Cleveland Browns: Grades from shameful loss in Buffalo
We’ve all heard about how there are 23 rookies on the roster. We’ve all been reminded that this season has been devoted to the early stages of a rebuilding process. We’ve all been told to remain patient. Yet somehow, nothing ever changes. The reason? An incompetent coaching staff.
Football is all about balance, yet Crowell and Johnson only had 13 carries. No running game was stimulated, no rhythm was established, and no sense can be made of any of the play calling.
Even when the Browns did throw the ball, it was rarely vertically. Refusing to take chances despite having the weapons to do so is puzzling. Not to mention, they were 0-13. Why play conservative?
Eventually, it all comes down to preparation and adjustments. Few know what truly goes on behind closed doors, so it is hard to criticize the coaching staff for a lack of preparation. But adjustments? This is plain as day.
Defensively, the Browns finally got a stop by bringing pressure. They forced a premature throw from Taylor, and rattled the young quarterback. But instead of continuing with the same aggressiveness, the defense decided to return to the soft zone coverage with a three or four man rush. Ray Horton has a lot of explaining to do.
Offensively, the inability to adjust to the relentless pressure Buffalo was manufacturing was mind-blowing. Cleveland’s offensive line was getting manhandled on every play. The response? None, really, unless the coaches were holding out hope for a Clark Kent moment.
Now, of course the Browns shouldn’t part ways with Jackson. The only way for them to regain any sort of stability is to keep a coach long enough for him to get to know what good restaurants are in town.
It would just be nice though to see some sort of improvement over the course of a season. Even if the Browns are to lose 14 straight, is it too much to ask for them to learn anything from the losses? And even if they aren’t going to do that, is it too much to ask for them to pretend like they care?
Next: 3 takeaways from the loss to the Bills
Maybe finding that challenge flag was about enough Jackson could take. But for the hundreds of fans who made the trip to Buffalo, and the others who suffered through it on television, this sort of afternoon isn’t going to cut it. If fans are to hold their coaching accountable, this one won’t go over well.