August 16, 2014

What Do You Want to See This Weekend Against Houston?

Forget the stupid statements like “I want to see the Browns win!”  We obviously all want to see that, despite the fact that the Browns are 11 point underdogs heading down to Houston.  Obviously we’d love to see the Browns come out and play like we haven’t seen them play this year and win against a legitimate playoff contender and division leader.  Beyond that, the game within the game, what would you like to see?

In case you haven’t noticed, this is a rebuilding season as the Browns figure out what they have and more importantly what they don’t.  They’ve rolled the dice and won like on the defensive line.    They’ve also rolled the dice and lost like thinking the receivers on the roster from last year were going to develop quickly or at all.  (See Robiskie, Brian)  So, we all know where they stand now.   The best thing that could happen to this team is that they start to figure out how to play together.  Here’s what I want to see without sarcasm.

Jordan Norwood period.  Josh Cribbs seems disenchanted and discouraged.  Massaquoi and Little have shown spots, but remain inconsistent targets for Colt McCoy.  Jordan Norwood seemed to provide the first big target for McCoy since he was able to check down incessantly to Peyton Hillis week one against the Bengals.  It is ironic that a guy as little as Norwood could be a “big target,” but it isn’t surprising that the quickest guy on the field might be able to get open against a nickel corner, linebacker or safety.

Fewer 3rd and 13s.  The Browns found themselves in 3rd and 13 THREE times against the 49ers.  I know better than to expect the Browns to become an offensive juggernaut over night, but the Browns can avoid situations like this just by taking care of the ball.  Every series that the Browns found themselves in this down and distance it was aided by a fumble.

More discipline from defense on running gaps.  Frank Gore gashed the Browns a week ago, and I will be looking to see if they learned from the tapes.  On Gore’s first scamper, T.J. Ward read run and ran upfield for some reason making it easy to seal him outside.  Mike Adams got sealed inside.  Gore goes for 26.  Ward needs to hold his ground and wait for help.  He did a better job on Gore’s next long run, but the linebackers failed to get over to help he and Joe Haden who were eliminated by much larger blockers.  As a defense the Browns need to mind their gaps and not gamble because Arian Foster will be running all day.

Other than those specific things, I will be looking for some sense of urgency.  I know this Browns team is learning new systems and sometimes it is easy to over-think things at first.  Now, this far into the season it is time for them to start playing with some determination, confidence and intensity.  It can’t just show up when they are lucky enough to get a first down.  It needs to happen from the moment the ball is kicked into the first defensive or offensive snap.  Explode off the ball and set the tone before Houston sets it.

Look, they may not win, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look better.  A lot of you have complained more about the way the team has looked than about the record.  I agree with that.  So what little things would you like to see that will at least make you feel like they are progressing regardless of the score at the end?

 

  • humboldt

    I’d like to see them score over 21 points and show a bit of rhythm and explosiveness on offense.

  • oribiasi

    I would like to see Shurmur finally understand that you need to run the ball effectively in order to set up the pass. You cannot call a play-action fake to a fullback that you never hand off to and expect defenses to pay it any mind. I want to see 100 yards out of someone in the backfield.

    If Hillis is ready and close enough to 100% that he can play at somewhat full speed, I want him to destroy the Texas defenders and earn whatever contract he wants.

    Realistically, we have about a 2% chance of winning this game. Texas has a very powerful offense and I can see Foster having an amazing game on us. It doesn’t look good.

  • Mike E

    I’d like to see a shot or two down field while we are still in the game, not once we are down two touchdowns and trying to play catch up. I would also like to see the O Line progress a bit, specifically the right side.

  • stin4u

    I’d like to see Carlton Mitchell get some run. Even if it’s just a matter of sending him long on a decoy or clearing out for the underneath guy. Couldn’t hurt.

  • oribiasi

    @ Mike E – Besides Pinkston, do you see Pashos back as the starter next year? I certainly don’t. If we spend a high-draft pick on a RT that would be fine by me; I would like to see Pinkston pull a little for run-blocking or to even cover Colt on a waggle/roll-out. I want to see if he has the speed to be a guard in the NFL.

  • St. McDuck

    At least a semi-confident looking Colt McCoy. I really, really want to have faith in his abilities, but all damn season he’s seemed like a foreigner in a strange land.

  • Harv 21

    Really one thing: I want the line to play well enough that Colt goes a week without more vicious hits. Not a whole lot said about the shellacking he’s taken the last few games, but he looked really stunned near the end of last game and fear he’s this close to going into that happy-feet stage where young QBs stop thinking about reads and receivers. If Hillis is still out he has no receivers and no safety valve and you know the Texans watched last week’s tapes.

    Keep Colt alive!

  • Chris

    I want to see our offense get mixed up some. We know the weapons aren’t the best, but if they could at least make it LOOK like they’re trying to address it, that would be nice.

    Throw in some shotgun offense and a no-huddle drive, and I’ll be digging it.

  • Lyon

    @ori 2…. Amen. let’s stop running play fakes on 3rd & long when we’ve only attempted 10 rushes all game.

    You actually have to be good at running to get the D to bite on a PA.

    What I want to see is competence. Can we run a good offense. Then, can we do it 2 series in a row? Do we go for it on 4th & 2 @ their 40 down 2 scores? These are what I need to see to think we even have a clue how to win.

  • Lyon

    Stin, you would think he’d see the field with our putrid offense. I’d love to see Mitchell as well. You don’t know what you got until you give him a shot. We really can’t be much worse at offense, so give him a chance to make us better

  • Return of the (Alex) Mack

    I would like to see the Browns open the game with a no huddle and try to get the offense off to a fast start.

    i would like to get Gregg Little involved early and often

    I would like to see Hillis in uniform

    and is Andre Johnson healthy? if so I want to watch him and haden go at it

  • Mike E

    @Ori

    If Pashos is back next year…he better not be back next year. If they do not address the right side of the line in the off season there will be no progress next year on offense. Doesn’t matter if they get a stud wideout if there’s no time to throw to him.

  • crobarred

    @R.O.T.A.M I agree. They should open the game with a no huddle. I would like to see them roll McCoy out more since the O-line isn’t able to protect him.

    I would like to see Hillis playing so the Browns have an actual viable running threat.

    I also agree with Harv and would like to see better play from the O-line. Keep Colt Alive!

  • Hurricane

    I’d like to see a balanced running and passing game where it looks like Shurmur actually knows what he’s doing calling plays. Mix up some looks. Set up 3 wide and run or go into a tight formation with a couple TE’s and play action pass. I’d love to see Watson and Moore out there at the same time with a healthy Hillis. Get creative on offense without being stupid like running a pitch/reverse (or whatever it was) on 3rd and 2. If Colt comes out of this game with around a 65% completion %, and an avg. of around 10 yards per pass I’d be very, very happy.

  • Frank Minefield

    Non-garbage-time offensive production.

  • 216in614

    A career day by someone on offense other than Thomas, Mack or Cribs.

  • Vorax

    I would like to see Haden intercept a ball instead of just batting them down. I want to see Ward de-cleat someone. I want to McCoy have more then a quarter-second in the pocket to throw a pass.

  • jimkanicki

    1. i want to see john greco start at guard and then watch mack’s play. having mack bookended by two rookies* has probably hurt his play and affected the whole line.

    and also:
    2. i wouldn’t mind more shotgun.
    3. haven’t looked the matchups but i’d like to see some 3x TE sets. hell throw c-jordan in there too.
    4. cribbs on the field as much as possible.
    4a. try cribbs at RB.

    *lauvao only played 3 games.. so cut me some slack.

  • JM

    I want the defense to keep playing well, especially against a high powered offense like Houston. Craig made a great point about being disciplined when stopping the run. I would love to see the offense mix it up as well. I also want Colt to regain some confidence.

  • Keith

    A bit more of Evan Moore, would be nice to see..

  • Eric G

    “More discipline from defense on running gaps”

    Amen!

    Defense ranked 6th overall (football-reference.com, and in the top 10 of many other sites). At the most basic yards-per-game given up level: 5th best – outstanding. They’re 2nd against the pass (Joe Haden rules), but 26th against the run. TWENTY-SIXTH! That is a horrendous discrepancy. I really don’t want to see a 2003 Jamaal Lewis type day from Foster, and he is certainly capable of it this year (115y/2TD rushing, 119y/1TD receiving just two weeks ago in game 7 vs. Tennessee with a slghtly better run D)

  • DonFelder

    I’m not asking for much: I just want a good first drive. It doesn’t even necessarily have to result in points, but I’d sure like to see a few first downs and the offense out on the field for 5+ minutes. Set a positive tone for once!

  • kingdiesel

    I want to see a new owner.

  • JM

    Off topic but it’s nice to see comments that relate to what we want to see on the field and not just angry comments. The site got a little hostile this week, so it’s nice to see cooler heads prevail again.

  • The Baron

    I want to see Pashos cut before kickoff

  • Gren

    I want to see… a win.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Hillis on the field and contributing would be great. ESPN was dogging on him today…

    @16. Im with you. How is it even possible that no one else has shown up 7 games into the season?? Has MoMass ever gone for 100 yds receiving?? How bout Little stepping through…I think he is due for one. Still probably wont be enough, but it would be encouraging which is all I can ask for at this point.

  • http://www.charlesluzar.com Charles

    Dream scenario?

    After a loss to the Texans, Colt McCoy spoke to the media: “I played like garbage. We played poorly as a team. I’m sick of losing. I’m not used to losing. We may not be the most talented team in the NFL, but there isn’t any reason we can’t be competitive and give ourselves a chance to win every game. No questions this week, thanks.”

    Leadership. I am so sick of Peyton Hillis’s drama and Josh Cribbs’s whiny, juvenile, defeatist mentality dominating the conversation around this team. I want them to work their asses off. Stupid, ignorant hard work. I want guys getting hurt in practice. I want guys begging to be cut from this team so they don’t have to endure that level of film room intensity ever again. Ray Lewis would threaten to kill Ravens players over play like this. Where is the intensity? You aren’t the Patriots. Stop being so pragmatic and find some fire in the belly of this team. You aren’t good enough for pragmatism. You’ve proved it.

  • Big Z

    I want to see JOSH CRIBBS.

    It seems like every week we hear something to the tune of “We’re going to get Josh more involved in the offense”. Usually he rarely touches the ball on offense and hardly ever gets the ball out of the backfield.

    What happens when they DO give him the ball? We beat Pittsburg.

    GIVE HIM THE BALL!

  • baclap

    I just want to see Peyton Hillis play a game.

  • Sgup

    “this is a rebuilding season…”
    are you kidding? very astute? which season since 1999 was not a winning season.

    I am so sick of the lack of passion for winning by this organization. I also think blogs, media, et al. empower the organization to be loser by being satisfied with wanting to see jordan norwood. really? you think Colt to Norwood is the answer.
    this team sucks, this organization sucks, and the Clev media/blog universe sucks.

    I am sick of wasting money every year on this pathetic band of loser. I am nearly 60% certain it was a MISTAKE to bring this franchise back in 1999. they are an embarrassment to the wonderful sport of football.

    Holmgren is cow manure. What has his “tree” accomplished? 1 super bowl win with Bret Farve really?

    ha ha ha Jordan Norwood.

  • Sgup

    ooops my anger got the best of me.

    “winning = rebuilding.”

  • Big Z

    Bye the way, why is it that when the Browns begin to suck every season (usually around game 6/7) they’re like “we’re gonna get Cribbs more involved”. Why don’t they just do it from game 1?