The Young & the Yardless

The Young & the Yardless

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For the Cleveland Browns this season, there’s been more drama than your average daytime soap opera. From the drama pertaining to Peyton Hillis and his contract, to the numerous injuries the Browns have suffered all of this has been compounded on top of their lackluster play on the field. However, I won’t be the one to trash them and leading the ‘get rid of everyone’ charge. This team was bad, we knew this going into the season, so why when they look horrible are we surprised? Even through all of this, there are some positives to extract, but let’s first get to the one thing they’ve done the worse, which is protecting Colt McCoy from getting clobbered. In the last 4 games he’s been hit and sacked a combine 42 times. That’s just unacceptable. At some point Shurmur is going to have to make changes if he expects Colt to survive the last 8 games. Either beef up the protection schemes, or play some guys who can keep Colts uniform from needing Tide laundry detergent extra strength.

What also needs to happen is the Browns need to execute better. Though the play calling may not be the greatest, at some point you have to execute the plays that are called. Now we may not like the 5 yard passes, but when you drop them, throw them behind the receiver, it makes no difference. Also, the coaching staff has to do a better job in game planning and adjusting faster. Every game this season, it’s taken them until the 2nd qtr to find a rythmn on offense. Why? Why can’t we adjust the scheme earlier? Why haven’t we figured out what works for Colt and mix some of that in with the West Coast Offense? I understand injuries factor into this, which limits some of the flexibility you have, but you cant continue to wait until the 4th qtr to let loose. The Browns offense is terrible, 5 out of their 8 games they’ve have less than 300 yards total offense. Only the Colts ( 6 games under 300 total yards) and the Jaguars ( 8 games under 300 total yards) are worse in the AFC. I get the theory of seeing if Colt can make the guys around him better in your system, but at some point you have to put your team in a position to succeed, beyond the scope of what you originally had planned.

Now everything isn’t all bad. The defense for the most part has been pretty good. A few breakdowns here and there wouldn’t be so bad if the offense gave them some cushion. The secondary is above average, D’Qwell Jackson is having a great season, and the rookies on the line have played well. Now we do need a stud pass rusher, but there’s no glaring weakness on the defense that you can point to and say, he’s the weak link. Depth would be great, but with their extra draft picks that will come.

For all the doom and gloom, this team still has a chance to win 3 or 4 more games and finish right where we thought they would. Though the process is rough, it’s nothing you can skip. You have to be patient and give them time to turn this thing around. I’m not saying give them a free pass, but give them more than 8 games to build their foundation.

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