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Terry Pluto:So what has happened to the Browns' offense --

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LINK: http://www.cleveland.com/pluto/blog/index....has_happen.html

 

CLEVELAND -- The answer is seven.

 

The question is: How many games have the Browns scored one or zero touchdowns this season?

 

Seven games with one or no touchdowns? That compares to only two last season -- the 34-7 spanking by Pittsburgh in the opener and the 8-0 victory over Buffalo in a blizzard.

 

Seven games with fewer than two touchdowns?

 

In 1999 and 2004, there were eight of those games.

 

The worst was 11 in 2000, their second year after expansion when Ty Detmer and Tim Couch were injured. That led to heavy doses of Doug Pederson and Spergon Wynn at quarterback. In the final two games, Coach Chris Palmer couldn't watch them any more, and began using Kevin Johnson and Dennis Northcutt running plays out of the shotgun.

 

Which brings us to Sunday's 28-9 loss at Tennessee.

 

There were 68 offensive (and were they ever!) snaps in that game.

 

Guess how many featured Joshua Cribbs on the field?

 

Try 11.

 

That's 11-of-68, while Ken Dorsey was throwing 43 times.

 

Dorsey was sacked only once, but the NFL keeps track of quarterback hits. Guess how many times the painful cry could have been, "And down goes Dorsey!"

 

Once again, it's 11.

 

Coach Romeo Crennel said, "Dorsey was not as solid as he'd like to be."

 

After all those hits, he's lucky to be able to remember his own name.

 

Dorsey can't throw long. He isn't especially big or quick. He is a savvy overachiever, but there is a reason he is best as a backup quarterback -- as fans saw Sunday.

 

Which begs the question, "Why not more of Cribbs?"

 

Coach Romeo Crennel's answer Monday was: "We have been working on this all year (with Cribbs)."

 

He said "some (plays) have not been used" in games yet. He said the team has a "substantial package" of plays for the former Kent State quarterback. When do they plan to open it, Christmas? Get it ready for that final game at Pittsburgh on December 28?

 

Yes, the record is 4-9. The coaches are expected to be fired. The top quarterbacks -- Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn -- are out of the year. But this year was lost long before their injuries, with the offense being the biggest disappointment.

 

They are on a streak of three games without a touchdown, and those games have been started by three different quarterbacks. The Browns currently rank 27th in points scored, 28th in total yards and have been in that lowly area all season.

 

More revealing, they are 29th in scoring TDs in the red zone (38 percent), compared to 12th (54 percent) a year ago.

 

How much really changed on offense?

 

They lost Joe Jurevicius, a solid receiver who was ranked No. 3 in the NFL in third-down catches in 2007. But everyone else came back. There have been injuries taking out Donte Stallworth and Kellen Winslow for some games.

 

But it doesn't explain the drop from one of the league's best offenses to one of the worst. It doesn't explain Braylon Edwards leading the league in drops, but having only three touchdown catches compared to 16 a year ago.

 

It doesn't explain Jamal Lewis dropping from 4.4 yards per carry to 3.5. Or the inability of Derek Anderson to complete even half of his passes. Or how the Browns now rank 31st in "big plays" of at least 20 yards, compared to being a big play team that ranked third in that category a year ago. Or how they often seem timid in the red zone, seemingly playing for field goals.

 

Nor does it explain how they have been slow to adjust, not working in Jerome Harrison (only six snaps Sunday before leaving late in the third quarter with a rib injury). Or how backup fullback Charles Ali catches more passes (3) than Cribbs (2). Or Martin Rucker not seeing a single snap Sunday, but veteran Darnell Dinkins playing despite a serious ankle sprain.

 

Why do little Stallworth or Syndric Steptoe go in motion and then stop to try and block a linebacker, something that worked for the 6-foot-5 Jurevicius, but not these guys?

 

Crennel said his job is not to look at young players at this time of the season, "It's to try to win the game, it's why you coach."

 

He did say he'd work in some young guys, but there seems to be no urgency to do it.

 

It's no surprise there was some decline on offense this year because of injuries and poor performances. But the coaches also have to ask themselves if they squeezed the most out of the talent, did they take some chances on some young guys who could help? And at this point in a 4-9 season, there is nothing else to lose.

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Interesting read, but it just reflects on what we already know .... can you add more to that ?

 

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This coaching staff was (and is) almost incredibly unimaginative on both O and D and I lay all the blame at the feet of Romeo Crennel.

 

It appears that his coaching philosophy mirrors his life philosophy: be steady and solid, do your job and hope for the best.

 

That's a great life philosophy but it is as uninspiring as vanilla ice cream.

 

Is it any surprise that the team mirrors his personality? They are probably as bored with this season as we are.

 

I find it absolutely incredible that with literally nothing left to lose, RAC doesn't even consider shaking things up.

 

I cannot imagine that Chud and Tucker support this style of play, not with their whole careers in front of them.

 

This embarassment would cause most sane, reasonable people to try ANYTHING to change things for the better.

 

But not RAC. The vets rule and the devil you know is better than the one you don't, according to RAC.

 

And because of this stubborn refusal to do ANYTHING outside the box, RAC must -- and will -- go.

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Wow! How refreshing to come here and read a really good thread! Nice posts guys, and I agree 100%.

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Terry says it best... Our talent and potential is their. That is no doubt. I have always been one not to point at the coach. At the professional level, the players have to perform. But this time around, I can't help but point the finger at RAC and the entire staff.

 

 

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I think another factor is the schedule. Another factor is the scouting against DA by more elite D's. I find the fact that DA's weaknesses (accuracy and touch pass) did not progress from the off season to the start of this season a major reason for the meltdown.

 

We also learned that this team is not mentally strong enough to overcome injuries and adversity. I applauded the Stallworth signing, but then I forgot that his history is very clear....injury prone. Bad signing.

 

The Retardation of BE was baffling. He needs a Cris Carter or Jerry Rice to mentor him. It's all mental and it's sure as hell not helping with this current coaching staff.

 

I underestimated the loss of JJ. He's 6'5 going across the middle. LB's had a hell of a time covering and being physical with him. You saw K2 get doubled up a lot on the same routes this year that last year were picking up 1st downs. Chud's inability to adjust for this and find another way (ie Harrison) to spread the field really clogged up the middle and the timing routes. Stallworth never took the heat off BE or spread the field.

 

Steptoe is serviceable as a 4th receiver. I truly believe Cribbs is #3 worthy....every time he touches the ball he gains positive yards. His formation is very different than the WildDawg. You have a RB basically running. Cribbs can run it, throw it, or catch it.....it's more multidimensional and harder to defend.

 

Finally, the running game took a hit. Lewis playing more elite D fronts and falling behind early really forced the Browns to throw throw throw. We sucked throwing it. Joe Thomas took a step back and that is very alarming. I know Steinbach fought nagging injuries all year as well. I underestimated the effectiveness of Tucker and him missing most of the season has had an adverse effect. Expect major changes at the RB position in 09 and some Oline tweaking.

 

All in All Savage said "we have the 8th best offense". He assumed they would pick up right where they left off and directed all of his attention to the Defense in FA and the draft for 08. Being aggressive with FA and in the draft have set this team back on both sides of the ball. We all felt Savage was doing the right things at the time, but now I'm not so sure.

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I popped in and out Sunday so maybe I missed something but I don't recall seeing any screens or draw plays despite the fact that Dorsey was in trouble quite a bit. No sweeps either- when Lewis can't go up the middle that's pretty much the end of the running game.

 

I pray to Jesus everytime the Browns throw that slant pass- how can a defense not be sitting on that play. It's a miracle everytime that pattern results in a completion.

 

It looks like a high school offense out there.

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A few weeks ago the argument AGAINST firing RAC in the middle of the season was that there was no one to step in and replace him. There might not be anyone who can do any better, but there also isn't anyone who can do any worse. 4 straight weeks of ugly hopeless football is no way to strengthen a fan base.

 

The blame for this season falling completely apart rests with Savage. I want him out of here as soon as possible, plain and simple.

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Ever wonder how Jeff Davidson was such a bad OC here, but goes to CAR, they allow him to develop, and now he is 10-3?

 

I say give Chud another chance. He showed me some things that make me think he needs a 3rd season.

 

Not gonna happen, but I would like to see it. It is not like his current HC could teach him how to grow as an OC. I mean we're talking about a HC that had Carthon calling plays.

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It's Tucker not being there, and Shaffer being there.

 

They did try a screen the last game, to the right, but it was completely blown up by a lack of blocking. Shaffer again.

 

and, I still haven't read an explanation why the middle of the line opened up like a sliding garage door right up the middle, when

Fraley went right and Joe Thomas and Steinback went left.

 

And I think Chud is a Dud, that he has his offense so confused, they are just freakin fed up.

 

Draft bigtime RT, sign a better center, new coaching staff, maybe Marty to replace Savage.

 

When Tucker was holding up the right side, the Browns could run the plays they wanted.

 

No Tucker, extremely limited on what they can run, if they can even do that... just like when Shaffer was on the left tackle spot.

 

He needs to be a backup OG. That's all.

 

And Edwards' drops.

 

Seriously, Mr. Cannon Arm Clodhopper at qb averaged 4.2 yards a throw. And a lot of those were frantically in a hurry. That is the biggest

difference from last year to this year.

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How about the staph infections and the lack of proactiveness that the team showed in getting rid of it ? I mean we have lost KW and JJ botht to staph and that too is contributing to the offensive lack of talent in the playable roster !

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Really? Have you read the stories about the steps the team has gone through to try and get rid of the staph? There was no lack of proactiveness.

 

Well perhaps they did it after the infections started, Explain Kellen Winslow and JJ to me. first they have injury and then the delay due to the staph infection. And both were an integral part of our offense last year.

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steptoe stays; we can't afford to use a draft pick on a receiver when we have other glaring needs that we can't solve by simply re-signing a guy we've already got on the team.

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It's Tucker not being there, and Shaffer being there.

 

They did try a screen the last game, to the right, but it was completely blown up by a lack of blocking. Shaffer again.

 

and, I still haven't read an explanation why the middle of the line opened up like a sliding garage door right up the middle, when

Fraley went right and Joe Thomas and Steinback went left.

 

And I think Chud is a Dud, that he has his offense so confused, they are just freakin fed up.

 

Draft bigtime RT, sign a better center, new coaching staff, maybe Marty to replace Savage.

 

When Tucker was holding up the right side, the Browns could run the plays they wanted.

 

No Tucker, extremely limited on what they can run, if they can even do that... just like when Shaffer was on the left tackle spot.

 

He needs to be a backup OG. That's all.

 

And Edwards' drops.

 

Seriously, Mr. Cannon Arm Clodhopper at qb averaged 4.2 yards a throw. And a lot of those were frantically in a hurry. That is the biggest

difference from last year to this year.

Mr. Cannon Arm Clodhopper THAT'S REALLY FUNNY...WHERE'S THE LUMSTER???? :lol:

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It's Tucker not being there, and Shaffer being there.

 

They did try a screen the last game, to the right, but it was completely blown up by a lack of blocking. Shaffer again.

 

and, I still haven't read an explanation why the middle of the line opened up like a sliding garage door right up the middle, when

Fraley went right and Joe Thomas and Steinback went left.

 

And I think Chud is a Dud, that he has his offense so confused, they are just freakin fed up.

 

Draft bigtime RT, sign a better center, new coaching staff, maybe Marty to replace Savage.

 

When Tucker was holding up the right side, the Browns could run the plays they wanted.

 

No Tucker, extremely limited on what they can run, if they can even do that... just like when Shaffer was on the left tackle spot.

 

He needs to be a backup OG. That's all.

 

And Edwards' drops.

 

Seriously, Mr. Cannon Arm Clodhopper at qb averaged 4.2 yards a throw. And a lot of those were frantically in a hurry. That is the biggest

difference from last year to this year.

 

 

 

Mr. Cannon Arm Clodhopper That's to d*** funny...where's the Lumster :P

 

 

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