Without Rob Chudzinski, the Browns are in trouble.
Found this in the Plain Dealer today.
Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski will interview for the Baltimore Ravens head-coaching position, General Manager Phil Savage said Thursday. Chudzinski, in his first year with the Browns, helped develop the Cleveland offense into one of the best in the NFL. The Browns ranked eighth in the league with an average of 25.1 points and 351.3 yards per game. One reason for their success was quarterback Derek Anderson, who was fifth in the NFL with 29 touchdown passes.
The Browns’ success this season can be attributed to many things; a revamped and healthy offensive line, a solid running game led by Jamal Lewis, the improved play of Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow and of course Derek Anderson. But in my opinion, Rob Chudzinski was reason 1A that the Browns’ offense was a success. Continue reading
Filed under Braylon Edwards, Browns, Cleveland Browns, Derek Anderson, football, Free Agency, Jamal Lewis, Kellen Winslow, NFL, Rob Chudzinski, Romeo Crennel, Sports
The Browns survived the storm on Sunday, but let’s hold off on the champagne for now.
They say that’s Derek Anderson sliding through the snow to celebrate a Browns’ victory over Buffalo. I see a 3 in there somewhere, so I’ll have to take their word for it. Anderson, who admitted he’d never played a game in conditions remotely close to this, spent the majority of the game watching his big running back carry the pile 3 or 4 yards. Watching the game with me, Mrs. Adjustments repeatedly said, “I can’t believe they didn’t cancel this game.” She grew up in Kentucky, where they probably would have cancelled it.
This was a game built for Jamal Lewis. As many have already said, his stature and short choppy running style are perfect for these conditions. I’m frankly surprised that he didn’t find the end zone. Lewis ran for 163 yards, averaging just a hair under 5 yards per carry. His counterpart on the Bills had a decent game going early on, but finished with 82 yards on 21 carries. It was Lynch’s first time running in these types of conditions.
The Browns looked to be in their element. They certainly seemed to be the most confident and sure-footed of the two teams out there. The defense was aggressive, daring the Bills to try and beat them through the air. Safeties Brodney Pool and Sean Jones crept up to the line of scrimmage early and often to make plays in the running game. The defense pitched a shut-out, and my first reaction was that there probably should be some type of asterisk next to this shut-out, but then I reconsidered. If we had shut-out the Buccaneers, or the Dolphins, or the Cardinals I would say none of those teams are designed to play in these type of conditions, and you could understand why they would struggle. But these are the Buffalo Bills! Last time I checked their weather was about the same as ours. They get no sympathy from me. Edwards and Lynch are California guys who looked startled to even be standing around in snow like this, let alone trying to play football. Continue reading
Cleveland hosts the Bills this week with a wild card spot on the line. Good to have meaningful football on the North Coast in December again!
It certainly has been a long time since a December game in Cleveland had playoff implications for both teams. Not since the Kelly Holcomb led Browns have we even sniffed a December to remember. That is about to change.
The Buffalo Bills come to town with a chance to get back to the playoffs themselves, but they will have to leapfrog the Browns for the last wild card slot. A win this Sunday would certainly help them in that leap. They will have to beat a motivated Cleveland team to do it. The Browns have the playoffs in their sight. They can nearly taste it. But they realize that without this game it will be an uphill battle. Browns quotes to follow. Continue reading
John returns with his state of the Browns evaluation, and this time it’s surprisingly optimistic.
Hey everyone . . . So, last time you heard from me I was entertaining the idea of calling for Romeo Crennel’s head. OK, I admit I was a bit hasty; mostly because I was writing out of frustration after watching my beloved Browns give away a game to the Steelers. I have had some time to settle and have to admit that this team has made significant improvement this season.
At the beginning of the season, my hope was that the Browns would win 8 games. Well, Sunday’s win over the Jets was number 8, and with 3 games to play the Browns are staring at a likely playoff berth: they hold the second Wild Card spot with destiny in their hands (a good position to be in). There is even an outside (way outside) shot at the North Division Champion spot as Pittsburgh continues to struggle. When all is said and done, I believe the Browns have a really solid shot at winning 10 games.
Filed under Andra Davis, Brady Quinn, Brandon McDonald, Braylon Edwards, Cleveland Browns, Derek Anderson, Eric Steinbach, Eric Wright, football, Jamal Lewis, Joe Jurevicius, Joe Thomas, Kameron Wimbley, Kellen Winslow, NFL, Phil Savage, Romeo Crennel, Sports, Wild Card race, Willie McGinest
Easy there big guy, take a breath. One game at a time.
For once it wasn’t all Derek Anderson and the flying receivers. The defense and especially the running game contributed to this win. Chud’s game plan was terrific in this one. I will admit that in the first half I was a bit skeptical. It seemed we were calling an awful lot of running plays without much to show for it. But those early running plays helped set the ground work for the pounding that was delivered in the second half.
Jamal Lewis was running downhill by the end of the game, finishing with 134 yards on 29 carries. Jason Wright provided a nice change of pace as well. The pair finished Houston off in the fourth quarter, as the Browns held the ball for roughly 11 minutes of the final quarter.
The defense rose to the occasion as well. Much has been, or will be written about rookie cornerback Brandon McDonald who was spectacular on Sunday. He covered Pro Bowl wide out Andre Johnson for most of the game, and absolutely shut him down. Before Sunday Johnson had played just three games due to injury, but in those 3 games he averaged just over 125 yards and scored at least 1 TD in each of his games. Against the Browns- 3 catches for 37 yards. McDonald sealed the win when he made a great read and jumped one of Johnson’s routes for an interception. Continue reading
Filed under Brandon McDonald, Browns, Cleveland Browns, Derek Anderson, Draft Picks, Eric Wright, football, Jamal Lewis, NFL, play-offs, Sports
Jamal Lewis runs for 4 TD’s; no sacks allowed all day for Browns!
The Browns fell behind early, but came on late to win a close game over a good opponent. The Seahawks may not be a Superbowl contender this year, but they came in with a 4-3 record, good enough for first in the weak NFC West. The Browns had trouble stopping Seattle’s passing attack, as Hasslebeck picked the Browns apart to the tune of 318 yards. Everytime the Browns had Seattle in a third and 5 it seemed Bobby Engram was always open. Well, judging by his 14 catches and 139 yards I guess he was.
This game nearly went into the loss column for two reasons. First, the Browns stubborn refusal to rush more than 3 defenders. On Seattle’s game tying drive in the fourth quarter, the Browns sent only three rushers everytime. It might as well have been a 2 man rush, because nose tackle Shaun Smith seemed to take every other play off, staying at the line of scrimmage and trying to bat the ball down. Had it not been for a replay reversal of a Hasslebeck scramble, the Browns probably lose that game because they couldn’t get any pressure on the QB.
The second reason the Browns nearly lost this game was dropped passes. There were at least six balls dropped by Browns receivers. Braylon Edwards had the most violations, including a drive killer in the fourth quarter, and a dropped TD pass that eventually was overcome by a Lewis TD run. Winslow also dropped a TD on that drive, but stayed focused and set up the game tying score with a nice catch and run to the 1 yard line. Winslow finished with 125 yards on 11 catches. Edwards had an off game, failing to reach the end zone while grabbing 5 balls for 67 yards. Continue reading
Filed under Braylon Edwards, Browns, Cleveland Browns, Derek Anderson, Eric Steinbach, Jamal Lewis, Joe Thomas, Kellen Winslow, NFL, Romeo Crennel, Sports
The bye week has come and gone. Now the Browns prepare for the stretch drive. They sit at 3-3, and have some very winnable games coming up. This week they play the winless St. Louis Rams. This Rams team has certainly been one of the bigger disappointments of the NFL so far. That being said, they are still a dangerous team. They have Torry Holt and Steven Jackson is returning from injury this week. The Browns have yet to win a road game, and haven’t won consecutive games since Reagan was in the White House. (They may be an exaggeration.) Even still, they are favored to win, and many experts are picking the Browns.
So, last Sunday the Browns were beaten by a superior team. For this team to get a win in New England would have been quite an upset. The Patriots would’ve had to make multiple mistakes, and they simply didn’t. Perhaps Cleveland can find comfort that it wasn’t a blowout, and they managed to move the ball effectively without Jamal Lewis. But truth is, we never expected to win that game. And I’m not terribly disappointed by the loss. As this team continues to improve, we will go into these games expecting to win.
The Browns are keeping pretty quiet about Lewis’ injury, which of course scares the life out of me. Initial reports were that the x-rays were negative, which was good. Then a report was out that the Browns were waiting for an MRI test. What we haven’t heard yet is how Lewis feels. Is he able to run? How much pain is he in? That right there is reason for concern. I would think that if the foot was feeling well enough for him to play that we would have heard that. Silence is an indicator that he might be held out this week. Continue reading
What a role reversal. The Baltimore Ravens came into Cleveland and got pushed around a little for the first time since the Browns returned to the league. Perhaps most ironic was that former Ravens were doing the pushing. Jamal Lewis and Derek Anderson had good days for the Browns, getting a little revenge against their former team. The Browns opened the game with a great kick return by Cribbs, then a methodical drive down the field that ate clock, and culminated on a touchdown catch by Joe Jurevicius. That set the tone for the game. We will not be pushed around today.
The defense came through when Leigh Bodden intercepted a McNair pass, setting up a beautiful 78 yard TD throw to Braylon Edwards, who got his man to bite on an inside route, but ran the fly. Suddenly it was 14-0, and the Ravens were in trouble. Continue reading
What do you get when you cross an offensive powder keg like Cincinnati with a Browns team struggling to find an offensive identity? An unbelievable offensive shootout, of course.
John is going to take on the Browns recap, I’ll just say- that’s exactly what I thought was going to happen (shakes head sarcastically.)
I will mention that the Indians took the required two of three from the Royals this weekend. As was described in an earlier post, Casey Blake and the Tribe homered their way to a win on Friday night. On Saturday, Fausto Carmona pitched another gem, going 8 innings while allowing only 3 hits, 0 runs, and striking out 9. His record now stands at 17-8, with a 3.08 era. His 24 quality starts is actually one better than C.C.’s. (His era is too, but we don’t want to start rumors that he should win the Cy Young- it will split the Cleveland vote.) The Indians scored 6 runs on the night, 4 of which came in the eighth inning. It wouldn’t matter though, as Perez came in and struck out the side in the ninth. Continue reading
Filed under Aaron Laffey, baseball, Browns, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Division race, Fausto Carmona, Indians, Jamal Lewis, Rafael Perez, Sports
Good points John. I wonder was Charlie Frye’s performance good enough to be named the opening week starter this week? I thought Charlie did a good job, particularly his handling of third down situations. He certainly looked comfortable running the offense. And speaking of that it was nice to see Jamal Lewis move the ball on the ground. Did you notice he got most of his yards running to the left side? Makes a lot of sense to me. Thomas did well run blocking, but I thought struggled a bit in pass protection. His man got the sack on Anderson, and on the very next snap he needed double team help to keep Dumervil off Derek. I was less impressed by Derek as everyone else I’ve talked to about the game has been. Sure, he was 7-9 for 74 yards, but I felt he didn’t take enough chances down field, and let’s face it the offense sputtered when he was in the game. Whether that is a result of the play calling, or the defense I’m not sure, but He had another chance to get them in the end zone and failed to get it done.
Filed under Brady Quinn, Browns, defense, Derek Anderson, Eric Steinbach, Eric Wright, football, Jamal Lewis, Joe Jurevicius, Joe Thomas, Josh Cribbs, Kellen Winslow, NFL, Romeo Crennel, Sports
Ok . . . I’m not lining up for playoff tickets or have delusions of a 10 win season or anything, but Last night’s game showed me something that kept my hopes of 8-8 alive. Charile Frye led the Browns offense down the field and scored on a Lewis 1 yard touchdown run. There it is: offensive points and an admirable drive. Frye ended up 5 for 7 with 68 yards passing and 13 yards rushing. All in all a decent start. Lewis had 48 yards on 15 carries with the touchdown. Derek Anderson was 7 for 9 with 74 yards and Brady Quinn was 7 for 11 with 81 yards and a 20 yard touchdown toss to Josh Cribbs. Once again no one stood out as the no doubt starting QB for this squad.
I still have plenty of concerns; like the defense giving up 91 yards on 17 carries to Selvin Young and 54 yards on 11 carries to Cecil Sapp. However, most of that yardage was surrendered in the second half. I am also disappointed by the penalties: 8 penalties for 55 yards. One nullified an interception on the Broncos’ first drive. There were two false start penalties: one on the Brown’s second drive forcing a punt when It appeared they would try to convert a 4th and 2, and the other making 2nd and 4 into 2nd and 9 killing the momentum on another drive. I also don’t like to see 4 sacks. Continue reading
You know how you go to a restaurant and they bring out some weak looking salad and lame piece of bread to start off your meal? Not here at Halftime Adjustments- we bring out the meat! Everyone knows that Running Back is the key position in fantasy football. If you aren’t getting production from your backs, you aren’t winning.
This week we offer up our fantasy draft preview. Today Running Backs, tomorrow
pretty boys, I mean QB’s. Wednesday is for Wide Receivers, Thursday Tight ends, and Friday we will serve up a double decker with Defenses and Kickers. Continue reading
Well, let’s get offensive. Actually, can we be less offensive (off-fence-ive) when we have the ball? What the Browns have been doing for the past several years has been an embarrassment to football. Can we move the ball this year? Can we, heaven forbid, cross the goal line more than once or twice a game? Let’s pick the offense apart. (Why not us, everyone else in the league did…thank you, thank you very much, I’ll be here all week)
We’ll start with the line. The big move in free agency was adding Eric Steinbach. The Browns gave the former Bengal more than 7 million per season. That’s a lot of money for a guard, but let’s face facts- the Browns haven’t sniffed a pro-bowl lineman since they returned to the league. Steinbach has that kind of potential. He should be a huge upgrade on the left side of the line. The next major move was drafting Joe Thomas. Thomas will have big shoes to fill, as he is expected to be in the mold of Orlando Pace, Walter Jones, and Jonathon Ogden. That might be too much to place on Thomas’ shoulders, but he should be better than say Robert Gallery. (Continued after the jump.) Continue reading