Cleveland Browns studs and duds from Preseason Week 3 vs. Bucs
Dud: Eric Murray
Eric Murray has played well during his time as the nickel in the Browns defense in the preseason, and it has given him a good chance of playing starting snaps during the regular season. However, he struggled when he was on the field against the Buccaneers.
Murray was typically lined up against Chris Godwin, who is typically the No. 2 wide receiver behind Mike Evans. But with Evans sitting out, Godwin became the go-to target for the Tampa Bay offense. And that forced Murray to make some plays.
Murray allowed three catches to Godwin, including chunk plays that moved the chains for the Tampa Bay offense. Murray also missed an open field tackle on Godwin after overrunning the play, leading to a 20-yard gain.
Even without starters playing, Murray drew a tough matchup with Godwin lining up across from him in the slot. However, if he plans on being the starting nickel for the Browns, he is going to deal with difficult matchups for a large part of the season, so he is going to have to prove he can make plays no matter who he is lined up against.
Murray finished the game with three tackles and one pass defensed. However, he is going to need to consistently make plays in coverage if he wants to be relied on with the starting defense.