Cleveland Browns Cameron Erving: I played like (bleep)


Nov 30, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Marlon Moore (15) celebrates with offensive tackle Cameron Erving (74) and running back Duke Johnson (29) after a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns are returning first-round draft pick Cameron Erving to the bench after he struggled in the past three games at left guard.

Lost in all the noise over Johnny Manziel returning to the starting lineup for the Cleveland Browns is the news that rookie first-round draft pick Cameron Erving will be returning to the bench.

Erving had been filling in for the injured Joel Bitonio at left guard, but was struggling to adapt to the NFL game while playing an unfamiliar position. He will be replaced in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers by former undrafted free agent Austin Pasztor.

But unlike some other first-round draft picks on the Browns roster, Erving is taking ownership of his struggles.

“I just have to get better. I played like (garbage s0) I am not starting,” Erving said on Wednesday. “I am not going to sit here and make excuses for anything that happens. Of course, it is hard. It is the NFL. I have to do a better job of going out and executing, point blank. Period.”

Erving was particularly ineffective last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, earning a negative grade from Pro Football Focus, which had this to say:

"Unfortunately for Browns fans, rookie Cameron Erving (-7.5) showed yet again that, although he has potential, he is not ready for NFL action yet, especially not going against Geno Atkins. Erving allowed one sack, one quarterback hit and five hurries before being benched in the fourth quarter."

It was third consecutive game where Erving received a negative grade, which each game getting worse, according to PFF:

"The Browns gave a second career start to first-round pick Cameron Erving, and things went no better for the former Seminole against the Ravens (-2.3) than they did against the Steelers (-1.4) two weeks ago. Getting to grips with veteran defensive end Chris Canty (+3.2) proved to be the biggest difficulty for Erving last night, with Canty accounting for four of the five pressures (two hits, three hurries) Erving surrendered."

While it is certainly frustrating to see another of Cleveland’s first-round draft picks struggling, the good news is that Erving and the team know that he needs to get stronger and he says he is willing to work on correcting it.

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Erving is also not going through anything that most rookie lineman go through, according to Bitonio.

“I think you have seen it before. There are a lot of guys that have struggled early on and keep improving (but) he has the right attitude,” Bitonio said. “It is not like he is hanging his head all the time. He plays hard. He is in the meeting room taking notes. He is asking questions, asking Joe Thomas, asking Alex Mack, asking John Greco guys that have been in it.”

As for Pasztor, he’s ready to make his first start for the Browns.

“Coming in undrafted puts that fire under your butt to get after it and work hard, and I think that helps players be successful,” he said. “I’m extremely comfortable. What are we in? Week 12, 13 here? I’ve had a chance to learn the system, been in the system for a while now so I feel very confident in knowing what to do.”