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News » Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-11-09


Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-11-09


Cleveland Browns Strategy and Personnel 2008-11-09
PLAYER NOTES


--CB Brandon McDonald has turned into a gigantic target on the Browns defense. Two of Denver's three touchdowns in the fourth quarter came against McDonald, who has struggled so much the Browns actually pondered adding DeAngelo Hall before Washington signed him.

--NT Shaun Rogers played a good part of the game after leaving with a stinger. Rogers fought through, but his size made him a liability when Denver spread the field. Big guys just can't generate enough of a pass rush when playing two games in four days.

--KR Josh Cribbs had another outstanding game with 135 yards in kickoff returns, including a 43-yarder. Cribbs was one missed tackle from breaking two or three returns.

REPORT CARD VS. BRONCOS

PASS OFFENSE: B - Brady Quinn threw short passes as the Browns used a controlled passing attack for their second-year player. Quinn did not throw downfield a lot, but he was deft in avoiding the rush and threw a touchdown with a Denver defender draped all over him. Had the Browns won, Quinn's game would have been celebrated. But the Browns lost, which meant his game was lost in the frustration.

RUSH OFFENSE: C -- Jerome Harrison provided a little spark, but he only ran the ball five times (and gained 48 yards). Harrison is looking more and more like a legitimate threat as a change of pace to Jamal Lewis. Lewis is the inside back, Harrison the quick outside back. Lewis' totals, though, were disappointing -- 19 carries for 60 yards -- and that probably accounts for much of Lewis' frustration. He is not having close to the season he had a year ago even though he reported in the best shape of his life.

PASS DEFENSE: F - Jay Cutler destroyed the Browns, throwing for 447 yards after Denver's two running backs left the game with injury. Denver had no choice but to throw, so the Broncos spread the field and took advantage of the Browns' woeful secondary. The Browns refused to blitz, tried to cover and failed dismally. It was as bad a night as a secondary can have.

RUSH DEFENSE: F - It would be nice to think the Browns' run defense accomplished something, but it didn't. The game's leading rusher was Ryan Torain, who ran for 68 yards despite leaving the game with an injury in the second quarter. Denver was without a running back after Selvin Young was hurt, so grading the Browns as a success for stopping a team using a rookie fullback at tailback is pretty ridiculous. The Browns defense had a horrible night.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A - Phil Dawson and Josh Cribbs are having outstanding seasons. Cribbs continually gave the Browns outstanding field position with his returns, and Dawson's night included three field goals -- one from 52 yards. They and Brady Quinn provided the highlights for the Browns.

COACHING: F -- Though the offensive staff did a good job with its game plan, the defense never did a thing to counter the spread offense that Denver put on the field. In fact, the Denver's passiveness cost the Browns the game because the cornerbacks are simply not good enough to cover without pressuring the quarterback. Whether the Browns didn't try to pressure or could not really does not matter. They failed, and it led to another embarrassing loss.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 9, 2008

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Steve Heiden Name: Steve Heiden
#82
Position: TE
Age: 31
Experience: 10 years
College: South Dakota State
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