When Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur talked with the media following Sunday's loss to the San Francisco 49ers, he again admitted that the offense has little room for error. "I think our margin for error right now on offense is very small," said Shurmur. "That's not an excuse. That's the reality. We've gotta hit on everything. We just do."
The margin of error is indeed small, and the issue is that the problems are coming from different directions. On one play, you'll see Tony Pashos get beat by his man. On the next play, you'll see one of the two guards look lost in pass or run blocking. Then, you'll see Colt McCoy miss an open target. It doesn't help that our offensive gameplan, for the majority of the game, is built on throwing two-yard passes that go nowhere or lead to our receivers getting annihilated.
One way to reduce that margin of error is to get Peyton Hillis back in the lineup as soon as possible. Even though Hillis didn't seem as effective as he was last year when he has played, the offense has fallen into hopeless-Brady-Quinn territory (i.e. the offense doesn't do squat). Running back Montario Hardesty is scheduled to undergo an MRI today on his calf injury that kept him out most of the game against San Francsico. He wouldn't have made a difference.
Shurmur was also impressed with the 49ers offense, which modeled what I thought the Browns would try to do this year. Their playbook seemed a lot more creative and effective than Shurmur's. Shurmur commented on how tough it was to try to defend the two plays where the 49ers threw to linemen. "They're difficult (to defend against)," Shurmur said. "You're settled in there with all those big guys in there trying to stop the run. Those plays were very effective."
Shurmur will talk about the game more in-depth when he meets with the local media in Cleveland.