Browns Bullet Points – Week 2

AP / David Zalubowski

AP / David Zalubowski

So, as I sit here ready to write up the bullets for this week, I turned on the Palladia channel so I could listen/watch David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) play guitar as I write. And wouldn’t you know it, when I started typing, the alarm clock went off to start the song “Time.” It might seem a bit cheesy, but here we are at the end of week two and it certainly feels like the Browns have “missed the starting gun.”

As always, don’t consider these notes comprehensive.  I will almost surely miss something.  Just put it in the comments.

  • The Browns  failed to score a touchdown on the opening drive as they were gift-wrapped their first scoring opportunity with the kickoff fumble.  They got a field goal, but that was almost a moral victory for the Broncos.
  • Braylon Edwards had a good game.  6 catches for 92 yards is not too shabby at all.  Whenever the Browns’ offense didn’t look totally inept, Braylon was involved.
  • Brady Quinn was sacked 4 times.  John St. Clair and the rest of the guys on the right side of the offensive line did not get the job done.  I remember reading earlier this year that the former Browns’ regime regretted not drafting Adrian Peterson and just using Steinbach at left tackle.  Any chance that Steinbach could play right tackle?  I am only half kidding.
  • Jamal Lewis seemed effective in the first half.  It was a disappearing act in the second half.  In the end, it wasn’t a good showing for the running game any more than the offense as a whole.  54 yards on 21 carries as a team.
  • The story of the game offensively?  Brady Quinn and the Browns were 3 /14 on third down.
  • Quinn’s sub-60 QB rating isn’t going to get the job done.  He was rushed all game long, and didn’t make the best of his bad situations.  Yes there was pressure, but sometimes he seemed to contribute to the mess by holding the ball too long.  Kyle Orton was happy to look silly in the first half as he continually threw the ball away as the pressure grew too heavy in the pocket.
  • Hank Poteat looked like Terry’s Cousin.  In the first half it appeared that the DB was just getting abused continuously by Brandon Stokley.  Stokley finished the day with 5 catches for 70 yards.  I think pretty much all of that was on Hank Poteat.  My mantra has been “Poteat HAS to be better than Terry Cousin.”  Well, maybe Coye Francies is.
  • I was happy to see the Browns open with three and four receiver sets in the first half to try and keep the defense from loading up the box.  It didn’t work except to lead to a couple of field goals, but it was still a good idea.
  • Mike Furrey was a welcome sight on offense, except that he didn’t do anything.  I give the coaching staff credit for making that change from last week to this week, but unfortunately for them, it didn’t work.
  • The Browns also did a nice job of faking the reverse a number of times before actually giving the ball to Cribbs.  It didn’t lead to a big play, but the attempt was proper.
  • Even after two weeks, I can tell the difference between a Mangini-run team and a Romeo run team.  At 0-2 it isn’t good enough, obviously.  Still, I can’t help but notice the changes in gameplan to try to get this offense going.  Bad news is that it isn’t working yet.
  • I am sure it is something that will continue to get better with repetitions, but Brady Quinn’s ball fakes weren’t that good.  Either the alignment with the runner was off or Quinn’s timing was odd because the play action didn’t look clean all game.
  • The Browns did an alright job with penalties.  They committed 4 for 43 yards.  That isn’t so bad at all.

Look, folks.  The news isn’t good.  Then again, it still isn’t as bad as it feels today.  I honestly feel that the defense played decently despite the eventual meltdown in the second half.  I also can’t believe that this offense won’t start to click a bit more as they gain familiarity.  Then again, it is hard to bank on familiarity and rhythm when your offense punts 4 times, fumbles once and gets intercepted in all of their 2nd half “possessions.”

Based on our experience right now I am guessing  that Eric Mangini really did have a QB competition this pre-season because neither of these QBs could take the job.  I don’t look forward to a continuation of the Cleveland quarterback controversy, but you do have to wonder.  If these two QBs were so tightly matched in the pre-season, how many games will Eric Mangini go with a struggling Quinn?  And an even better question, did Quinn struggle as an individual this week, or was it a team effort in suckitude?

Bottom line is that the Browns need to find some rhythm and playmakers on offense.

  • MrCleaveland

    O somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright.
    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
    And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout.
    But there is no joy in Turdville, the Browns lose in a rout.

  • RobGoBlue
  • Isis

    Second round picks are expected to be IMPACT players in year one in the NFL, particularly those picked at the top of the second round. This is true more so for teams on the rebound, I’m sure we can all agree. Already thoughout the 2009 season second round draft picks start and contribute in significant numbers.

    That said, let’s track week to week the progress of Mangini’s (Kokinis’s) second round picks, shall we? Beginning with yesterday’s performance against the Vikings:

    Game #1 vs. Vikings/Second Round Browns Picks:

    Brian Robiski: Grade: DNP
    Mohamed Masaquoi: Grade: 1 catch/18 yards
    David Vekune Grade: DNP

    Game #2 vs. Broncos:

    Brian Robiskie: Grade: INACTIVE (inexcusible, shades of Travis Wilson?)
    Mohamed Masaquoi: Grade: 0 catches
    David Vekune: Grade: DNP

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    - John St. Clair has been brutal on back-to-back games. The only reason Quinn wasn’t a victim of a safety in the fourth quarter was because Elvis Dumervil chose to throw him out to the two yard line like it was the human hammer toss.

    – Our pass-rush was somewhat solid yet again, but as pointed out, all Orton did was have to throw it away; they would be able to capitalize on the next play.

    – The downside of the pass rush is that it compromises our safeties, allowing the second huge touchdown run in as many weeks. Stokley’s may as well have been one as well as he hauled the pass in five yards down field and turned it in to a huge play.

    – If the Browns are going to continue using Robert Royal as a receiver, why didn’t they sign a RECEIVING tight end? FWIW, Kellen Winslow: 12 receptions, 120 yards, two touchdowns thus far in 2009.

    – I’m on board with Coye. Can he be worse than Poteat at this point?

  • Isis

    Scott, you mean John “Pear” St. Clair? (a guy with a pear shaped body is questionable). When Pear and Porkfat were signed, I told everyone they would start-to the critique of those who said they were just “depth”.

  • Boomhauer

    I can’t believe someone could be worse than Kevin Shaffer, but Mangini was able to find him – John St. Clair everyone!!
    I wonder who the next coach and GM will be…I think we’ve tapped out the New England and Baltimore pipelines.

  • MrCleaveland

    The 36th overall pick in the draft didn’t play because they needed a guy to replace Cribbs on kick coverage.

    Cribbs can’t cover kicks because he’s too busy butchering the 36th overall pick’s job.

  • ben

    This is a bad bad bad team. I think either DA or Quinn would be a serviceable QB, but even Tom Brady would look awful on this offense. We have 1 inconsistent playmaker in Edwards, and that’s it. The left side of our line cannot play the center and right side, which is a shame. And when you couple our terrible O-Line play with the RB formerly known as Jamal Lewis, we have a non-existent running game.

    And I don’t know if the defense is simply terrible or just slightly terrible.

  • Chuck

    Maybe the Browns should hire Isis.

  • ben

    On a lighter note, BQ is not anywhere near as inaccurate as JaMarcus Russel. And we paid way less for Brady.

  • Boomhauer

    Will the “DA, DA” chants start when the 0-3 Browns are trailing the Bengals 17-0 at halftime in Week 4?

  • MacNip

    Maybe Isis can name some 2nd round WRs that made an immediate impact for their team? Wr is one of the toughest positions in the game and rookies rarley make an impact. Lets have a little patience here.

    I will say that I still wish they drafted Malaloogia

  • jimkanicki

    bullets? here are some bullets:

    * don carey waived (draft pick), bret lockett waived (claimed by pats)… hank poteat kept. i remember him being bad here in new england years ago.
    * 1st round center seems to have never played shotgun. quinn could do a three step drop faster than his snaps arrive.
    * 36th overall pick is inactive. maualuga looks like a stud.
    * how many rookie OCs do we have to break in before someone figures out it’s a bad idea?
    * quinn LOOKS horrible. i gave him a pass against vikes rush but yesterday he simply looked clueless.
    * defense plays hard. i think they’re playing for ryan, not mangini.
    * this team quits on mangini.
    * john fox rumored to be on hot seat in carolina… with cowher replacing him. i would take john fox in a second.
    * DA would have done much better than BQ. i would have put DA when we were down by a TD and still had a chance. it _can_ be managed: ‘brady you don’t have it today, you’ll start next week i’m putting in DA. DA, go out and get us a win. you’re still #2 but we really need a spark.’
    * if cribbs isn’t cutting it on offense, make him our nickel back or strong safety. in addition to his returns, he was also the surest tackler on special teams.
    * warming to the idea of rob ryan for interim coach keeping seat warm for fox.
    * losses to baltimore and cinci and we’re staring straight down the barrel of 0-16.

    good lord…. that was THE WORST performance since they came back in the league.

  • Harv 21

    Not despondent, there’s still hope for the Browns to start approaching mediocre before the end of the season, which was the reasonable 2009 goal. But it is interesting that when Butch Davis came in he demoaned the lack of quality players from the Dwight Clark era. Savage said the same about the Davis/Garcia players. And now it kind of looks like we need a lot of players. In a league built to create parity, reaching mediocrity appears to be as difficult as cold fusion or splitting the atom for this organzation. It can’t be that hard to maybe just get the last spot in the playoffs every 2-3 years.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Craig

    Sunday, September 12, 1999 – Pittsburgh Steelers 43, Cleveland Browns 0

    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199909120cle.htm

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com TD

    We are staring 0-8 in the face. Not only are we bad, but we are boring too.

  • thebigmack67

    ISIS….David Vekune plays on special teams…so you DNP is inaccurate. But still pathetic on our 2nd round selections. I think Massaquoi will eventually be our 2nd reciever. But the other two 2nd round picks make you cringe.

  • MacNip

    Cribbs needs to learn to run his routes all the way to the first down marker on 3rd downs.

  • MrCleaveland

    New slogan for Brady Quinn: High, wide and handsome.

    I’m starting to think that Mangini’s job interview with Lerner went something like this: Mangini grabs Lerner by the throat and says, “Look, you little pencil-necked geek, I’m taking this coaching job whether you like it or not.” Lerner wets himself and agrees.

    Maybe we ought to call Mangini “Captain Queeg,” after the nutso commander in “The Caine Mutiny.” “The bottled water. He tried to sneak out without paying for the bottled water. He didn’t think I’d find out. But I did find out and I fined him. And that’s why they hated me. It was the bottled water . . .”

  • matt

    there is this new play in football called a “screen pass”….we should look it up sometime.

    Perhaps the most frustrating thing is the lack of creativity on offense. I dont mind running up the middle, but find some new ways of doing it….i saw robert royal motion from the slot to the fullback position about 10 times, and each time it was a lewis run to the middle…..argh.

    Conversely, i like the creativity i saw on defense….many times its boom or bust, but at least there are new looks and some decent pressure. i almost have more fun watching the defense than the offense….

    Also, Isis is right…..there is no reason those two 2nd round picks are not the starting WR opposite BE…..NONE! Cribbs is not a starting WR.

  • B-bo

    Chuck, the Browns would do that, but he’s busy preparing to step into the role of owner/GM/manager/director of scouting for the Tribe. Even know-it-alls need time to sleep…..or do they?

  • Nullster

    Actually isis i went back and looked … you didn’t say a bad thing about porkchop when he was signed … not one bad thing at all

    I’ll give you credit on St. Clair though … though no one was happy with him with he signed

  • Chris M

    * 36th overall pick is inactive. maualuga looks like a stud.

    After 6 tackles, 6 assists and 1 sack in 2 career games, he’s the next Lawrence Taylor.

    “* how many rookie OCs do we have to break in before someone figures out it’s a bad idea?

    Quality, experienced Offensive Coordinators are everywhere, and the Browns should have one on their sidelines as well.

    * if cribbs isn’t cutting it on offense, make him our nickel back or strong safety.”

    Everyone naturally knows how to read routes and pick up coverage, regardless of whether or not they have played the position before.

    “* defense plays hard. i think they’re playing for ryan, not mangini.

    And this is based on what, exactly? locker room conversations with defensive players?

    “* john fox rumored to be on hot seat in carolina… with cowher replacing him. i would take john fox in a second.

    We should fire Mangini after the first two games of the season, because John Fox may or may not get fired, and has such an accomplished career.

    “* DA would have done much better than BQ. i would have put DA when we were down by a TD and still had a chance. it _can_ be managed: ‘brady you don’t have it today, you’ll start next week i’m putting in DA. DA, go out and get us a win. you’re still #2 but we really need a spark.’

    This team need more QB controversy. Based on Anderson’s track record, he can certainly get it done.

    * warming to the idea of rob ryan for interim coach keeping seat warm for fox.

    Again, because Fox isn’t currently employed, and blowing up the coaching staff after two games would certainly turn this season around.

    I hate to get all FJM, but this is seriously the most ridiculous thing I may have ever seen posted here.

  • S-Dub

    It’s amazing to watch the game and see the right side of the line absolutely melt as soon as the ball is hiked.

    We’ve got our rookie center hitting himself with the ball inside the ten yard line to fumble snaps, everyone knows St. Clair is garbage, and our RG rotation seems ok at times and miserable at other times. This leads to only running off the left side, and if I can see that then I bet a coach whose spent 25 years in football can too.

    Quinn has no time to throw, and we have no run game because all but 2 players on our line are miserable (Mack is a rookie so I give him a bit of a break). And, as Isis pointed out this preseason, Quinn doesn’t have any sort of rhythm with his WR’s.

    Cribbs doesn’t get thrown to enough, although I’m not sure his routes are good enough to get open all the time and he absolutely failed to run the correct hook route on that 3rd down when he was planted by Champ Bailey.

    I said ALL preseason that Hood and Poteat were terrible and now we see why. Poteat can’t run anymore and he obviously can’t cover a soul. Francies needs to play or they need to go sign Ty Law (or at least someone with some speed to play nickel) and have McDonald play the nickel in those situations.

    What is David Bowens doing on the field? He is clearly fat and out of shape, not to mention he’s pretty terrible. His pass rush is real bad and I didn’t see him stop the run. I would think Hall or maybe Veikune would be able to do what he does, or doesn’t I guess.

    *Side Note: Our D-linemen and LB’s were being held ALL game, blatantly. Where were the calls? Just a question.

  • http://www.60bpm.com Robbie

    Whoa, this is the first sort-of-optimistic, at least not completedly-negative voice I’ve heard, including the ones in my head. It’s seriously welcome. Thanks!

  • Anon Imus

    Overmatched QB + ball dropping 1 receiver + no 2 receivers + old RB + no left side protection + bad coaching = no scoring = little chance to win even with a good defense. Now with our deplorable defense this formula equals = 0 and 16. You heard it here first. This sucks

  • Painesville

    Go Buckeyes!

  • Pingback: Heels in the League (NFL) Week Two (Part 1) | The 5th Corner()

  • thebigmack67

    Painesville is yet another luckeye homer.

    Yea, only if the luckeyes played toledo every week….Whats the luckeyes record in their last six games against teams ranked in the top 5? 0-6, yep. 0-6. GO LUCKEYES

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    @ thebigmack – don’t be a turd.

  • JD

    The thing that makes me the angriest/saddest/most frustrated is that this team is just not interesting to watch. At all.

    I love blocking off my Sundays to watch Browns football. But if this team can’t score at all, what’s the point? No matter how good the defense plays, it just doesn’t matter. What is it now…1 TD in 34 quarters? A good college team could score more TDs than that against NFL competition.

    I just wish this team LOOKED like an NFL football team and, win or lose, put 3 interesting hours of TV in front of my face every week. Is that REALLY too much to ask?

  • jimkanicki

    @#23

    :-) YA!! Bring it!! You sound like an arrogant/dismissive sport radio talk host!! Have I had personal conversations in the locker room?! Seriously??

    Hey… news for you: this is an 0-16 team. We’re in the Crennel zone but without a decent talent evaluator.

    * Did you see BQ demonstrate any capability in these two games? If no… then how long do you wait to change? Until we’re 0-10?
    * Do you see the defense playing with intensity until they’re gassed in the 4th qtr? Do you see the same intensity on offense? If no, is it a fair surmise that the DC is a more effective coach?
    * Do you see poor tackling in the secondary? If yes, does it not make sense to put an athletic, sure tackling FOOTBALL PLAYER in the secondary?
    * Who gets more out their teams, John Fox or Eric Mangini? Playoff/SB appearances say Fox. Unless we’re Mike Brown and not wanting to pay fired coaches why wouldn’t we take a look at him?
    * We appear to be oh for four on our draft picks. Do you have a problem with this being pointed out or do you disagree with the statement? If you disagree, let me know who’s going to be an impact player out of the four and, corollary question, will either robiskie or mack have a better career than maualuga?

    Overall, we place a lot of trust in football ‘experts’ to run the team but as a fan who watches and sees the same mistakes year after year, I don’t see any reason not express my opinions. They seem as valid as what the Browns’ coaching staff… frankly, you or I or Isis or Diesel could have play-called just as well yesterday. At worst we would have scored zero points and that’s only three less that what Daboll gave us.

    What’s FJM?

    All said with love,
    Ridiculously yours,
    Jim K.

  • MallaLubba (aka TDML)

    -It’s all at the line. Without o-line there’s no running, there’s no pass protection, there’s no offense. …with that said:
    -Quinn has got to…GOT TO…make decisions faster. What do they say a quarterback gets? 3 secnods? 5 seconds? When he was given the gift of time in the pocket he took too long to find the play. Although, I do believe that time and consistency with the offense can heal that wound. He has to have game time experience to feel some confidence in his team that they aren’t going to botch the play.
    I don’t know how many times during the game I was screaming: now…now…NOW! If I can see it that fast, he’s going to have to see it that fast.
    -Is anyone else noticing that Mack is having problems? Why are they putting him in even harder situations (shotgun) so regularly?

    I’m tired of hearing the defense get blamed. It was overblamed last year and you can scream at me all you want but it is NOT the problem this year.

  • MacNip

    Yep, 2 games makes a season. We should fire our head coach. Thats the obvious move. Some people are ……..

  • marco

    -The right side of the line is awful
    -I’m fine with Quinn not being a “big arm” guy, but then he has to be a quick decision/accurate guy. Yesterday, he was neither. [Sits in corner, rocks back and forth, repeats “It’s only his 4th game” over and over]
    -This defense gives up when it’s behind
    -Enough with the inside counters, they’re not working
    -Enough with the delayed blitz, it’s not working
    -The Baltimore game is going to be U-G-L-Y
    -What’s with the bad shotgun snaps?

  • Notorious C.H.A.C.E.

    Can’t believe I wasted hundreds on the Sunday ticket to watch this garbage

  • ben

    @33: Defense IS a problem. It’s just not our only problem or our biggest problem.

    Let’s be honest, the whole team is really bad.

  • kersh

    I still blame the playcalling in the 2nd half of both games. Being down by a score in the 2nd half does not call for abandoning the run game. Also watching the Cowboys run for 200+ against a “good” Giants D. The O-line pulled and trapped to take advantage of stunts and alignments by the D. Not since Lindy Infante and Kosar have we had an imaginative offense in Cleveland that was fun to watch. Mike Martz isn’t coaching right now. Look what he did with Kitna a few years ago.

  • Illmatic8

    No shot we go 0-16. I actually think the Ravens will look past us and there is upset potential there. When James Davis gets back our RB situation should be improved, at least in terms of offering different looks. I’m very curious as to whether Mangini will make personnel adjustments in the secondary. I’d also like to see more of Alex Hall . It’s going to be a long season, hopefully we can use this year as a jump-off for fielding a competitive team next season.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com DP Diesel

    The thing I’ll be looking at sort of dovetails with #39… Can Mangini at leat set himself apart from Romeo and get rid of the dead wood? Is Daboll going to get the Mo Carthon treatment and be here far too long if he continues to look out of his depth? Will we get to see young players once the season is lost entirely, or will Mangini stubbornly stick to his Jets-vets?

    To people thinking we should have taken Sanchez at #5, just ask yourself who built the offensive line and running game Sanchez stepped into. That’s about the only hope I have at this point for the next two years.

  • Jeremy

    This is the problem with us as Cleveland fans. After game two of a season we knew was going to be bad, we are calling for a coaching and QB change. We have to be patient. I know this isn;t what we want to hear, but it is reality folks. WE SUCK, and we have to let this young QB figure it out.

  • Wheel

    I was at the game and believe me, it was worse that this blog says. I’ve been a fan since 1965 and have not seen a worse Browns team. In 1999, we had an excuse. Bottom line is this is a poorly coached team. When you have the ball and three timeouts, and there is :29 seconds left in the half, why would you take a knee? Mangini wasn’t even playing to win. Inexcusable.

  • Chuck

    AMEN @#41

  • bobby

    You guys are ridiculous. I know St. Clair was getting beat a lot ( about 4 times to be exact) but you obviously did not watch this game if you think Brady had no time to throw. He held the ball for 5 seconds on over half of his passes. Plain and simple, Quinn is not moving this offense, and its 90% his fault. Denver was loading the box to easily stop this run. I’m not going to say we have a good running game, but with DA, we have at least an average one because the other team respects his big play ability. Quinn does not have that. Did you see him hit a freaking Bronco in the back when Massaquoi was going down the seem with no one in front of him?! 2 plays later he threw the ball straight into a DL helmet! Quinn is straight up folding under pressure.

    Speaking of Massaquoi, what did he do in preseason to show that he cant be a #2 right now for the browns. Furrey is a #3, Massaquoi should easily be the #2 guy because he knows how to run routes and catch in traffic. I never liked the idea of Cribbs as a full time #2, and it showed yesterday. I’ve been saying since the offseason that Cribbs should be a RB (reggie bush like). He can be a gimick QB or WR, and a full time RB. What would be wrong with putting him in the backfield? Imagine setting RB screens with Cribbs at RB.

    Brings me to Royal. He is not a good receiving TE. Quinn needs to start throwing to WRs or the Browns need to put in Rucker or Heiden if they are passing. Maybe instead of letting Royal go drop it he could help “Pear,” as Isis calls, him at RT. At least have the TE give a shove to the DE to help him out.

    Lastly, I want to share some numbers.

    17/33, 219, 2 TDs, 1 INT
    14/27, 246, 1 TD, 0 INT
    14/37, 136, 1 TD, 0 INT
    18/29. 310, 2TDs, 0 INT
    15/24, 138, 1 TD, 1 INT

    Those are some good freaking numbers compared to what Quinn has done this season and last in his 2 starts. I’d much rather have these number then what we’ve seen the first 2 games.