NOT a good night for Cleveland Craniums. First Matt LaPorta, and then a football “game” took place. About five days before Hurricane Fay makes an impact on Cleveland, Hurricane Blue tore through the Browns. Instead of flipping cars and flooding streets, it may have forced the front office to invest in a stapler so that they can keep the growing injury report in tact.
When Brodney Pool took down Brandon Jacobs in last night’s game, it was definitely an upending. A hard hit, that resulted in the bruising running back being taken down about three yards past the line of scrimmage. Pool then helped chase Eli Manning out of bounds on a play soon thereafter, obviously possessing more speed than Corey Williams. And then that was about it. In the second drive, while taking down Jacobs, Poole left the game with what is being diagnosed as a concussion.
The concussion will be the third of his career, and his second in less than a year. In typical Browns fashion, Pool went down on an opening kickoff in 2005. Last season’s was in the week two shootout against the Bengals. And while there is no word on how long Pool will be out this time – given the league’s newly refined policy on players and concussion recovery – it may be time to work on his tackling in the open field.
On more than one occassion in last nights game, you saw Pool leading with his helmet, almost making no attempt at using shoulders or arms to bring down a ball carrier. Granted, you cannot just arm tackle someone of Jacobs’ stature, but in the same regard, that is a 260 lbs., running full speed into a tackler’s head/neck.
Our defensive backfield is on the brink of disaster as it is. Our starting cornerback allowed two touchdowns; one set up by a 50-plus yard pass interference penalty. We saw what our second string defensive backs did against the Jets over a week ago, and while Pool only has one season in which he’s played less than 16 games, the repetition of these concussions has to be a bit concerning.
Obviously, this team has many things to work on before the season starts on September 7th. Getting Pool healthy and tackling in a safer manner is just one line on the laundry list.