From Cleveland's own Greg Pruitt
This is Do It Pruitt!
Although it’s very hard, I am going to stick to what I said and continue to be patient as a fan.
We have the youngest team in football and the hardest schedule. There isn’t a whole lot of experience in the head coach, so do I see improvement? Yes I do. Have they improved in terms of self-inflicted penalties and mistakes that killed drives? Little improvement.
What was the difference in Thursday’s game against Baltimore? Both defenses played well; both offensive lines played well; both teams ran the ball well; but Baltimore out-caught the Browns receivers by catching passes that were not accurate, and even those thought to be uncatchable. The Browns on the other hand, kept missing and dropping catchable passes. I thought the Browns missed two great opportunities due to two self-inflicted mistakes and at the worst time, late in the game, a ten yard penalty by the offense with a questionable hold call, then an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by the head coach who disagreed with that call. Nevertheless, it equaled out to 25 yards in penalties on a drive that the Browns were moving the ball and were in Baltimore territory (it was a drive killer). Although they did have a 20-yard plus gain after that, the hole was too deep to dig out of.
Summary: Quarterback: Weeden played well enough to win the game.
Running back: Richardson played well enough to win the game.
Wide receivers: Did not play well enough to win the game. After reading an article on the history of the Browns, in terms of its wide receivers, we as fans and also the coaches have to raise the bar as far as receivers go and our expectations of them. If you can’t live up to that expectation, we have to find someone who can. If you receivers are having a problem catching the ball, that’s what practice is for and that’s what after practice is for, and if need be, that’s what your day off is for! I’m not going to mention names, but I will say #10 and #15.
Defense: Defense can still expect opposing teams to pick on the cornerback position vacated by Joe Hayden. And they can expect the same when he gets back. With Hayden being out for 4 weeks, they are going to test him when he gets back. Overall, I would say that the offense’s inability to sustain long drives, has put a lot of pressure on the defense having to play so many minutes. Defense will continue to improve and hopefully get even better when Hayden returns.
Special Teams: Showing some improvement. The punting got a little better but needs some more improvement. They need to be more consistent, especially when the offense stalls in their own territory and they have to punt from deep in their own territory. We need to have a forty-yard plus yards on a consistent basis or you lose the battlefield position. Usually the team that wins the field position battle, wins the game. Prior to Thursday night’s game, I noticed that Josh Cribbs was taking some vicious hits that he normally was able to avoid. Being a former kick returner myself, I realize how chemistry between a return guy and his blockers is just as critical and having a bunch of young guys block for him with no chemistry, resulted in what you saw Thursday night when Josh was injured. Just lets you know that chemistry is critical not just in special teams, but also on offense and defense, between lineman and running backs between linebackers and defensive backs, quarterbacks and receivers, and chemistry comes through playing together.
So we have to continue to be patient. I hate it, but I’ll live with it because I live in Cleveland.