The play of the special teams needs to be an area where the Browns must dominate. Conventional wisdom is to put backups and young players on special teams, making it one-third of the game in which a team will be playing its weakest players.
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For any underdog to win a game, there must be a score from the special teams. Right now, the Browns are struggling to be play a conventional special teams game. Throw that idea out the door. Begin planning trick plays and take chances. If the plan fails, so what? Nothing else is working anyway.
This idea will invite criticism, but the Browns should play as many dynamic players as possible on special teams. Instead of putting “Backup Joe” out there to return kicks and punts, put someone like Corey Coleman or Duke Johnson back there. They may screw up, but they may spark something. It is time to take the chance.
Fans are tired, rightfully so, of watching Browns returners letting the ball roll inside the five-yard line only to be downed by the opponent. Along those lines, fans are tired of watching the returners simply fair catch the ball or simply drop the ball over lack of communication. None of this has worked. Conventional wisdom has yet to help the Browns get out of bad field position.
Field the punt and try to get a return. Create a play for when the ball hangs in the air potentially backing the Browns up. Be creative, nothing else is working.