|CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-1)||GAME #1||GREEN BAY PACKERS (1-0)
That was a pretty bad game of football by the Cleveland Browns, wasn't it?
I could care less that we lost a preseason game. With a lot of the playcalling, I'm sure some things were done to test how they would work in the regular season. The thing I was extremely disappointed in though was the fact that our offense could not even muster a successful drive. If you can't do that in the preseason, it becomes very difficult to evaluate many of the bubble players. Last year, I was able to make an assessment on players like Travis Wilson and Paul Hubbard during the first game. Last night, we barely even heard names like James Davis, Lance Leggett, and Jordan Norwood.
Let's get to the full breakdown of the Browns' 17-0 loss to the Packers...
PRESEASON GAME 1 - BROWNS VS. PACKERS (GENERAL THOUGHTS)
- Just Look at the Carries: This is exactly what I'm talking about -- Jerome Harrison got three carries, James Davis got two carries, and Noah Herron got one carry. Combined, that's six carries for our backup running backs. How many carries did the Packers' running backs get? 38 carries. For the game, they had five running backs with six or more carries. It feels like I know a hell of a lot more about the individual skills of the Packers' players than I do ours.
- Preseason Game Ball: I'm going to go ahead and give it to DB Coye Francies. The interception sort of fell into his lap, but he still had to be in the vicinity in the first place to make that play. He looked fluid on his attempt to return the pick too -- if he hadn't stepped out of bounds, he might have gotten a score. Later on, the hit he put on Sutton was by far the best shot of the game from either team. I love seeing a physical cornerback.
- Come On: We're struggling enough in the game offensively, and we need to waste a 1st-and-10 carry on FB Charles Ali in the third quarter? Is that seriously going to advance our ability to evaluate whether or not he's going to make the team? That carry should've gone to Harrison or Davis.
- First-Defense Without Rogers: Not that I don't like Ahtyba Rubin, but you could again tell that without Shaun Rogers in the game, our defensive line is vulnerable. I only recall seeing Rogers play for the first series before he got the rest of the night off, which definitely made it more difficult to judge the type of pressure we can generate during the regular season.
- Abe Elam Allows a Bomb: In their prime, the thing I liked about Sean Jones and Brodney Pool was that neither one of them seemed to give up an open touchdown deep down the middle. If Rogers isn't in the game, we can't generate a pass rush with a three-man line. Rodgers had way too much time to sit in the pocket and wait for an opportunity. He found it when Elam fell behind on veteran Donald Driver. It wasn't a great first game for Elam, but I still have hope.
Lost in the Shuffle: While it was disappointing that we point zero points on the board, I think it might have gotten lost in the shuffle that the Browns had a very positive opening drive with Brady Quinn under center. Quinn converted two third down passes to WR Mike Furrey, who in one game showed some similarities to Joe Jurevicius.
Furrey seems to know where and how to settle down in an open spot past the marker and then, most importantly, secure the ball for a catch. It ended up being a 11 play drive covering 56 yards (more like 66 yards if you ignore Hank Fraley's holding penalty on the field goal). Considering we didn't get Braylon Edwards involved in the drive, I'll take this as something positive to look forward to next week.
- On the Other Hand: It was a complete disaster for Derek Anderson. His best attribute his being able to fire the ball to a receiver. He was ready to do that twice against the Packers, but his arm was hit on the throw both times. The scouting reports from training camp held true -- Anderson is holding onto the ball a tad too long, which is something he hasn't always done in the past. In an ideal situation, the coaches will work with Anderson to get him to deliver the ball a little bit quicker to see an improvement against Detroit next week.
- Trick Plays 1-for-2: By my estimation, we attempted two trick plays -- the end around to Joshua Cribbs, and the behind-the-line pass/run to Jerome Harrison. Cribbs' play worked to perfection, while Harrison's did not. It's easy to knock the Harrison play because the Packers read it perfectly, but that's exactly the type of play the Leon Washington would see with the Jets. Next time, maybe it will work a little better.
- Edwards Just Did it Again: All of the nightmares from last season returned for Braylon Edwards when Quinn targeted him for the first time in the game. Edwards was open on a very nice pass in the back of the end zone, but he did not hang on to the ball. I think some people overreacted when the next pass was intercepted though, because it didn't appear to them that Edwards fought for the ball. The defensive back had tight coverage and made a good play on the ball after a risky pass by Quinn. Nonetheless, it remains Edwards' fault that it even got to that point.
- Tucker Should be Starting: I remain an advocate of seeing Ryan Tucker starting. I hope he gets that opportunity next week. If we don't want him to retire, keeping him on the second- and third-string lines isn't the route to go.
- What a Leg on Crosby: That Mason Crosby has some leg. The conditions made it manageable to try the 60-yarder, and although he barely missed it, it seemed like it could've had the distance from 65 or 70 yards.
- Call Me Crazy: Having Joshua Cribbs as a regular receiver isn't an advantage just because he's catching the ball well, it's an advantage because I could see him on the receiving end of those 15-yard facemask penalties. His catch-and-go style along with the fact that he can deliver a nice stiff arm to a cornerback can force the defender to make desperation tackles. Unfortunately, he'll probably slip down the depth chart once we work our two second-round rookies into the mix.
- Wright's Still Top Notch: The best player in our starting secondary against the Packers was Eric Wright. He had a nice pass deflection close to the end zone that almost ended up being an interception.
- Finally Some Progress: After a couple of years of seeing Kamerion Wimbley rush the quarterback from the same right side over and over again to no avail, it was refreshing to see him coming off the left side. He wasn't a DeMarcus Ware pass rusher or anything, but it was evident that the defensive staff is making the effort to get more out of him than what we saw during the Crennel era.
- Other Defensive Highlights: When the backups were in the game, LB Marcus Benard had a knack for being around the ball carrier. More impressive than registering the tackles was making the tackles close to the line of scrimmage. DE C.J. Mosley took control of the Packers second-string offensive line, and LB David Veikune had his nose in the action a few times.
- Ratliff's Not Ready: Why is it that when Brett Ratliff plays for the Jets under Eric Mangini, he is able to rip us apart, but when the combination is on the Browns against another team, Ratliff doesn't even look the same? He took three sacks and tossed two interceptions; I was upset that Richard Bartel didn't get the respect of a series at the end despite Mangini saying he would receive one.
- More Blitzing: Although some of our third-down pass rushing schemes were less than ideal, overall Rob Ryan did dial up a few more blitzes, including an all-out eight-man blitz in which C.J. Mosley registered a sack.
- WR Notes: He saw limited playing time, but Brian Robiskie had a good opportunity for a ball later in the game. If he would have broken off his route a little quicker, it would've been a nice, deep completion. Lance Leggett had a nice catch that didn't count due to an illegal formation penalty (although Leggett didn't come down in bounds anyway).
- Walker Ahead of Rucker: Don't be surprised if TE Martin Rucker doesn't even make the team. Robert Royal seems to be getting all of the first-string action, and with Steve Heiden being "rested", Aaron Walker is getting the receptions as the backup tight end. He led the team with 3 catches for 48 yards.
- Center Evaluation: Next week, I'd like to see what Alex Mack has to offer on the first-string line. He had a few nice pancakes against the second-stringers, and his holding call looked more like a pancake than a hold. Hank Fraley had a holding penalty that took our only would-be points of the game off the board.
- Isaac Sowells: Cut him now. I'm tired of seeing an unproductive, penalty-creating offensive lineman.
Brownies: I loved hearing Bernie Kosar again. When he hammers an opposing team's quarterback on their first play or two, it's too entertaining. Or, when Noah Herron doesn't do a great job blocking on one play, Bernie says that he isn't ready at all to be a blocker at this level. The Brown pants weren't putrid, but I could do without them. Alex Hall had a good game with five tackles. Beau Bell also had five tackles, but if you would've asked me after the game how many he had, I would've said zero. Too many people knocked Jamal Lewis. I thought he had a decent push on the first drive without stutter stepping.
Hopefully we regroup and look better against the Detroit Lions next week. If we can't see the game due to a blackout too, I'll be pretty bummed out too. There were only 6000 tickets left a week or so ago though, so you'd think that by now it would be pretty close to a sellout.
Next week, Quinn should get the start, and I want to see Mack and Tucker on the offensive line. I wouldn't automatically say that Anderson has lost his shot at the starting job just yet, because his arm can lead to a great game against the weaker defensive teams. I think it's safe to say that with one more bad performance from Anderson though, the only thing he'll win is the No. 2 job.
Here is the roll call of who participated in the game thread, with kjc having the most to say...
Roll Call: irish1083, skipkirk, kjc, Simmsinns, Estonianzulu, ChrisPokorny, BrownDawg1409, Juannieboy, realmccoy, BradyQuinnisBeast, NorthStarr, rockybrown, Bernie19Kosar, kwoog, APV, troy145, Mocking Dan, NM Dawg, mskiles314, Roger Dorn, fwembt, Buckeye Brad, Joey_D, dohior, JustBob
Total Users: 25
Total Posts: 288
Total Threads: 1
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