We must continue to support the Browns.
Hello Browns Fans!
Well, the week started off well – it was Legends weekend. Golf tournament on Friday with a lot of my old teammates; an induction dinner on Saturday night; and, on Sunday, the half-time ceremony introducing two former players into the Legends Club – Clarence Scott, who was a teammate of mine, and Ernie Green, who played with Jim Brown.
I know it’s beginning to sound like I am repeating myself again, but the Browns have to learn how to win. They have to learn how to feel the momentum of the game. They need to know where they are at all times during the game. And, bad play can cost you momentum during the game. For example, a wide-open receiver drops a pass. Next play, a bad pass to a wide-open receiver on third down kills the drive. Fourth down, 32-yard punt equals bad field position, which gives your defense a short field to defend, and great position for the other team, which usually ends up in some kind of score (field goal/touchdown). They put themselves behind the eight ball being behind (14-0) with five minutes left in the first quarter. This changes your game plan and dictates a different game plan because you are playing catch-up. Despite all of that, the Browns did fight to get back in the game, got within three points, stopped the Bills on three downs… but on third down, instead of making the Bills punt they drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for hitting the runner out of bounds (questionable call – substitute referees), giving the Bills a fresh set of downs. They score – opportunity for momentum change, gone.
Another tough lesson on learning how to win.
Quarterback: Pro football is like a chess game, you make a move offensively and the defense counters. Defenses have studied Weeden on film, so they are going to force him to do the things he doesn’t do well and take away the things he does well. Want to know what the game looks like to rookies? Get in your car, take 271, get out of your car and try to time the traffic during rush hour to run across the highway to the other side. That’s how fast the game seems to be moving to rookies. You, the fans, watch enough of other quarterbacks, you watch enough games and you listen to the commentators talk about the clock in the quarterback’s head that makes him get rid of the football. Weeden is having a problem holding on to the ball too long. Two step drop, three step drop – throw the ball! Most quarterbacks have to elevate to their best towards the end of the game. Weeden hasn’t been very good at that. Last week’s interception that nullified any chance of coming back, and this week’s two interceptions in the fourth quarter – that’s unacceptable.
Running back: Trent Richardson is trying to make things happen but the chemistry between him and the run blocking is still developing. Teams are going to look at what he did well in terms of running the ball in the previous game and they are going to work to take those things away. He is going to need to make the adjustments to continue to be affective as a runner.
Receivers: Dropping the ball, not making catchable passes is unacceptable. No more excuses.
These young receivers need to get better at running routes, not stopping short of first down yardage and catching the ball, or we need to bring in someone else. On a good note, reserve tight end Jordan Cameron had a pretty good game.
Defense: Though the defense seemed to improve each previous week, playing well enough for us to have won the first two games, this week they struggled. Buffalo took wide splits with their offensive line, ran zone blocking and our defense seemed to have a problem stopping the run. Once Buffalo had success with the run, they mixed in screens with runs and scored 14 points with five minutes left in the first quarter so we were never able to gain the lead. The Browns defense did settle down, and we built some momentum as we came within three points, having stopped Buffalo on third down. Then, a questionable call by the officials robbed the Browns of any momentum that was gained up to that point.
As hard as it is to do this, I must say we still have to be patient with the Browns. And like I also said before, they have a tough schedule. We must continue to support the Browns.