Browns

Browns Preseason Game #3: Winners and Losers

WinnersLosers_WFNY

Who caught your eye? Did someone stand out? Who blew it? That’s what were interested in this morning. Winners and losers.

Kind of the opposite of last week.

We could name an awful lot of losers from this past weekend. But let’s start with the positives-

WINNER: Josh Gordon. Three catches for 50 yards, and a highlight reel play over Nnamdi Asomugha. Well, highlight reel for the Browns last season anyway. That’s how you draw it up though. The rookie had his best week of practice, and it spilled over to the game. Good for him, and good for the Browns if he keeps developing.

WINNER: Billy Winn. Again, another case of a player having a really strong week of practice and then performing on the field. Winn got starter’s reps in practice and may have solidified his position over third round pick John Hughes.

LOSER: Montario Hardesty. Even if you take the fumble out of the equation, he didn’t have a good game. Now, obviously the blocking plays into this. Unfortunately for MoHard, you can’t just overlook the fumble. It was punched out of his hands for the second straight week. Not good for a guy trying to prove he can stay healthy and effective in this league.

WINNER: Brian Schaefering. Schaefering could have been the odd man out on the defensive line, even with injuries to Taylor and Paxson. He certainly helped his cause with a pretty solid performance on Friday. He may have been a ‘bubble’ player before this week. Perhaps he did enough to remind the coaching staff why they liked him in the first place.

LOSER: Marcus Benard. Marcus can’t catch a break. Another injury (the extent of which is still not known) of a serious nature could put his career in jeopardy.

LOSER: Josh Cooper. Ok, he hauled in one catch for 17 yards. He was targeted only one other time. Despite roster cuts of Mitchell, Saffold, Spencer and Reed, Cooper’s roster spot is anything but secured. The team still has eight wide outs and five tight ends on the roster. Plus, MoMass, Norwood and Benjamin can all play that inside spot effectively. And you have Cribbs lurking as well.

So that’s a start. Now it’s your turn. Did I get one wrong? Who were your winners and losers?

  • BenRM

    Weeden’s 2 Fumbles (only one lost) puts him in the Loser category for me this week.

  • mgbode

    Losers: interior OL. the Eagles brought pressure and did stunts and our OL looked confused. especially on the inside. starters, backups, etc.

    Winner: B. Jackson. best pass-blocking+receiving combo RB we have should secure him the 2nd RB spot.

    Winner: Young defensive players. Really even though they are making mistakes when you see a play “made” on the defensive side, it seems to always be a youngster (Hagg, Winn, JMJ, etc.).

    I could name alot more on the ‘loser’ side this week, but prefer to just stop there.

  • Completely agree about Jackson as a good pass catching/blocking combo RB, but I sure hope Richardson is just as good in those areas or better.

  • DontbringLBJback

    I don’t know how you can put Weeden in the LOSER bracket this week. The guy moves the team down the field unlike any QB we’ve had since 99′ with well thrown balls right on the money, for the most part. If B-Dub turns around from a 5 step drop and gets LEVELED by a D-Lineman, I really don’t think you can put that on the QB.

    The LOSER for the week is the O-LINE!!!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    4-12/5-11

  • mgbode

    you shouldn’t give away your pick4 lotto numbers

  • Brownsgirl

    Winner: Evan Moore, as he has shown he gets the job done, yet still doesnt receive the playing time he deserves
    Loser: Pinkston, Pinkston, Pinkston

  • mgbode

    I am assuming that Richardson like any rookie RB will have an adjustment period of figuring out where to go to find the blitzers. I agree that I hope he becomes better quickly (and hope he is already there as a receiver – but until we see it…).

  • BenRM

    I don’t dispute that he’s probably the most talented team that the Browns have had since their return. That said, he still had a poor game.

    Although, I agree, it was due in part to the O-Line.

  • Pink had a bad game. Totally agree. But I think your boy Moore might be the odd man out. Talented pass catching but injuries and sub par blocking might do him in

  • Hopwin

    Is this a poll? I am sticking to 3-13

  • Vindictive_Pat

    After I watched the game again, I’d put Weeden as both a winner and a loser. The fumble where he turned around and a defender was already in his face was acceptable (not for the O-line, but for the QB). The other fumble on the blown-up screen pass needed to be secured better. His passing was pretty darn good in this game, and it was especially encouraging to see him escape pressure, roll to his right, and throw a perfect strike to a receiver on the sideline while on the move. The d-back made an incredible play to get a hand on the ball and it ended up being an incompletion, but the throw was as good as you can get in that spot. I’m disappointed that we still haven’t been able to see him throw a fade pass when inside the 10 yard line. There’s a Youtube clip of all of his collegiate touchdowns, and many of them were from this pass… he has really nice touch on it putting the ball in a spot that is both inbounds and out of the defender’s reach.

  • Harv 21

    Loser: Greg Little. Needs to talk Weeden into letting him join the little private timing drills with Josh Gordon.

    Winner: JMJ, at least to me. I’ve been waiting to see what the excessive praise has been about. There was something about that speed downfield covering the seam route, following the receivers eyes and then throwing up his hands to deflect a pass he never saw that made me go “oh. Now I see the potential.” Kid seems to have some wheels and football instincts.

    Losers: Roger Goodell and the replacement refs. Considering the dreck calls and the relatively miniscule amounts of money we’re talking about, really, Roger? When you inevitably pay the regulars and they blow calls in real games after no preseason this will be on you. You’re the Commish. No one doubts that anymore, so there’s no need to flex even when reasonable requests are made. Pay the men.

  • maxfnmloans

    Mo-Hard? If No Limit had a Porn division, that’d definitely be the name of one of their actors

  • Harv 21

    agree. Some of these throws he’s trying into tight coverage will certainly be picked off come regular season but I liked the high throw on the end zone attempt to Little where only Little had a shot at it. He throws the ball downfield so beautifully but his internal clock on screens and hot reads still looks very iffy. Hope he and the receivers work on those in the next few weeks so he doesn’t get totally clobbered.

  • Clown Baby

    I’m going with Weeden being a Loser again. *THAT* is what happens when a QB can’t make accurate throws into tight coverage. I think that game underscored how far Weeden needs to go in terms of being an good NFL QB. Additionally, he needs to be able better recognize/react to those blitzes. So many times he looked completely surprised to see pressure yet Philly was doing absolutely nothing to disguise it.

    Winner: Haslam- Sitting with the fans in the Dawg Pound was pretty cool.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I thought the title was wins and losses! 😉

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Sad but true especially when you watch other NFL teams. This team makes everything look so hard and they seem like they are playing in slow motion. I watched the Giants vs Bears, Texans vs Saints and last nights Panthers vs Jets games and all of those teams with the exception of the Jets looked professional. The Jets offense looks as bad as this football teams.

  • BenRM

    IMO his problem wasn’t with accuracy or coverage, it was with pressure.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Yeah, the short pass was also the bane of our last strong-armed QB (the man being driven by a groundhog in my avatar). I’d hate to see Weeden have the same problems on short passes that DA had, but I don’t think that will be the case because Weeden seemed quite capable of throwing that pass in college. Maybe just needs to work on his timing more.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    What does pressure do? It bursts pipes. Welcome to the NFL rook!

    1-2-3-4 PRESSURE!

  • Garry_Owen

    Winner: The Eagles
    Loser: The Browns

  • Vindictive_Pat

    As for the INTs, I think we should all prepare ourselves for the fact that Weeden is going to throw quite a few INTs this season. First year QBs always do. Cam Newton had an awesome season last year and still threw almost as many INTs as TDs (17 versus 21).

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I disagree… his first completion to Gordon was a great pass into tight coverage. Little should have caught a great throw into tight coverage for a TD, but he didn’t. Travis Benjamin couldn’t hold on to another excellent deep throw where there was tight coverage. Weeden made a couple passes into tight coverage that weren’t as good, but I thought overall his passing in that game was excellent.

  • BenRM

    lol

  • Harv 21

    Well, Derek was heavy on the touch and light on the gray matter. [Puts hands on sides of helmet in international sign of Derek’s “I just threw another red zone interception into triple coverage”]. Derek was a football-throwing bagpipe: the ball was thrown at one velocity only, whether screen pass or a crossing route. Looks to me like Weeden’s trying to figure out the choreagraphy of where the rushers are, where to step and when/where to throw if the primary is covered. Refuse to Derek him yet.

  • Clown Baby

    He was 9-20 with two fumbles. That is not an acceptable stat line for any QB in the NFL. The one pass he missed where the WR was all alone in the middle of the field was just about as ugly as they get and was the result of Weeden being rattled from the hits and pressure he’d been under up to that point. His WRs and O-line didn’t do him any favors but they can’t be entirely blamed. When the defense is bringing more guys than their are to block them on the offensive line, then the QB needs to recognize that and hit the hot route. Not, as he did one play, run get the snap and straight at the blitzing LB/End. That was insane.

    I’ve watched Luck and RGIII a couple of times this preseason and at this point they are light years beyond Weeden. They just look more comfortable and decisive and it’s showing in their play. Maybe it’s not a fair comparison because they were drafted higher, but they are definitely playing with a much higher level of poise.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    The example you used was a bad one… Little cut off his route instead of continuing into the open space in the zone. That incompletion was on Greg Little. To just say that the stat line is unacceptable is just way too broad of a scope… Weeden is making mistakes, but I don’t think he is making unacceptable mistakes at this point. As for RG3, you must not have seen him a week ago against the Bears… he looked pretty horrible in that game. His stat line says 5/8, but he was rattled and took a bunch of sacks, ran out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage, didn’t throw the ball away, etc. He also lost a fumble. I live in Richmond, VA and there are a lot of Redskins fans here… they were freaking out after that game (for no reason). I agree Luck is ahead of everyone, but I don’t think RG3 is way ahead of Weeden at all. Things aren’t as bad as you’re thinking.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Oh I definitely agree… didn’t mean to insinuate that I think Weeden is another Derek Anderson… on the contrary, I think Weeden (if us Browns fans give him at least a little time to adjust to the NFL) will be our best QB since Kosar by the time his career is done.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Did you say screen pass, what’s that?

  • Harv 21

    “Screen Pass”: a futile attempt to advance the ball downfield by first feigning a running play when you have no effective runners and/or a downfield pass when you have failed to draft effective receivers and tossing it safely to a dude standing about 3 feet behind the line of scrimmage. Does not catch the defense unaware as intended but occasionally gains yardage when the defense is bored whaling on you at the end of a half, and is distracted like a bullying big brother who just received a call from his girlfriend. But he’ll go back to whaling on you when he hangs up and remembers what he was doing.
    A.k.a. Daboll Air Attack.

  • Harv 21

    You’re holding Weeden to a Luck/Griffin standard? There’s reason those two went at the very top of the draft, we were willing to give up multiple number ones for either one and Weeden went at #19. Maybe Tannehill or others qwould be a fairer comparison, or at least wait a few yeas to seeif he can be an effective QB in our division.

  • Clown Baby

    Like I said, it was from a poise standpoint. Regardless of draft position, I would like to see Weeden play with the same level of confidence as Luck and RGIII. I want him to have a bad play and bounce back with a good play. He had that first fumble on the first drive and went downhill from there. RGIII had a good game this week and if he played poorly in the previous game, that’s fine but he put it together this week and looked good to me.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    That’s not saying alot but seriously?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I sure hope they dust that play off or create it once Richardson is back because if they don’t utilize it then they never will!

  • Vindictive_Pat

    He had a good game against a poor Indianapolis defense that is switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Philly’s 2nd teamers are a better test at this point, honestly. I hear that you want to be negative about Weeden, but I just think you’re way too premature in taking that view. I don’t see the difference in poise you are talking about, particularly when it comes to RG3.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Yeah I really do, and you probably didn’t know this, but I was a huge hater of Weeden on draft day and wanted the Browns to give McCoy another shot. I’ve watched a lot more of his college video since draft day along with re-watching his preseason games. He can make every throw you want and with good touch on his finesse throws. His offense at OK State was all about reading the defense and then making the right throw based on the coverage (a lot of college offenses put less decision-making in the hands of the QB). He has the right mentality where he shakes off a bad play and moves on to the next one. He’s an intelligent QB… if you’ve heard him in interviews or Gruden’s QB camp, you can definitely hear his intelligence. He’s even more mobile than he gets credit for… he’s not a sitting duck in the pocket like DA was, he can move around a bit. I’ve come around a lot on Weeden, and I have seen progress in this preseason from game to game.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I didn’t hate him or his drafting but I most certainly hated when he was drafted. I’ll let the games speak for themselves but at this point I wish I could feel as assured as you do. I’ll save time and just say I don’t share your opinion. I hope your right but frankly to date I haven’t seen a whole lot from Weeden. I won’t put it all on Weeden however the team hasn’t shown much or put him in many positions to excel. I think Weeden has a long season ahead of him especially if his WRs continue to perform. Even more important will be Trent Richardson. The offense and in particular Weeden need his presence desperetly IMO. Richardson will be the engine that drives the offense not Weeden. This is why I wasn’t in favor of his selection in the first round. Heck even the second round. Not for this team at that point in time.

    I also don’t see the pocket presence that you seem to think he possesses. Of course the OL hasn’t exactly been providing much if any kind of pocket but still I just haven’t seen signs that would distinguish him from McCoy other then the God given physical attributes such as size and a strong arm.

  • mgbode

    especially strong-armed QBs that are learning what windows they can throw the ball to and which ones are too tight. INTs this year are a good thing (if he learns from them) because not throwing them could be a timidity that we do not want in a QB.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Wow… you should definitely go back a re-watch the Eagles game. There were a couple situations where he had some HEAT coming at him and he threw the ball accurately and made a good play. I feel like we (as in commenters on WFNY) have been giving Weeden the credit for a lot of things that weren’t his fault. The receivers have not been a bright spot so far this preseason… they’ve dropped passes (Little, Marecic, Benjamin, Gordon, Cameron), cut off routes early (Gordon, Little, Cameron), etc. The offensive line has also been shaky at times. There’s blame that should go on Weeden too, but in my opinion, I believe I’m seeing that his stat line has less to do with Brandon Weeden and more to do with his teammates. I think if we give the offense more time to gel, we’ll see better results.

  • mgbode

    it’s the preseason, so since neither team seems to have had a major injury, aren’t both teams considered the victors?

  • Garry_Owen

    Maybe I’m referring to September 9 . . .

  • Garry_Owen

    I’m going to jump in here without invitation, sprawl out on your couch, and drink all of your beer.

    I could not agree with you more. After listening to (reading) all of the angst, anger, and general ennui from fans after the Eagles game, I went and watched the game. I feel none of those emotions with respect to Weeden (or even the Browns, as a whole). I saw a lot from Weeden (and the team) that really impressed me. Those first couple of series weren’t anything like I was expecting, after, again, all of the blathering and bloviating from the gallery of angries. The fumbles were unfortunate, indeed, but I didn’t see a single mistake from Weeden that is not fixable. I expect that he is fixing them now. My one frustration with Weeden is that he has not found the endzone yet, as that can get in your head after a while. I hope he finds it this week before the opener.

    Now, do you have anything to eat with this beer – which, by the way, is running out? I could use another (3 or 4).

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Awww man, I was going to have a beer when I got home. Crestfallen. But yeah, I’m with you… didn’t see much that wasn’t correctable. Was more worried with Sheldon Brown (assuming he wasn’t supposed to have safety help over the top, which is certainly possible).

  • Garry_Owen

    I assume you’re talking about the one play with Brown (unless there was more)? I just chalked that up to a great play by the WR. That happens sometimes. (Also, my impression was that the safety screwed up the coverage – but I’d have to go back and watch it again.) Brown’s an enigma. I’ve always kind of liked the way he plays – particularly given that Haden locks up the other side, sending a greater number of passes his way – but I know that most are really down on him. I don’t see what everyone else sees – but agree that he has to watch his back with those youngsters chomping at the bit.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I know that our defense usually plays a lot of Cover 2, which also usually means that yes there should have been a safety helping over top. Brown got beat over the top twice… possibly 3 times. But I’m not necessarily down on him. I think Jauron just needs to make sure there is safety help over the top on his side of the field whenever possible (and sometimes it’s not possible). But if the design is to leave Brown to run as fast as the receivers he is covering, then I’m not comfortable playing Brown in that spot.

  • Harv 21

    speaking of Marecic, can’t see how he makes the team with Smelley looking like he’s bigger, stronger and having better hands. However, they both have excellent fullback names. Maybe they should just dub the roster survivor “Smelley Marecic.”

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I wonder the same thing. Shurmur keeps indicating that he is seeing good blocking and what have you, but I haven’t seen much of anything that Marecic has done well. His hands look awful. His blocking looks mediocre at best, subpar at worst. But somehow it seems like he’s a given to make the team by what Shurmur has said about him. I don’t get it. But I would love to have me some Smelley Marecic.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I don’t know seems like the same reasons could have been said a year ago for McCoy. Like I said I’ll let the games speak for themselves. The one thing I said when he was drafted and annointed the starter was that this organization wasn’t doing him any favors. They followed that up by making moves at WR the likes of what the Indians did this offseason when they attempted to better themselevs – marginal at best.

  • biggtroy

    the right tackle got it handed to him this week!