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Browns vs. Lions: Analyzing the Snap Counts (Offense)

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Looking at the offensive snap counts in the Browns' 13-12 loss to the Lions.

Leon Halip

Last year during the regular season, after each game, we would analyze how many snap counts every player on the team had. We will do the same thing this preseason, splitting the series up into offensive and defensive breakdowns, starting with last night's game between the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions.

Because this is the preseason, you have to kind of understand the context of many of these snap count percentages. For example, it doesn't mean much that Willie Snead saw more snaps than any other wide receiver, because the third-team offense simply got a lot of plays late in the game. Game statistics are provided for each of the players.

Quarterback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
QB Johnny Manziel 25 37% 7-of-11 for 63 yards. 6 carries, 27 yards.
QB Brian Hoyer 24 35% 6-of-14 for 92 yards.
QB Tyler Thigpen 19 28% 3-of-12 for 38 yards, 1 INT.

Neither quarterback set the world on fire, but I think that is OK. I think we're all a bit tired of guys like Jake Delhomme, Colt McCoy, and Brandon Weeden building our hopes up with touchdown-heavy stats in the preseason, only to be let down.

Against the Lions, I think Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel merely confirmed that they are the type of players we expected them to be. Hoyer can make the quick decisions and has a good level of comfort with the offense. Manziel adds the extra dimension of turning a dead play into a big gainer, but he doesn't have as a good of a grasp of the offense and doesn't seem to be selling the fakes very well yet. Tyler Thigpen was way off on too many of his throws, just like he was in practice.

Running Back

Pos Player Plays % Stats
RB Terrance West 29 43% 10 carries, 22 yards, 2.2 avg. 1 catch, 8 yards (1 target).
FB MarQueis Gray 27 40% 2 catches, 51 yards (5 targets).
RB Dion Lewis 23 34% 3 carries, 6 yards, 2.0 avg. 1 catch, 2 yards (1 target). 1 fumble lost.
FB Ray Agnew 14 21% No stats registered.
RB Ben Tate 11 16% 6 carries, 25 yards, 4.2 avg.
RB Edwin Baker 5 7% 3 carries, 9 yards, 3.0 avg.

The Browns let the rookie Terrance West get as many touches as he could over the first three quarters. His stats started off better, but then a couple of plays got him destroyed behind the second-team offensive line. Dion Lewis actually received a lot of reps and had a nice 12-yard burst on one carry, but the fumble will stand out like a sore thumb to the coaching staff. The fullbacks got plenty of work, particularly MarQueis Gray, who looks to be utilized heavily in the passing game this year. Ben Tate looked the part of a starting running back during his limited duty.

Wide Receiver

Pos Player Plays % Stats
WR Willie Snead 34 50% 0 catches (3 targets).
WR Taylor Gabriel 31 46% 3 catches, 32 yards (7 targets).
WR Charles Johnson 31 46% 3 catches, 30 yards (6 targets).
WR Josh Gordon 18 26% 2 catches, 32 yards (4 targets).
WR Miles Austin 16 24% 1 catch, 13 yards (3 targets).
WR Andrew Hawkins 14 21% 1 catch, 15 yards (3 targets).
WR Anthony Armstrong 12 18% 1 catch, 6 yards (1 target).
WR Jonathan Krause 9 13% 0 catches (1 target).
WR Marlon Moore 3 4% No stats registered.

Compared to what we've seen in practice, Willie Snead was a disappointment, and don't get me started about that one play with Jonathan Krause. Even Josh Gordon and Miles Austin dropped catchable passes. The amount of passes that Taylor Gabriel and Charles Johnson were targeted on gives you an idea of what the Browns' quarterbacks think of them. Nate Burleson sat out as he nursed a hamstring injury, and Travis Benjamin was given the game off.

Tight End

Pos Player Plays % Stats
TE Emmanuel Ogbuehi 24 35% No stats registered.
TE Gary Barnidge 20 29% 0 catches (1 target).
TE Jim Dray 18 26% 1 catch, 4 yards (1 target).
TE Martell Webb 1 1% No stats registered.

With Jordan Cameron out of the lineup (shoulder), the regular tight ends barely saw any passes come their way. To an extent, you could also put MarQueis Gray here, because he lined up at multiple positions. Technically, Jim Dray was the guy who got the start in place of Cameron.

Offensive Line

Pos Player Plays %
OL Jeremiah Warren 44 65%
OL Martin Wallace 44 65%
OL Keavon Milton 44 65%
OL Garrett Gilkey 35 51%
OL Paul McQuistan 35 51%
OL Joe Thomas 24 35%
OL Joel Bitonio 24 35%
OL Alex Mack 24 35%
OL John Greco 24 35%
OL Mitchell Schwartz 24 35%
OL Abasi Salimu 9 13%
OL Ryan Lee 9 13%

The starting offensive line played 24 snaps, which is the same amount of snaps that QB Brian Hoyer had. Contrary to what was reported right before the game, QB Johnny Manziel did not receive any snaps behind the first-team offensive line. Greco played with the first-stringers, so he appears to have the edge over Garrett Gilkey. The backup offensive linemen as a collective unit were pretty dreadful.

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We'll have coverage on the defensive and special teams snap counts later on.