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Anatomy of A Loss


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#1 Earl34

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 01:51 AM

At the end of last week's game, I wanted to puke. Now most of you may think that by clicking on this topic that you'd see something to do with the offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, and his play-calling. Nothing could be further from the truth. This thread is not about him. It's about the real reason we lost this game...the crappiest offensive line performance that I've seen this season with perhaps the exception of the Bears line that gave up 10 sacks to the Giants in New York. Let's have a look at 10 plays (there were more, but I stopped at 10 so that some of you wouldn't run out of Pepto-Bismol).

First Quarter

2nd-2 on -28




On this play, the Browns faced a 7-man front. Starting from the top right arrow, we see Evan Moore get beat by Derrick Harvey, the DE. The biggest reason this play blew up though is at the arrow to the left where Shaun Lauvao not only gives up the A-gap to the DT Alualu but also basically gives a running start for a free hit on Hillis. Robert Royal please feel free to get out of your effin-stance and block someone.

2nd-7




This is a toss left and we'll notice the TE, Joe Thomas and Vickers all heading out to lead the charge. The problem is (notice the arrows) we have THREE EFFIN LINEMEN on the EFFIN GROUND! St. Clair?! Feel free to pull up a lawn chair! STEINBACH?! Thanks for being ABUSED by your man who blows it up in the backfield. Hillis then stiff arms two guys while more arrive to force him out. Hillis gained a yard all by himself. You basically have five guys with no one blocking. They're playing football and we're EFFIN WATCHING!

2nd Quarter


1st-10 +30





Thomas gives up the gap to his inside (the B-gap, if you're wondering). Mack COMPLETELY whiffs the DT to his left whom he was supposed to block since Steinbach pulled on a G-power. St. Clair gets stood up and....



St. Clair? Well, "Turnstyle" gets tossed aside like he's a rag doll!

3rd Quarter

2nd-7 +45


This photo doesn't do the ineptitude justice. This is a 7-man defensive front. On this play, Joe Thomas gets stood up and driven back. Ben Watson doesn't engage a block quick enough to keep his man from flowing to the ball. and the duo of Lauvao and St. Clair could not block the guy who slid inside to out across both of their bodies to meet Hillis head on at the LOS.

1st-10 +19 (after turnover)


Yes, folks, that's the DT who just blew past Alex Mack into the backfield to blow up our first play after a turnover. This was six in the box and went for no gain.

2nd-10 +20


This is a 22 personnel (2 backs, 2 TE) against a 7-man front.

1-- Morrison stunts around the end (and right past Joe Thomas and Watson)
2-- Mack is about to miss another block down on the left DT.
3-- St. Clair blocks, well, no one...



This is the same play but a split second later where we see (clockwise from 3 o'clock)...Mack looking like a fool, St. Clair STILL looking for someone to block and Kirk Morrison finishing his loop around to stick his shoulder pads right into Hillis' gut to blow up yet another play.

4th Quarter

1st -10 -43


This is a first down pass and Colt gets sacked on a weak blitz pick up by Hillis (arrow). McCoy is not yet set to throw in this photo which reinforces the idea that this was not a coverage sack.

1st-10 +35 after a turnover


On this play, there were 7 in the box. Lauvao is pulling to the left and whiffs on his man. Now, to be fair, I've watched this play over and over and it seems to me that Thomas helps out Steinbach leaving two unblocked men for the pulling guard. This might be Thomas' fault. I don't know but it sure looked damn ugly.


I ran out of room for images so the last two will have to be on the next comment...
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#2 Earl34

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 01:55 AM

Continued...

2nd-10 +35


Here we see a nice toss to the outside. All Watson has to do is block that corner and it's probably going for big yards. He gets shed. Hillis is hit. No gain.

SUMMARY: So you see, dear friends, you could call whatever damned play you want. Hell, bring ol' Bill Walsh out of the grave and he couldn't call plays with offensive line play like this! This was a ridiculous performance and I can't say that it was the playcalling when the offensive line is looking like five matadors. It wasn't the play-call. It wasn't 8 or 9 in the box. It was they GOT THEIR ASSES WHOOPED!

THIS IS WHY THE BROWNS LOST WITH A +5 MARGIN! How many of these plays were first and tens after turnovers? There were certainly more plays where the offensive line was overmatched. I just showed you nine obvious ones. I gave up on #10 cause it's damned late and you get the picture....LITERALLY!
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#3 BROWNandORANGE

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 02:07 AM

great analysis man! i'm sure everyone appreciates its. keep it up!
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#4 BrownB499

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 07:42 AM

Thank You Earl, another great post



When we got St.Clair,someone on here called him "the Quaterback killer"...Have we had a QB survive a game with him as a starter?
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#5 7moses7

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 08:29 AM

QUOTE (BrownB499 @ Nov 26 2010, 07:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank You Earl, another great post



When we got St.Clair,someone on here called him "the Quaterback killer"...Have we had a QB survive a game with him as a starter?

Pretty sad when fans can point out the terrible line play.Do the Browns coaches not see these same plays or lack of execution.To many lineman laying down on the job!
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#6 Earl34

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 10:14 AM

QUOTE (BrownB499 @ Nov 26 2010, 07:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank You Earl, another great post



When we got St.Clair,someone on here called him "the Quaterback killer"...Have we had a QB survive a game with him as a starter?


BB499, I hate to say it but I am fairly certain that Joe Thomas gave up both hits that resulted in the Delhomme and Wallace injuries. I don't believe it was Turnstyle.
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#7 BrownB499

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 12:28 PM

QUOTE (7moses7 @ Nov 26 2010, 08:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pretty sad when fans can point out the terrible line play.Do the Browns coaches not see these same plays or lack of execution.To many lineman laying down on the job!



Exactly,we do have coaches looking at the same shots Earl's using?there are shots from first qtr through 4th yet no adjustments,no creative plays to take advantage(middle screen,middle shovel,rolling pocket,reverse, WildDawg?) nobody gets a pass here...Tom Brady went off on his offense for slacking in the Pburgh game

Now I realize Colt doesn't have that kind of clout,but at some point Mangini,Daboll,Hillis...someone has to line these guys up
and give'em an ear full

On another note...Why is Hillis lining up so deep in the backfield? I realize you want him to have a full head of steam but some of these shots show him 2 yds from the ball and 3yds from the LOS yet the oline has already engaged...seems like thats giving DL too much time to
shed their blocks
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#8 Earl34

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 02:15 PM

QUOTE (BrownB499 @ Nov 26 2010, 12:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Exactly,we do have coaches looking at the same shots Earl's using?there are shots from first qtr through 4th yet no adjustments,no creative plays to take advantage(middle screen,middle shovel,rolling pocket,reverse, WildDawg?) nobody gets a pass here...Tom Brady went off on his offense for slacking in the Pburgh game

Now I realize Colt doesn't have that kind of clout,but at some point Mangini,Daboll,Hillis...someone has to line these guys up
and give'em an ear full

On another note...Why is Hillis lining up so deep in the backfield? I realize you want him to have a full head of steam but some of these shots show him 2 yds from the ball and 3yds from the LOS yet the oline has already engaged...seems like thats giving DL too much time to
shed their blocks


The middle screen is risky against this kind of penetrating defense. McCoy did roll out on a naked bootleg and injured his ankle because the end didn't bite. Don't forget that most of our trickeration requires #16 to be on the field. I'm not suggesting that it is right to have your gimmicks tied up in one guy but we didn't lose this game because of a lack of gimmicks. We lost it because we couldn't block anyone. There was far less pulling of the guard in the second half and they were trying to go to the outside more. There was nothing wrong with the design of the last play where Hillis was going to the right with blockers in front. They just didn't block effectively.

Hillis is lining up five to seven yards in the backfield. That's standard depth.
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#9 OrangeHelmet-UK

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 02:39 PM

Thank you. thank you .thank you. Earl .................living in the UK this is BETTER than NFL Today ! ! !
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#10 BrownB499

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 03:25 PM

QUOTE (Earl34 @ Nov 26 2010, 02:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The middle screen is risky against this kind of penetrating defense. McCoy did roll out on a naked bootleg and injured his ankle because the end didn't bite. Don't forget that most of our trickeration requires #16 to be on the field. I'm not suggesting that it is right to have your gimmicks tied up in one guy but we didn't lose this game because of a lack of gimmicks. We lost it because we couldn't block anyone. There was far less pulling of the guard in the second half and they were trying to go to the outside more. There was nothing wrong with the design of the last play where Hillis was going to the right with blockers in front. They just didn't block effectively.

Hillis is lining up five to seven yards in the backfield. That's standard depth.


I feel like I should be paying you for the education smile.gif Thanks

I wasn't really thinking trickeration as much as I felt we should be taking advantage of over penetration by Jacksonvilles front
but your last insert explains it well ...8 on 7 and we still can't get past the line of scrimmage
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#11 MDDawg

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 05:35 PM

QUOTE (7moses7 @ Nov 26 2010, 08:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pretty sad when fans can point out the terrible line play.Do the Browns coaches not see these same plays or lack of execution.To many lineman laying down on the job!

They knew that, that's why the play calling was conservative. Going in they probably knew that the O line was pretty weak and would not give Colt enough time for more sophisticated plays develop especially with Cribbs out.
Thanks Earl for clearing the air on Daboll. He's called two brilliant games when personnel were healthy against quality opponents.
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#12 Earl34

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 08:47 PM

QUOTE (MDDawg @ Nov 26 2010, 05:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
They knew that, that's why the play calling was conservative. Going in they probably knew that the O line was pretty weak and would not give Colt enough time for more sophisticated plays develop especially with Cribbs out.
Thanks Earl for clearing the air on Daboll. He's called two brilliant games when personnel were healthy against quality opponents.



Funny how when the players don't execute, the coach is a fool. I'm kinda tired of that rhetoric. When they beat the tar out of the Saints and Pats and run the Jets deep into overtime...they're geniuses. The truth lay in the middle.

Cribbs being out cripples us immensely as he's the only threat on the outside.
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#13 tampadawgs

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 09:38 PM

these by far are my fav threads of all time !!!!!!!
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#14 Frenchie

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 02:14 AM

What surprises me is that the line has done so well in the last few games and you would have thought that with the loss to the NY Jets, they would have been hungry for bear.

There always seems to be a reason, but the Browns loose too many win-able games.
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#15 ITHIKA

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 02:44 AM

Excellent job Earl i saw the same thing you did and guess who agrees with you besides many of us? The Browns offensive line themselves and some of the writers in Cleveland as well. IMHO I'd say the most important component of this Oline on the right side is Floyd Womack and they must learn how to employ a strategic blocking method for this 4-3 stunting Dline. It's gonna be a long game tomorrow! Read on ladies and gents...


Offensive line falls flat for the Browns
By Marla Ridenour
Beacon Journal sports writer

POSTED: 10:32 p.m. EST, Nov 21, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, FLA.: How could this happen?
How could the Browns' defense get six takeaways against the Jacksonville Jaguars and lose?
One player held himself accountable for Sunday's 24-20 setback at EverBank Field. Actually, left guard Eric Steinbach held his unit accountable after the Browns converted those turnovers into a mere 10 points, three points by the offense.
''We just didn't get it done,'' Steinbach said. ''It's production in this business, and here's a week where we didn't produce. As an offensive line, we've got to take this one, because I don't think in the history of the NFL you get plus-five in turnovers and you still lose.
''If the defense is going to give us a gift with a turnover or interception, we've got to produce.''
Researching the history of the NFL, the Elias Sports Bureau didn't have to go back far. On Oct. 8, 2007, the Buffalo Bills had six takeaways at home against just one giveaway and lost 25-24 to the Dallas Cowboys.
Steinbach didn't just stand up and accept blame; he understood what went wrong. The reason was simple: The Browns couldn't run the ball against the Jaguars' 4-3 defense coordinated by Mel Tucker, the former Ohio State assistant and Cleveland native who got his first chance in the NFL from ex-Browns coach Romeo Crennel. That defense allowed the Browns to run for 214 yards in the 2009 season finale.
Steinbach said there were too many negative runs — too many second- and third-and-longs that limited offensive coordinator Brian Daboll's play-calling. Eight of the Browns' 26 carries went for 1 yard or less.
''They did a good job of generating some negative plays, which is what they do through different pressures and stunts, and we didn't handle it very well offensively,'' Browns coach Eric Mangini said. ''They have three good linebackers who were consistently flowing to the ball that we didn't handle very well.''
Mangini said the Browns' 3.4 yards per carry was ''a huge thing.''
The Browns needed running back Peyton Hillis to produce like a Pro Bowl candidate, especially when rookie quarterback Colt McCoy played nearly the entire second half with a left ankle injury. McCoy left the stadium in a walking boot, preferred footwear for Browns quarterbacks this season.
At this point in the Browns' 3-7 season and at this point in the franchise's rebuilding, they have discovered what they must be on offense. With the talent they have, they know what they must do to win. They must play smashmouth football with Hillis. And when the offensive line struggles and fullback Lawrence Vickers isn't blowing up defenders and the simple formula fails as it did against the Jaguars, even four interceptions and two fumble recoveries can't save them.
With Hillis gaining 48 yards on 21 carries (2.3 average), the Browns rushed for only 88 yards, their fourth-lowest total of the season. Thirty-nine yards came from McCoy on four carries. They've run for 107 yards or fewer in six of their seven losses.
Steinbach likened this effort to a 20-10 setback against the Atlanta Falcons last month, when Hillis was banged up and the running game produced a mere 48 net yards.
''Exactly. It's a 4-3 defense that slants and moves,'' Steinbach said of the Falcons. ''We're facing all these 3-4 teams all the time, when we get to a 4-3 team — not a basic 4-3 team like Cincinnati — a team that prides themselves on slanting and moving and creating all that stuff that maybe you're not used to. . . .We didn't produce against Atlanta, so maybe there's a comparison there.''
Compounding the problem was the fact that the line was down two starters from last weekend.
Steinbach played with a calf injury that sidelined him from practice two days last week. The Browns' best right tackle, Floyd Womack, sat out with a knee injury, forcing John St. Clair to take over. Right guard Billy Yates (biceps) was placed on injured reserve after the New York Jets' game, so rookie Shaun Lauvao made his first career start against the Jaguars. When three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas didn't speak to beat writers afterward, that might have been a hint he didn't play to his usual standards. Center Alex Mack had his hands full.
McCoy spent the afternoon under siege, especially in the second half, when the Jaguars had four of their six sacks. McCoy was hurt on the first of those four, when defensive lineman Jeremy Mincy came rushing in unblocked on the Browns' second play of the third quarter.
Steinbach said the Browns did not come out flat against the Jaguars, who have won three in a row. They knew the Jags would remember what the Browns did to them last season, when Jerome Harrison ran 33 times for 127 yards in a 23-17 victory.
''We weren't flat, trust me,'' Steinbach said. ''We knew what we had to do. But as the game went on, we didn't produce.
''We were going out there yelling and screaming, rah-rah and fighting. We call a play, then all of a sudden one guy blitzes or one guy is free and makes a play behind the line. If it was second-and-8 and then it's third-and-10, we're behind the eight ball.''
While Hillis spent his day running into a wall of Jaguars, the Browns kept calling on their battering ram. Hillis ran his season total to 774 yards (4.5 average) and 11 touchdowns, eight rushing.
''We were talking about it on the sidelines, trying to figure out why it wasn't there for us, why it wasn't working as much,'' McCoy said.
Apparently on the sideline in the throes of the moment, the offensive linemen weren't as forthcoming as Steinbach was afterward. Or if they were, they didn't have the manpower or the muscle to fix it. To the eight-year veteran guard, there was no mystery why the unusual frenzy of takeaways went for naught.


ANOTHER STORY ON THE OLINE

The Browns' offensive line is supposed to be one of the strengths of the team, but its Achilles' heel has certainly been exposed this season.

The O-line has been embarrassed by 4-3 defenses with active fronts. That's why the Carolina Panthers (1-9) could pose a serious threat today. Their defense fits the description of those that have wreaked havoc against the Browns (3-7).

Panthers coach John Fox had his poker face on when he said he didn't view the Browns' blocking against 4-3 fronts as a deficiency. But you can bet he studied how the Atlanta Falcons and the Jacksonville Jaguars used stunts and slants to dominate the Browns in the trenches.

''The communication is huge,'' Browns left tackle Joe Thomas said. ''It's everything really, especially against the 4-3, because you need to be on the same page with the guys next to you in order to be able to pick up the stuff. A lot of times it is switching assignments, you're switching gaps, so it's all about communication. It's all about pre-snap reads.''

Throughout the season, the majority of the Browns' opponents have employed 3-4 defenses. Blocking against a 4-3 isn't rocket science, but apparently it presents enough challenges.

In Week 5, the Falcons held the Browns to 48 yards on 20 carries (2.4 average). Without a viable rushing attack, the Browns put themselves in a tough spot.

The Falcons' pass rushers teed off, recording three sacks and five quarterback hits. As a result, Seneca Wallace suffered a high ankle sprain and fellow quarterback Jake Delhomme reinjured his mangled ankle.

Last week, the Jaguars' defensive line followed the Falcons' recipe for success. The Jaguars limited the Browns to 88 yards on 26 carries (3.4 average). Keep in mind, 39 of the 88 yards were a result of rookie quarterback Colt McCoy avoiding pressure and gaining ground.

Speaking of McCoy, he was sacked six times, hit at least twice more and left hobbling away from EverBank Field with a walking boot on his left foot and a cowboy boot on his right foot. Yes, another tenacious defensive line in a 4-3 system left another Browns quarterback with a high ankle sprain.

Now with Delhomme back in the fold, what can the O-line do better to protect him against his former team?

''You can't let them penetrate into the gaps,'' Browns coach Eric Mangini said. ''You've got to be able to blunt it before they get into the seam between the offensive linemen. When you blunt them and they're moving, a lot of times what happens is you just use their momentum to wash them down the line of scrimmage and you can create some big plays.''

The Browns' offensive linemen could have used an excuse along these lines after their loss to the Jaguars: ''We had rookie Shawn Lauvao making his first career start at right guard, and John St. Clair was coming off an injury to play right tackle because Floyd Womack was sidelined. That's why we weren't on the same page.''

To their credit, they didn't play that card. Making excuses won't help them execute a turnaround against the Panthers. Instead, they must focus on solving the great mystery of the 4-3.

''If you're sound fundamentally in the pass game, it's a little bit easier [to block against them] 'cause you're not attacking, you're backing off in the pass game,'' Thomas said. ''So when they're twisting, they're kind of passing themselves off. In the run game, you're trying to attack them. If you're not good with your eyes and your feet and your communication, you can get picked off before you get a chance.

''In Jacksonville, we had the opportunity to keep running it because the score was close. That was frustrating, 'cause we had a lot of runs, and we weren't able to make it work. This week we're gonna try to make sure it's different.''

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@
thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Browns blog at http://www.ohiomm.com/blogs/browns/. Follow the Browns on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ABJ_Browns and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/browns.abj.
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#16 ITHIKA

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 11:44 AM

Ok, wow no one is gonna discuss how this Oline is struggling big time with 4-3 stunting Dlines? Jake is playing Qb (no mobility) today and the guy is a stone! God Help Us All as Browns fans!
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#17 Earl34

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 11:46 AM

QUOTE (ITHIKA @ Nov 28 2010, 11:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok, wow no one is gonna discuss how this Oline is struggling big time with 4-3 stunting Dlines? Jake is playing Qb (no mobility) today and the guy is a stone! God Help Us All as Browns fans!


I'd be lying if I said it didn't worry me but, then again, we didn't seem to have a problem with the Saints so I'm not sure that it's ALL 4-3 fronts.
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#18 ITHIKA

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:40 PM

QUOTE (Earl34 @ Nov 28 2010, 12:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'd be lying if I said it didn't worry me but, then again, we didn't seem to have a problem with the Saints so I'm not sure that it's ALL 4-3 fronts.


two names that were involved in the saints equation Billy Yates and Floyd Womack, Yates=IR, Womack probable not healthy and starting. Then again we didnt do much offensively against the Aints either.
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