Each week this season, we’ll take a seat in our very own WFNY Browns film room and break down a little tape from the previous week. Do enjoy.
Well, you knew that no subject I picked this week would look pretty on film after that game. The Browns were torched on Sunday by the Titans’ tight ends. Torched to the tune of 105 yards and 2 TDs. In fact, for the season the Browns have seen tight ends catch 15 passes for 225 yards and 4 TDs. That’s a 15.0 yards per catch average from the tight end spot. Even if you took away the 80 yard TD from Sunday, opposing tight ends would still be averaging a first down per reception (10.4 yards). This is just not going to work. (By the way, Cleveland has given up 7 TD passes total this season.)
Let’s take a look at the first score:
First we look at the Tennessee formation. Pretty standard pro-set shotgun with a tight end (Stevens) on the left side. Wide receivers split wide on both sides. Joe Haden locks up with the widest player on the top of the screen, and Mike Adams slides over to the double receiver side. Sheldon Brown is on the receiver at the bottom.
The tight end is going to be covered by either a safety, or a linebacker on 90% of pass plays. Fujita, the outside backer on the bottom picks up Chris Johnson coming out of the backfield. Stevens is headed downfield with D’Qwell Jackson on his hip. The Browns have rushed only four, leaving Chris Gocong free in the middle of the field in underneath zone coverage. The Titans have 5 receivers in the pattern, and the Browns have 7 defenders.
Here’s where it falls apart for the Browns. Stevens plants and heads left on a post-out route. Jackson is going to let him past, as if he has help deep from the safety TJ Ward. (You can see Ward behind the CBS logo.) The problem is that Ward is too far towards the middle of the field, and has no chance of catching up to Stevens before the ball is delivered.
Touchdown Titans. My opinion is that Jackson should have stayed with Stevens. Ward has to be able to help deep, especially on the crossing route in the end zone that Nate Washington is running on Joe Haden. Gocong is in the middle to help on something short, but truth be told there is no route there anyway. The running back is out wide, which Jackson had to see happen at the snap. Now whether Jackson is able to keep up with a TE on that kind of pattern is up for debate, but he certainly shouldn’t have stood on the five yard line as a TD pass sailed over his head.
Now the second:
Here we have a tight to the right side of the Titans line, but actually the slot, or wingback on that same side is a tight end as well that came in motion. That’s Stevens up behind Cook on the line. This is kind of a stack formation, and you would think it would be a run to the right side with all the blocking there, and since the Titans had ripped the Browns on first down runs. The Browns respond by moving TJ Ward up on that side. The Browns have 8 men ready to play the run.
So naturally, it’s a pass play. Jackson bites hard on Johnson up the middle, and you have to think Fujita was thinking run first as well. Cook just blows right past him, and sad to say Fujita just couldn’t catch up.
Here’s the real problem on the play though.
Usama Young is the safety on the right side of the Browns defense on the play. That’s him with the circle. The ball is already in the air, and Young is running to the correct spot.
Unfortunately, Sheldon Brown is also running towards that spot, and instead of letting Brown pass in front of him, Young decides to hop in front of Brown to try and get the angle on Cook, who is now steaming towards the sidelines.
Here you can just make out the end of the hop I was talking about at the bottom of this screen grab. Now, Young is not in ideal position to make a tackle. Fortunately, all he has to do is push Cook out of bounds, or slow him up so that Fujita can help with the tackle.
As we certainly remember, Young takes a bad route to the ball carrier, and absolutely whiffs on the tackle. Touchdown Titans. An embarrassing play all around really. Fujita looked bad. Young probably looked worse.