 points.

And to be fair, the same crew called Bengals’ LB Vontez Burfict for an unnecessary roughness penalty in the first quarter, which we rolled our eyes at.

Let the players play.

It is interesting that the box score on the NFL’s website, doesn’t mention the officiating crew.  The referee today was John Hussey, which we found on a site, http://www.footballzebras.com.

Our opinion, as it always has been, is that these are the type of plays that should be reviewable, and not by the crew at the game.  It should be a system similar to the NBA set up, where someone in the league headquarters reviews it.

The Browns outgained the Bengals, 405 yards to 361, the time of possession was pretty much even, neither team turned the ball over, but still Hue Jackson’s crew came up short.

They ran the ball well, with Isaiah Crowell getting 95 yards in 16 carries, but they seemed tentative in the red zone, understandably so, since DeShone Kizer has had turnover issues there all season long.

Jackson says his team has to play perfect to win, and although we disagree with him, you can’t have a wide receiver drop a pass in the end zone (Corey Coleman), a kicker miss a field goal (Zane Gonzalez’ fifth miss of the year), and you can’t take a sack on 3rd down and 1 in a game decided in the fourth quarter.

Add to that a 16 yard punt by Gonzalez when Britton Colquitt was being checked for a concussion.

Kizer’s pocket awareness continues to be an issue (sacked four times today), but he did make two wonderful touch throws, a 44 yarder to Coleman off his back foot, and a 24 yard toss to TE Seth DeValve late in the first half.

However, there were still issues that linger.  Kizer connected on less than 60% of his throws (58%), Duke Johnson had just 10 touches (for 67 yards), and the defense couldn’t force a turnover, with Briean Boddy-Calhoun dropping two possible picks, and Joe Schobert not coming up with a throw that hit him in the stomach in the end zone.

That made the turnover battle even again, with the Browns being 0-8-3 in terms of that this season.

Perhaps winning that category would help the team come up with that elusive first win.

So, it’s on to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers and Kizer will add another weapon with the return of Josh Gordon.

As for the officiating, it’s becoming another reason why the league is losing popularity.  Too many needless flags interrupting the flow of play.

JD

 

 

 

 

Front Office Or Coach, Who’s More To Blame For Browns.

The football fans of Northeast Ohio are at odds with each other.

Should the Browns keep the front office intact two years after Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta, and Andrew Berry were put in charge of procuring players, and keep coach Hue Jackson, or should they keep Jackson and find a new director of football operations.

A third option would be to keep everyone in place for a third season.

Our opinion is that the front office stripped the team down to the bare bones following the 2015 season, and has started to put together a talented group of young players to grow and develop.

They haven’t addressed the quarterback position, but they will probably take care of that in this upcoming draft where they could have two top ten picks.

However, the offensive and defensive lines are strong, the linebackers are solid, and they seem to have a good group of tight ends.

This put them light years away from a couple of years ago when they simply weren’t good enough up front.

We have confidence that Brown and his cohorts in the front office will address the positions of weakness prior to next regular season.

Six players picked last season (2016) are currently starting:   WR Corey Coleman, WR Ricardo Louis, T Shon Coleman, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, LB Joe Schobert, and S Derrick Kindred.

Only Louis can be considered questionable of that group.

Four rookies are starting:  QB DeShone Kizer, DT Trevon Coley,  DE Myles Garrett, and S Jabrill Peppers.

Garrett looks like he is as advertised, a very good pass rusher and a guy who can make All Pro teams.

And don’t forget CB/S Briean Boddy-Calhoun, TE Randall Telfair, TE Seth DeValve, and DE Carl Nassib who have shown flashes.

Have all the front office’s personnel moves worked?  No, but name a team that is right 100% of the time in this area.

Our belief is that coach Hue Jackson is the bigger issue.

He started Kizer, a rookie and a second round pick from the opening game, but didn’t put in an offense that would’ve taken pressure off the kid, having him throwing downfield instead of running the ball and using a short passing game to help him out.

He also doesn’t seem to run the ball, Cleveland ranks 23rd in the NFL in rushing attempts, but is 12th in the league in yards per attempt.  Something just doesn’t add up.

Meanwhile, Jackson’s squad is next to last in yards per pass attempt but they throw the ball the 4th most times in the league.

These statistics seem to indicate a coach who is either trying to lose football games or simply doesn’t have a clue as to how to use his personnel correctly.

Football people say tight ends are a quarterback’s best friends, but Kizer doesn’t seem to have been taught to use them.  Rookie TE David Njoku has scored three touchdowns this year, but has caught just 20 passes, and plays less than 50% of the snaps.

Duke Johnson, another threat on offense, has caught 46 passes, the same number of rushing attempts he has on the season.  This means he doesn’t even get 10 touches from scrimmage per game.

Add that to clock management mistakes, accepting penalties when he shouldn’t, and a general lack of discipline, and the fingers should point to Jackson, first and foremost.

Can Jackson change?  He could, but we are skeptical because of the past.

The question we like to ask is this:  Would another coach have one, two, or even three wins at this point in the schedule.

If you answer truthfully, then you know where the issue is.

JD

 

Game Plan, Horrible QB Play Are Today’s Culprits For Browns.

Sometimes what the Cleveland Browns do can’t be described in words.

The Jacksonville Jaguars pretty much did nothing on offense the entire day, yet somehow managed to put 19 points on the board in a 19-7 win over the Browns at First Energy Stadium.

The Browns are now 0-10 on the season.

Let’s start with a crazy game plan by the “quarterback whisperer”, Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson.

The Jaguars rank #1 in the NFL in pass defense by yardage, and are 25th in rush defense.  So, in a game that was pretty much a three point spread the entire game, the Browns ran the ball 18 times and threw it 32 times.

Of those 18 rushing attempts, five were by DeShone Kizer, and we remember only two were designed runs, and throw in five sacks by Jacksonville, and really, Cleveland called 37 passes and just 16 runs.

Does that make any sense at all?

If you are going to throw against the Jags, the time to do it is on first down, when they are playing a base defense.

On the Browns’ lone TD drive, they threw on first down three times, moving the ball 66 yards in five plays.  The touchdown itself was on a first down throw, a 27 yard strike to Duke Johnson.

The next time the Browns got the football, they ran on first down.  The following possession?  Again, a run on first down.  When they got the ball again, once again, they ran the football on first down.

When they threw the ball on first down again, the result was a 14 yard gain on a pass to Corey Coleman, who did catch 6 passes for 80 yards.

We aren’t advocating passing every time on first down, but if you don’t gain yardage doing it, you are playing right into the Jaguars’ plans by throwing in obvious passing situations.  If you don’t gain yardage on first down, run it again on second down and see what you get.

Then you have Kizer’s performance which can basically be described as horrific.

He threw two bad interceptions, the second on a throw we aren’t sure who it was intended for, and fumbled twice as well, including the play which ended the Browns’ hopes for a win.

And that play was set up on a terrible decision after Cleveland got a first down on the Jags’ 40.

Kizer was rushed, stepped up in the pocket, and looked like he could have run for at least ten yards, keeping momentum on the drive.

Instead, he made an ill-advised heave down the field into coverage, and was lucky the ball wasn’t picked off.

You would think he would have more awareness by this point in the year.

Also, think about the countless throws behind receivers or too low for them, particularly when they could have gained yardage if the ball was thrown properly.

We aren’t saying every throw should be perfect, but the rap on Kizer coming out of Notre Dame was inaccuracy, and that hasn’t been fixed.

Other things to note.  David Njoku and Seth DeValve, two players we believe can make plays, caught a total of two passes.  Johnson, another playmaker, touched the ball six times.

Jabrill Peppers fumbled two punts.  His confidence appears to be very shaky.

The defense performed admirably despite being on the field for 36 minutes due to the abominable offensive showing.

Despite claims by the media that they really aren’t good players, Emmanuel Ogbah and Danny Shelton look pretty good to us.

Cincinnati is the next opponent for the Browns, this one in the Queen City, and it is a winnable game.

However, the turnovers have to cease.  Jackson’s team hasn’t won the turnover battle once this year and has been even just twice.  You simply can’t keep shooting yourself in the foot.

JD