The Cleveland Browns have been losing for so long that many veterans are standing in the way of a culture change. The Browns need to be Pryor’s team.
The Cleveland Browns lost another game this season. Shocker! However, it was the fireworks after the game that revealed far more about the state of the Browns than anything that happened on the field.
Pryor’s comments came after the game. It was clear he was frustrated about the amount of hits the quarterbacks are taking.
Pryor is justifiably upset over the lack of quarterback protection. He is correct to say that the hits on the quarterbacks are “bullcrap.” When asked what can be done about it, he correctly deferred the question to management. I personally do not like the fact that he made the comments. However, it is understandable after a 0-11 start for players to be frustrated.
The focus of his frustration centered on the quarterback hits. As a former quarterback, he understands how hits on the quarterback affect the outcome of games. As a wide receiver, he understands how lack of time for a QB to throw impacts the passing game.
All that said, hits on the quarterback are a team effort. It is silly to think that the totality of the blame can be placed at the feet of the offensive line. The quarterbacks are holding on to the ball too long. They hold on to the ball too long when receivers are not open down the field.
If defenses can identify tendencies and patterns of each particular quarterback, they will take away what that particular quarterback likes to do best. This is clearly going on with the Browns right now. Cody Kessler and Josh McCown are known entities to NFL defenses. The offense must adjust. A failure to adjust allows defenses to take away what an offense does best. The result? Quarterbacks will hold on to the ball too long and get hit.
The offensive line deserves plenty of blame in this fiasco as well. The group up front has failed to mesh as a unit. It has also failed to mesh with a quarterback. Changes in the quarterback position affect offensive lines more than any other group.
Most of the linemen are playing well as individuals. The tackles both have excelled in pass blocking as individuals. The interior sees individuals struggling. Cameron Erving struggles at center and a position change may be in order. He may not play well, but he shows a lot of spirit and fight. John Greco is usually reliable but gave up multiple sacks and hits against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Spencer Drango played well enough to not be noticed, which is good enough for a rookie.