Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Less Talk, More Football

As the Cleveland Browns stagger to the halfway point of the season at 3-5, they seem to have a good idea of what is wrong with the team.

“I think we got behind early for a couple of reasons,” coach Pat Shurmur said in his Monday press conference. “They drove the ball on us and then we fumbled the ball on the first snap. On a run that’s going to gain yards, can’t do that. So we spot them 10 points there and then we throw an interception right before half and give them another three. Those are the types of things that upset me and that’s how that game went. We’ll work on correcting those.”

OK, fumbles are bad; got it.

“We just need to get better,” Shurmur said of the run defense. “They’re a good running team, we practiced against the run and they executed just like they wanted to. We’ve just got to get better. When you stop the run it’s a team thing and when you don’t stop the run it’s a team thing. When teams have success running the football most of the time they attempt to.”

Don’t let the other team run for 261 yards and 6.5 yards per rush; check.

“I think we’re disappointed we lost,” Shurmur said. “You’ll report it and write it the way you want. This team wants to win and works hard to win and that’s what we want to do.”

Losing is disappointing; we can confirm that.

“There was only one snap yesterday where we didn’t have a hat for everybody that was rushing, however that works,” Shurmur said of the poor blocking. “We had new guys in there playing at running back and a new guy at tackle and there was only one play where didn’t have a hat for a hat where it should have been picked up. We need to get better at making sure that gets done.”

Blocking the other team is important; good to know.

“Other than one play, where he did get the ball off, Colt was under the impression that it should’ve been blocked,” Shurmur said. “Then of course, you have to get rid of the football. I think that’s important.”

Quarterback needs to actually throw the ball; affirmative.

“We’re going to look at it, correct what we can and move on,” linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said. “I’m glad this game is over with. It was a rough day for us. They outplayed us; they took it to us. We’ve got to show how we are as a team and as a defense to come back, how we work throughout the week.”

Making corrections is always helpful.

“I guess what you take from having worked through tough situations is you keep battling, and that’s the message,” Shurmur said. “I’m sure you’re all getting tired of hearing me saying that, but that’s the reality of it. It’s like the diet that doesn’t sell: Eat less and exercise more. Football, you keep working.”

Hard work; Cleveland can embrace that.

“We just had a good talk in our meeting, watching the film, breaking it down, looking at yourselves very, very critically and understanding what you have to do,” linebacker Scott Fujita said. “For us defensively now, we just have to worry about stopping the run. That’s two weeks in a row now. They’re good running attacks. Don’t get me wrong, but we’ve got to be better than that. I mean 260 yards or whatever it was yesterday — that’s embarrassing.”

Film study, we’re getting closer.

“Oh yeah and the way you do that is by winning the game,” Shurmur said. “That’s how you stop any negative momentum in this business. I’m a very impatient guy in a lot of ways. But I do know this, win. That’s how you stop any negative momentum in this league.”

Winning! Now we’re on to something!

Now that the Browns have all that cleared up, could they maybe go out and win a game?

Is that really asking too much?

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