Cleveland Browns: Spencer Drango may be tipping plays
By Joel W. Cade
The Cleveland Browns have a lot of issues on offense. Compounding matters is the possibility that Spencer Drango may be tipping the blocking schemes.
The Cleveland Browns offense is woeful. It is just awful in so many ways. The play-calling is generic. The execution is worse.
The Browns are starting several young players on offense. Quarterback DeShone Kizer has yet to settle in and there are questions if he ever will. The receiving corps is young and there are questions if the group is talented enough to produce at the NFL level.
One major issue that is getting overlooked is the play of Spencer Drango. Drango is better suited to play guard at the NFL level yet he is trying to fill in at left tackle. His play has been adequate since his insertion against Tennessee.
Against the Minnesota Vikings and Detriot Lions his play was surprisingly solid. He was able to hold his own with head coach Hue Jackson calling plays to highlight his strengths and cover up his weaknesses. But eventually Drango’s lack of athleticism and quickness could catch up to him and hurt the Browns.
“Eventually” happened against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals. He was unable to defend the speed rush, getting beat multiple times for sacks, hits and forced fumbles. The most noticeable forced fumble lead to a Jaguars touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
But the real story of Drango’s play is told in the coach’s film. “Film don’t lie” as players like to say. The end zone view of Drango’s performance reveals something that the Jaguars and Bengals exploited against the Browns.
Spencer Drango may be tipping the blocking schemes. The key is to watch his left leg. When setting up to drop into pass protection, Drango will rotate his left leg like he is trying to gain traction for his drop. When setting up for a running play, that rotating motion is not as significant. This does not mean he is tipping the plays, but may be tipping his intentions on any given play.
Professional athletes notice these tip-offs. Blocking in the NFL is hard. To tip-off one’s intentions puts the player in an extremely difficult situation. Drango may or may not succeed in the NFL. But one thing is certain. If he continues to tip his intentions, Drango and the Browns will not be successful.
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The Browns will need to address this issue before Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.