Colt McCoy and the Browns' West Coast Offense Click in 27-17 Victory Over Packers

We are just one game in to the preseason, but the results for Colt McCoy and the West Coast Offense were positive. We'll see if things can go this smooth the rest of the preseason. For now, it might be time to start paying more attention to the 4-3 defense and making sure our front four get some positive work in. My complete game review of the team's 27-17 win over the Packers is after the jump.

GREEN BAY PACKERS (0-1) GAME #1 CLEVELAND BROWNS (1-0)
VS.
17 27

PRESEASON GAME 1 - GREEN BAY PACKERS VS. CLEVELAND BROWNS (COMPLETE GAME REVIEW)

  1. Awarding the Game Ball: I don't think you can give it to anyone else besides quarterback Colt McCoy. McCoy was marvelous in his first live action in the West Coast Offense, a system that seems tailor-made for him. I did not expect him to come out with such confidence and precision on his passes. He finished the game 9-of-10 for 135 yards and 1 touchdown.
     
  2. Goat of the Game: We're going to give it to defensive lineman Derrick Robinson. After the veteran lineman was called for encroachment once, my brother joked to me, "how many more times would he have to do that to get cut?" Sure enough, a couple of snaps later, Robinson was called for encroachment again. Robinson's job seems safe given our lack of depth at defensive tackle, but who knows - maybe guys like Ko Quaye and Travis Ivey end up drawing more favorable reviews from the coaching staff.
     
  3. Calling the Right Plays: The Browns' playcalling was so much different than it had been the past couple of seasons, even if it was just one preseason game. I like the aggressiveness the offense brings with the pass, but I also like how we can set up a run-pass option based on what McCoy sees, something rufio talked about last week. Routes were run beyond the first-down marker on third downs, with the exception of one play.
     
  4. Watson Sends a Reminder: With so much talk about the other three tight ends on the roster in camp, tight end Ben Watson sent a reminder to fans that he's still going to be a big part of the offense. Watson had two nice catches on the Browns' second touchdown drive. The second pass required him to make a great play on the ball, even though he was open. He probably gave a little too much effort for a preseason game when he tried to do the "Hillis jump" over defenders, but it was still pretty cool to see.
     
  5. A Little Different for Moore: It wasn't the most buzz-worthy day for tight end Evan Moore as it had been in training camp. I don't necessarily mind the throw to a receiver at the line of scrimmage on a third down, but a play like that is probably better suited for someone who is capable of making a quick move after making the reception. Moore's strengths are using his body to shield defenders, so he should always be put in a position where he isn't being counted on to juke out a defender.
     
  6. Wallace's Overthrows: During training camp, I've heard members of the media say that Seneca Wallace has a better grasp of the West Coast Offense than McCoy does. Every time I've been to camp this year, all I have seen is Wallace overthrow his receivers, and it was no different in his effort against the Packers. I'm not trying to trash the guy - I like him being our backup quarterback and the fact that he brings some mobility. However, he needs to get a little better with some of his throws - the interception thrown in the direction of Jordan Norwood was the one in particular that he should've been able to connect on.
     
  7. Shying Away from Haden: I think Sheldon Brown got too much of a bad reputation for the game he played against Green Bay. His coverage was fairly tight most of the time, he made a good open-field tackle at one point, and the touchdown pass by Aaron Rodgers was just a great throw, similar to the one that McCoy had made to Joshua Cribbs. Teams will probably throw away from Joe Haden, but don't expect Brown to be as bad as Eric Wright was a year ago.
     
  8. Weak at the Safety Position: I thought our safeties (beyond T.J. Ward) did not look very good against the Packers. Green Bay's first drive would've continued had Rodgers made a throw that he usually makes due to soft coverage by Mike Adams. Forget about Ray Ventrone - any time he was in the game, there might have been a 15-yard cushion and a lot of yards gained after the catch before Ventrone's pursuit finally caught up to him. It was like watching Andra Davis get credited for tackles, but in the wrong situations. We need Usama Young and Eric Hagg back to shore things up.
     
  9. Welcome Back, DQ: I loved seeing linebacker D'Qwell Jackson back in action. It has been an eternity since I've seen him play, but I liked what I saw. He'll need to make more plays as the middle linebacker in the 4-3 defense, but he looked up to the task.
     
  10. Rubin Whiffs: I watched our defensive tackles for the first series of the game, and I think this is a group that will really need to use the preseason to get comfortable. Last year, we saw Ahtyba Rubin have a very nice preseason while chasing down running backs from behind. There was one play in particular where the Packers ran a run play and Rubin was racing over to make the stop for about a two-yard gain. For some reason, he hesitated a bit, and then dove at the running back to whiff, rather than continuing full force to make the tackle.
     
  11. Norwood Gains My Approval: It only took a couple of plays for me to be sold on wide receiver Jordan Norwood. He started it off by showing some nice elusiveness on punt returns. When he was in at receiver, he looked like the most capable guy on our roster of getting yards after the catch - someone who can make you miss once they get the ball in their hands. The great thing about our offense is that he can be the "fifth receiver," but we can still insert him into the offense for certain plays as the slot receiver.
     
  12. A Couple of Mental Name Corrections: In my mind, for all of camp, I have been pronouncing two last names incorrectly, apparently. For Owen Marecic, I had been thinking "Mare-cic," when it is actually "Ma-re-cic." For Buster Skrine, I had been thinking more like "shine" (but with a kr), when it is actually more like "screen." Good to know.
     
  13. Speaking of Skrine: Good effort by the youngster, who showed flashes of why I was impressed by Coye Francies a couple of years ago in the preseason. This is another kid who seems to have a lot of confidence right now. That might lead to some pass interference calls since he is a "rookie" (i.e. you might see Joe Haden or Sheldon Brown get away with some of those things).
     
  14. B-Jax Shows Off His Skill Set: I was happy to see Brandon Jackson get a good amount of work against his former team. I'm not saying the guy looked like a machine or anything like that, but all we need is some serviceable - someone who can come in when Peyton Hillis leaves the game and not disrupt the flow of the offense. Jackson caught the ball well and showed good perimeter running. We all know he can block well too.
     
  15. Offensive Line Impresses: The running game might need a little bit of work when it comes to blocking, but in terms of pass protecting McCoy, I thought the offensive line was top-notch. The right side of the line needs to be a strength for this offense to work, and I liked the early results I saw from Shawn Lauvao and Tony Pashos. Speaking of Pashos, man, is that guy huge or what? Holy crap.
     
  16. Marecic the Blocker: Both Shurmur and McCoy have said that they first throw (actually a lateral) to fullback Owen Marecic was a mistake, and that McCoy should've just run the ball. Don't pigeon hole Marecic for that play. I watched his blocking on at least two running plays, and he did his job. On one play, he ran through the hole and stoned a linebacker. It looked like Peyton Hillis had room to run, but he somehow got tripped up near the line. On the touchdown run to Hillis, Marecic's block played a factor in getting him in.
     
  17. The Kickoff Factor: After seeing the kickoffs in the Browns game, I'm somewhat optimistic. I'm happy that both teams decided to take most of their kicks out of the end zone. For the most part, everyone made it back to the 20 at least. I think with some superior blocking schemes, the kickoff returns can still play a factor in a game, unless you face a kicker who can boot it out of the back of the end zone.
     
  18. Titus Brown Leading the Charge: We needed one of our reserve linebackers to step up, and I thought that is what Titus Brown did. I'm not even talking about the fumble recovery he returned for a touchdown. That is a nice highlight, but it's one of those things that anyone in that position could've made. Brown looked like a force on the second-team defense though, and I think his roster spot is well secured. He has played on special teams in the past, so he could easily be a special teams captain.
     
  19. Who Said He Couldn't? Who said that punter Richmond McGee would be a weakness on special teams? He averaged 49 yards a punt, with a 40.3 yard net average. One of his punts were downed inside the 20. He also did a fine job holding two 40+ yard kicks for backup kicker Jeff Wolfert. So far, he hasn't done anything to lose the job.
     
  20. Special Teams Tackles: There wasn't one particular player who stood out. Eight players had one tackle each. Those players were A. Donald, Marcus Benard, Dimitri Patterson, T.J. Ward, Coye Francies, Tyler Clutts, Owen Marecic, and Eric Gordon. Interesting to see that Ward was still playing some special teams.
     
  21. The Sacks: The Browns recorded five sacks during the game, with one each going to Brian Sanford, Auston English, Marcus Benard, Jayme Mitchell, and Brian Smith. I thought Mitchell showed some nice quickness when he was in the game.
     
  22. No Free Play: Why did the Browns call a timeout on the first play of the game? I didn't see the 12th man, but several sources say it was because Cleveland had too many players on the field. Better to call the timeout than to give up a free play.
     
  23. Brownies: Wide receiver Demetrius Williams had some nice catches, but I think we already have too many receivers...cornerback James Dockery made a nice play and continues to stand out amongst the unknowns...Jarrett Brown was picked off early, but was put in bad field position twice...I'm surprised we didn't see more reps for tight end Jordan Cameron...running back Armond Smith and receiver L.J. Castile are two practice squad picks for me...the Browns were 8/13 on third down...Bernie Kosar was great as always, and his co-announcer did a nice job of calling the action too.

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