Browns

Cleveland Browns Progress Report: Week 3

Terrelle Pryor Cleveland Browns Miami Dolphins
Cleveland Browns

Admit it, that game was more fun than you thought it would be. It’s OK, this article is a safe place where wins and losses don’t matter.

When Cody Kessler started the game with a delay of game penalty, a fumble, and a lost fumble1, weren’t we all thinking that the Browns weren’t going to be able to put up any points?

Granted, seven of the 24 points were a gift from the defense, but Cody Kessler, Terrelle Pryor, and the running backs were able to move the ball pretty well throughout the game despite some tough starting field positions. The Browns’ defense also looked frisky at times. The final score shows another loss for the Cleveland Browns, but the game itself left many of us thinking that the Dolphins had more to worry about. They are not building towards their future; their future is right now.

Did the moving of John Greco to center and Alvin Bailey to right guard help the offensive line to protect Cody Kessler better than past weeks with Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown at the helm? Did the loss of Corey Coleman stymie the offensive playmakers? Did the continued absence of Carl Nassib spell doom for the pass rush? Let’s find out.

Previous Progress Reports: Week 1, Week 2

PRESSURE

My initial feeling about the Browns’ defense on Sunday was that they really failed to make Ryan Tannehill’s job more difficult. At the time I saw it, I was pretty sure that Corey Lemonier’s strip sack of Tannehill was the first sack of the game for the Browns. I was right. Lemonier could not have picked a more opportune time as his sack and fumble recovery led to the long field goal attempt at the end of regulation that Cody Parkey missed. At this point in the season, the Browns are averaging one sack per game, and that’s just not good enough. Overall the Browns need to find ways to spend more time making plays in their opponent’s backfield.

Sacks: 1

QB Hits: 3

Tackles for loss: 2

Passes Defensed: 4

Week 2 PRESSURE Grade: 1 (out of 5)

browns-oh-no

GETTING OFF THE FIELD

If you looked at that pressure grade and wondered how in the world the Browns were able to keep this a close game, then this category should interest you quite a bit. In spite of showing no propensity to stop Ryan Tannehill from having a clean look at the field, the defense was still able to get off the field and force Tannehill into three turnovers. The defensive backs and linebackers were able to keep tight coverage on the Dolphins’ receivers. Also, Ryan Tannehill is bad at throwing footballs.

Third Down Conversion Percentage: 2/10

Potential Takeaways: 3

Opponent Time of Possession: 29:12 (out of 36:34)

Week 2 GETTING OFF THE FIELD Grade: 5

browns-oh-yeah-2

PLAYMAKERS

Terrelle Pryor does it all. He throws. He catches. He runs. He blocks. His mere presence inspires fear and phantom taunting penalties. He was every bit of the playmaker that the Browns needed him to be this week. In spite of his weaker arm, Cody Kessler managed to engineer more plays over 20 yards than McCown or Robert Griffin III in previous weeks. However, scoring touchdowns in the red zone was definitely an issue this week.

Plays of 20-plus Yards: 7

Red Zone Conversion %: 33

Yards/Run Play: 5.3

Yards/Pass Plays: 6.2

Week 2 PLAYMAKERS Grade: 3

browns-oh

PROTECTION

Starting center Cameron Erving was injured last week and left the game with a bruised lung. John Greco slid over to center from his usual right guard position, and Alvin Bailey got his first opportunity of the season to start at right guard. Unfortunately the nightmarish game from Austin Pasztor made it difficult to assess the progress of the rest of the offensive line. Pasztor was flagged for five penalties in the game and allowed pressure on Kessler during the plays that actually affect this protection category. He’s been poor enough in pass protection through three weeks that I would like to see Hue Jackson try Spencer Drango or Shon Coleman in his place. It would be hard for them to do more damage than Pasztor has done.

Opponent Sacks: 4

Opponent QB Hits: 6

Opponent Tackles for Loss: 7

Week 2 PROTECTION Grade: 1

browns-oh-no

The Browns were shockingly effective at limiting the opposing offense’s damage in spite of some extremely poor pass rush totals. I wouldn’t think that would be a common occurrence. Ryan Tannehill could have nailed down exactly which three celebrities he looks like2 during the time he had to throw the ball.

Cody Kessler handled himself slightly better than you would expect for a rookie facing some expensive and terrifying sack artists. Terrelle Pryor complimented him nicely, and you have to wonder if their different skill sets will continue to be utilized under center as the weeks progress. However, if Hue Jackson can’t figure a way to keep holes the size of Montana from opening up on the offensive line, Kessler and the weapons around him will have a hard time staying healthy.

If I had to make a guess, I’d say Hue looks ready to break out his happy dance against the Washington Redskins next week. I feel some shining happy faces coming.

  1. In retrospect, the referees didn’t do Kessler any favors on the play with the strip sack. Kessler was setting up a screen pass to Gary Barnidge, who was clearly whipped around like a rag doll on what should have been a defensive holding penalty. []
  2. Other than himself, of course. []

  • mgbode

    His mere presence inspires fear and phantom taunting penalties.

    Hahahahahaha

  • Pat Leonard

    That was the only thing I could figure as to why the flag was thrown. The awesome power of Terrelle Pryor must have tripped a defense mechanism of the sideline judge, forcing him to throw a flag.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi PAT … good stuff.

    2015 2016
    ———- ———-
    total offense – 25th 16th
    rush offense – 22nd 4th
    pass offense – 27th 25th

    total defense – 27th 25th
    rush defense – 30th 18th
    pass defense – 22nd 24th

    isaiah crowell – 274 yards tied for 2nd in the nfl
    6.1 yards per carry – 2nd in the nfl

  • tigersbrowns2

    so what stands-out from above … 4th in the nfl in rushing offense. this is mostly due to Hue’s philosophy & commitment to the run … AND the O-line mauling the opponent , including Pasztor.

    yes , he’s struggling in pass protection … why didn’t they have a TE or FB helping out last game ?? i think the coaching staff put the best 5 out there … and everyone’s going to have a bad game from time to time … let’s see what he does this week.

  • Pat Leonard

    Hue said in an interview with the media that he is going to get Pasztor some help if that’s what it takes. It sounds like he’s not comfortable giving either of the rookie tackles a shot.

  • Pat Leonard

    Good stuff, thanks TB!

  • tigersbrowns2

    i already like Kessler … after that horrendous first series , i was thinking “he’s not ready for this” … but then he did quite nicely after that. he may not have a rocket arm , but his trademark accuracy seems pretty good to me … now he has to follow it up with a good game this week … i don’t see the redskins as a formidable opponent.

    and i can’t wait for Kessler to have Gordon , Coleman , Barnidge , Pryor , Crowell & Duke Johnson at his disposal … the offense could be fairly exciting.

  • Pat Leonard

    The thing I liked best about Kessler is that he was accurate enough to put the ball into his playmakers’ hands without them needing to slow down to grab it. That was the biggest reason as to why the Browns had seven 20+ yard plays. He’ll play another porous defense on Sunday, but the week after that at home against the Patriots will be a big test to see if he can continue to show this ability.

  • tigersbrowns2

    the defense appears to have some backbone & spunk now … even with all the no-names they’re running out there. i think D.Davis & Kirksey will start being the leaders on the defense. i heard a comment during the broadcast that PFF has Kirksey rated as one of the best pass-coverage LB’s in the NFL (?).

    and you’re right-on with the pass rush , or lack thereof … it would be nice to get some pressure on the QB with the 3 or 4 guys up front so the DB’s don’t have to cover all day. Horton’s gonna have to get creative.

  • nj0

    The team’s bottom line? Five-out-of-five Smiling Jimmy Haslams!

    http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2014/0211/nfl_a_haslam_600x400.jpg

  • humboldt
  • nj0

    Plausible deniability on 5-out-of-5 FBI indictments!

  • Harv

    Good job, Pat. The defense getting off the field was accomplished by a surprisingly strong run defense. Yes, this could have been Miami’s bad back up RBs more than any significant improvement by the Browns.

    Re the right tackle spot, it says plenty that Shon Coleman was healthy enough to be full go in training camp but was inactive Sunday and isn’t mentioned as potential help there. Seeing as that position is now Code Blue, Coleman obviously ain’t impressing the staff. They would let him take his learning lumps on the field if they thought he was all that. Inactive even after Erving’s injury causes a shuffle means they’re enforcing a work ethic or he’s slow with the playbook.

  • Chris

    Raise your hand if you’re a trigger happy owner who probably won’t be patient enough to see this most recent attempt of a rebuild come to fruition.

  • humboldt

    lol, you win

  • Cleveland_Rocks

    When Terrelle Pryor Sr. moves, he makes the Six Million Dollar Man sound.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OyIBuF73PQ

  • JM85

    A happy Hue face this early in the season!

  • Garry_Owen

    Correction: When the Six Million Dollar Man moves, he makes the Terrelle Pryor Sr. sound.

  • woofersus

    Agree. By the end of the game I was actually a little impressed. I’m not sure how strong or not his arm is, but he was smart enough not to try to make passes he can’t make, and it’s not like the ball fluttered and floated on intermediate routes. He showed good defensive recognition, and flashed some ability to throw his receivers open. The game will slow down a bit as time goes on, but the way he collected himself and pulled it together after such a rough start and show great poise in the pocket was nice to see, though it made me nervous seeing our third string QB take a beating.

  • Saggy

    the fade to Barnidge was world class.

  • jpftribe

    I don’t know if this is good because they won’t force them in if they are not ready, or bad because they are not ready. I guess it depends on if you are TB2 or RGB.

  • jpftribe

    Good stuff Pat. I figured a strip sack to win the game is worth 2 on it’s own, and a 5 on anything is really a stretch. But I’m out of replay challenges so I’ll just have to live with the calls. 🙂

  • Pat Leonard

    If it makes you feel better, it was just barely a 5 🙂

  • Pat Leonard

    Take it with a grain of salt because of the source, but I heard Nathan Zegura mention on CBD that the word in the building is that Shon Coleman is getting close to the point where the coaches would feel comfortable playing him in a game. I guess we’ll see what happens this weekend. He was injured in the first two weeks of training camp and had a lot of catching up to do, but maybe he’s finally ready. Cameron Wake is a really tough matchup for any tackle (I remember Mitchell Schwartz being abused by him in the opener back in 2013), but 5 penalties on top of the pressure allowed is way too much. If Pasztor starts this upcoming Sunday and allows pressure to what is a fairly average Redskins front four, then I don’t know how Hue can justify keeping Coleman on the bench. I would personally rather see Drango because he played so well in the preseason, but right now Coleman is listed as the backup at RT and Drango is the backup at LT so it doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

    What I would do after the OVI charge to Alvin Bailey would be to move Pasztor back to guard where he played well last season and go ahead and see what we have in Coleman as the right tackle. Might as well see what the young guys who are going to be around for a few years can do.

  • Chris

    Whether 6MDM intended to or not, someone could find those sounds taunting to other superheroes.

  • Richard_Haydn

    Great Write-Up. I love the Hue Graphics. I am enjoying the Browns this year because I have no expectations of winning a lot. It would be nice to chalk one up this week to give the guys a lift. However, over the last several years we have listened to a lot of hype only to have our hopes dashed. It’s time, as both fans and coaches, to sit back and let the rookies (and guys we poached from other practice squads) show us what they got. Just keep the coaching and front office intact and we WILL see drastic improvement over the next 3 years.

  • Richard_Haydn

    Chris, do you really think he would blow this thing up again so soon? I just don’t see it. The coaches and FO have to have some guarantees, otherwise I don’t think they would make trades that won’t come to fruition for 2 years. Most coaches in “fight for your job” mode will trade up instead of trade down. You have to have some assurances you will be given at least 4 years if you are trading down for picks 2 years out.

  • mgbode

    While I think Haslam gives Hue Jackson at least 3 years, coaches don’t make trades (or at least shouldn’t)

  • Chris

    Oh, don’t mind me… Team Snark is still hosting tryouts.

  • Richard_Haydn

    Of course you are right about coaches making trades. But they are trying to work on the same page and are thinking long term. You have to have buy-in from the coaches or it would make for a lot of friction. This is not something the Chuds or Pettines were part of. It was win now. My guess is Hue knew the plan from the start (hire) and was OK with it as long as he had a solid promise to be given the time for a total tear down and build up. A coach/front office that can afford to be patient is a great thing. If you have to win now, you’ll give up a 2nd round pick next year and treat it like a 3rd rounder in the current year. But no matter how you slice it, it is still a 2nd round pick. I love this FO and coaching staff combo. They have already stashed picks for 2018, and since you have to have a least 2 years to see how your picks pan out, I hope they are looking at a minimum of 4 years.

  • mgbode

    My strategy is always:

    Coaches – think short-term, win now
    FO – think long-term, sustained winning

    Have someone in charge of merging these ideals when they come into conflict to ensure both sides are heard and appeased. They won’t always get their way (obv.) but they should feel they are involved. That person can be a president, owner, etc. But, someone has to do it or the whole thing falls apart.