Home » Browns » Quick halftime Colts/Browns observations.

Quick halftime Colts/Browns observations.

Just had a few notes and they’re a little too big to tweet.  Nothing happy, I’m afraid.

1.  TRich still stops.
This was something we noticed from watching him at Alabama and last year too (mute before click).  I’m moving past benefit of doubt, e.g., “he’s setting up his blockers.”  T-Rich doesn’t attack holes.  There is zero Marshawn Lynch in his game.  No beast mode.

In this clip you’ll see him hesitate before a d-back attempts to tackle him.  HE HIMSELF STOPS HIS MOMENTUM.  This makes it 1000x easier for a smaller man to bring him down.

When you’re Trent’s size, your size/inertia/momenta/strength are why you were drafted third overall; not your elusiveness.  Is there no coach in Berea to speak with him about this?


2.  Attacking aggressive 3-4 defense not scary to good QB.

We’ve covered how good QBs exploit the cheats inheriting in a blitz-based defense.

What separates … elite quarterbacks from the pack?… It’s their reads, both defenses and progressions.  They’ll recognize a blitz and punish it. You give them time to go through their progression, they’ll find the open guy.  The thinking of ‘we can disguise where the rush is coming from with a 3-4′ is questionable.  Most teams play a 3-4; all QBs have seen it, good QBs can read it.

While Luck felt some heat from the Browns’ pressure, I wouldn’t say it stopped Luck from getting the ball where he wanted it.  (Eleven targets to Reggie Wayne in first half.)


3.  Defense doesnt get to pick CB matchups:  TY Hilton drew Joe Haden while Buster Skine got Reggie Wayne.
I’ve seen a lot comments about how Haden is CB1 and so CB2 doesn’t matter that much.  Or how Skrine can just cover slot guys.  The fallacy here is that OCs are just going to go along with that.  Here’s the deal:  OCs watch hours of film looking exactly for an ah-ha moment and then go to town.  The Browns’ corps of 5-9 CB2s is a major ah-hah moment for opposing OCs.  (Eleven targets to Reggie Wayne in first half.)


4.  Alec Ogletree having great game for Rams in Denver.
Every time I look up he’s breaking up a pass or returning a fumble for a TD.  His first half line (against the Broncos/Manning mind you):  6 Tackles, 4 Solos, 2 TFL, 2 PD, 1 FF, 1 INT, and 1 TD.

Screen Shot 2013-08-24 at 9.31.23 PM


  1. […] Brown preview (Indifference); TRich, Dancing Bear; The Fallacy of Attacking 3-4 defenses; Having a short secondary; Parsimonious Joe Banner; Alex Mack, Y U NO SIGN HIM; No one cares […]

  2. bupalos says:

    Just finished watching the 1st team action and have to say it seems like is everyone overreacting to that game. But then folks overreacted to the other two as well, so maybe it’s to be expected.

    The things that made that look so lopsided were some blown or late coverages by Fort and Robertson, a fumble, a long punt return, and a combination of Weeden and the receivers just having some timing and drop issues. Nothing overarching, nothing that is going to make us terrible, nothing you couldn’t theoretically fix. They still looked pretty disciplined. And you have to remember the Colts are probably a playoff team.

    Our secondary, which should be horrible (and probably will be horrible as soon as there are any injuries) actually continues to play over their heads and/or to get covered a bit by the excellent d line/ blitz push. They got abused on the quick short stuff early but adjusted and looked fine most of the 2nd. Good QB’s that can counteract our pressure with their brains or legs or both are going to be big problems, but it doesn’t look as bad as I expected. Luck right now is a top 10 QB in the league and we’re going to have a very hard time beating teams with top qb’s. But mediocre guys are going to get eaten up by this combination of scheme and d-line talent. That d-line is definitely going to win a few games this year.

    Richardson still is nothing special but at least he seems healthy and able to carry a load. There is still no evidence of a screen game, which baffles me.

    • jimkanicki says:

      Andrew Luck top 10? Man, he’s #1 for me. And I don’t mean projecting over the next ten years. I mean this year. But your point is taken: Browns won’t look good against good QBs.

      I don’t feel like I’ve overreacted to that game. The team looked pretty much like a 5-11 team with better coaches. The good news is there are worse teams than the Browns so 6-10 is within reach.

      The execution and talent disparities between the teams was stark. With new coaches I can give a pass on executing a new system early. I can’t let slide the $30m in cap space. There it sits. Not doing us any good. Unless being amused by the ‘we didnt want to mix in too many new players’ horseshit counts as a good.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree you look at this secondary and the cap space looks like a crime. I don’t agree on there being some vast talent disparity overall. At qb, yes. Weeden is simply not in luck’s league in any phase other than arm strength. But the days of us being outclassed all over the field are over. I’m seeing 7-9 as the center from which I can see it going +-2 games. We’ve had overall superior line play in each of the 3 matchups and I’ll expect that to be the case in 3/4 of our games this year. You can’t go too far astray in football when you are blocking and tackling better than the other guys. But of course you can’t go too far to the plus with a bad qb.

  3. tmoore94 says:

    It was nice to see the defense get pressure on Luck, at times with just four rushers, but disconcerting that Luck was still able to do pretty much what he wanted against seven pass defenders.

    And I know he’s Reggie Wayne, but he is also 34 years old. If Skrine struggles against him, what’s he going to do against receivers that are not, in NFL terms, ancient?

  4. NeedsFoodBadly says:

    I didn’t get to watch the first two preseason games, about which I heard nothing but good things. Watching last night was definitely a let down after all that hoopla.

    I will still defend Richardson and say he should do better this year, w/out the bruised ribs. It’s hard to overstate how crippling that kind of injury could be. In the clip you posted (great read by a canny vet in Bethea), it looks like Trent rather than trying to continue the sweep out, tries to change direction and run over Bethea. The similarly sized Bethea can’t take him down solo, but traps him enough to end the play. I think that issue should be coachable.

    The defense looked like crap. Luck and Wayne are fantastic of course, but I was thinking a lot about what you said regarding our secondary whenever we were on D. Not terribly encouraging, and even if Mingo was there, not sure there would’ve been much difference.

    • That seemed more like a scheme problem to me. Wayne wasn’t open because he was getting great separation from the Browns DBs, he was open because the DBs were playing way off the line of scrimmage giving a huge cushion that allowed for quick hitches and slants. I don’t think that decision to give a cushion is made my the DB either, I think it’s the call of the defensive coordinator. Frankly, I was just happy to see solid tackling on those plays as that’s about all you can do.

  5. Trent Richardson’s stutter stepping problem seems to be a sensitive topic around Browns circles that I frequent, as in “out of sight, out of mind” and a lot of people are choosing not to see it. I really wish he would run with some conviction, seeing the ‘same old’ problems come back this week struck me as frustrating. Weeden staring down his receivers and we couldn’t seem to get any kind of rhythm going which also hurt Weeden’s play I think.

    The coaches need to reign it in, or it’s going to be a long season. It’s a problem that should’ve been addressed last season, but maybe we were hoping that it was due to him playing with hurt ribs / recovering from knee injuries…

    • jimkanicki says:

      I’m just glad I’m not the only one. I agree that people are choosing not to see it.
      And I don’t know how they can’t notice when in the next series smaller Donald Brown runs exactly the opposite ripping through Haden.

  6. Petefranklin says:

    What a reality check. Still cant get a good push on the O line and the D cant stop the run. I imagine this team will mirror its preseason so far this year, tough at home and garbage away from it. The thing that pisses me off is all they have ever had to do to the D,the last 2 years was to sign a CB2. Donte Whitner would have come home 2 years ago and all he did was start in the Superbowl last year. When Taylor isn’t in beast mode, our defense pretty much sucks.

  7. Wow,it seems like no one at all is talking about this game. Kinda bugged by this,I mean we all knew Weeden was gonna revert to form(the lion game was the exception not the rule..he played scared),and that we didn;t have enough talent in the defensive backfield.nor yet a good enough front 7 to get to the QB at least a good one,not that we have a lot of sacks in the preseason,but we do have a lot of pressures. Maybe if the DB’s were better it would work,but I think the above average and above will carve us up. Ah, well 5-11 here we come.

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