My Browns Thoughts Through 5 Weeks

By Kenny Roda

At (2-2), I think it’s safe to say the Browns are who we though they were. A young team, playing a lot of those young players. With that comes some good, but probably more bad, than good. That’s to be expected.  Add in a 1st time ever head coach, who like the players, has made some mistakes, but is hopefully learning from them, and you have a .500 team coming out of the bye.

The Good:

Rookies Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard have played well at times on the defensive line. D’Qwell Jackson has come back from his injuries and has been the team’s most consistent player so far. Joe Haden is becoming a shut down corner and proving his rookie season was not a fluke. Ahtyba Rubin has been steady on the inside of that defensive line. Dick Jauron’s defense has been the key to the (2-2) start so far this season. On offense nobody really stands out so far through 4 games. Josh Cribbs has been somewhat of a spark, but that’s been a combination of him on offense and special teams. Ben Watson has been consistent at tight end and Alex Mack has held his own at center, but that’s about it on offense.  As always on special teams, you can count on 3 things:  Ryan Pontbriand’s snaps will be right on the money, Phil Dawson will kick it through the uprights consistently and Josh Cribbs will make plays in the return game and that’s exactly what’s happened this season.

The Bad:

Let’s start with the coach, Pat Shurmur. At times he has looked overwhelmed. His play calling has been suspect, the team has started slow in all 4 games, and his personnel packages have been very questionable.  My concern before the season with Shurmur was that for a first time head coach, he’d be wearing too many hats and his decision making process would be affected, and I think we’re seeing that. He needs to delegate more, or get more help from Mike Holmgren.  Colt McCoy to me has been disappointing. His strength was his accuracy and we haven’t seen that this year. The running game has been affected by the new West Coast style offense. You combine that with Shurmur not playing Peyton Hillis enough, and you don’t have a solid ground attack. All Pro Joe Thomas has been average at best so far.  I expected more out of T.J. Ward in year number #2, and there’s still time to turn it around, but he has been inconsistent. Sheldon Brown has been awful and should not start. While D’Qwell Jackson is having a good season so far, the same can’t be said for his fellow linebackers Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita. Linebacker will be a focal point in the off-season along with wide receiver, as far as brining in more talent at those positions.  You can blame the front office of Tom Heckert and Mike Homgren for not addressing the receiver position this past season.  Other than the drafting of Greg Little, and to this point he’s done just that, very little, the receivers have been bad. Hopefully we’ve seen the last of Brian Robiskie as a starter and more of Little in his place.

The schedule was easy through the first 4 games, now it gets tougher and the Browns have already had their bye week.  So it’s time for the head coach, his staff, as well as the players to step their game up or this could be another long season that ends up with the Browns Super Bowl being a high pick in the NFL Draft.

Follow Kenny on Twitter @RoadmanWKNR

 

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