Friday, September 16, 2011

Woulda, coulda, didn't

The day-after mea culpas issued by the Browns’ coaching staff earlier this week regarding that quick snap by the Cincinnati Bengals in last Sunday’s loss only reinforces what’s wrong with this team.

Why does it take a “we should have and could have” called a timeout to prevent what turned out to be the winning touchdown? Where is the leadership? Clearly, it does not reside on the lakefront on Sunday afternoons.

Thinking ahead of the curve is the hallmark of a good coach. It shouldn’t have to take an “aha” moment to establish that hallmark. Thinking, in general, would be a good start.

If a dummy like me (and countless others, no doubt, at the time) could see that calling a timeout was not only necessary, but mandatory, then the Browns’ problems are far greater than imagined.

Wake up, Dick Jauron. You cost your team a victory last Sunday. So did you, Pat Shurmur.

Yes, it’s only one game, but important moments like that cannot be minimized. There will be others like that along the way for the next 15 games and the coaching staff had better come up with the right answers or else this could produce results similar to those of the last two coaching regimes.

The Browns right now are not good enough from a talent standpoint to absorb such blows and bounce back. They cannot afford to let games like the season opener to slither through and wind upon the wrong side of the won-lost ledger. They get only 16 cracks at it. . . .

It’s time for the Browns to cut Tony Pashos. Why is this man still on the roster? Waive him injured and be done with him. He is useless and taking up space on the roster. The injury waiting to happen has happened. How many times does this have to occur before the Browns get the message?

He is the main reason the Browns should have drafted an offensive tackle in the first round of the college draft last April. This club needs help in a far out way on the right of side of the offensive line.

Bringing in slugs like Oneil Cousins and Artis Hicks and playing them next to inexperienced right guard Shawn Lauvao only exacerbates the problem.

Shurmur says he likes running the ball in his west coast scheme, an offense that features a pass-first mentality. If he intends to make Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty a vital part of that offense, he better slant most of that offense to the left side because the right side isn’t going to offer much help. . . .

What in the world has happened to Owen Marecic? The Browns’ rookie fullback was an aggressive player at Stanford the last couple of seasons, playing fullback and middle linebacker. Where is that player now?

So far, he has shown none of that aggressive nature and appears to be feeling his way as he adapts to the National Football League. He keeps this up and he’ll find himself watching from the sidelines. . . .

Anyone notice last Sunday that Ted Ginn Jr. ran a kickoff and punt back for touchdowns for the San Francisco 49ers? That could be a portent of things to come for the former Glenville High School and Ohio State star.

Look for Ginn to thrive on special teams all season That’s because the Niners’ special teams guru is none other than Brad Seely, the man who guided the Browns’ special teams the last two seasons to high rankings.

Why he was allowed to escape ranks right up there with the reasons behind Lawrence Vickers’ departure. It might have to do with a new regime inheriting players (and coaches) they aren’t comfortable with, but waiting a year before parting company with them. . . .

Brad Maynard, the Browns’ new punter, feels bad even though he hasn’t kicked the ball once for his new team. The veteran was signed to replace Richmond McGee when the rookie went down with a disc injury in his back.

So why is he unhappy? Turns out he knows McGee from their days with the Chicago Bears, but that’s not the reason. McGee, even as the Browns placed him on injured reserve for the remainder of the season, said he feels good enough to punt Sunday in Indianapolis against the Colts.

Maynard says he feels bad for McGee’s plight. He shouldn’t. He should be thankful that a friend’s misfortune has provided him with an opportunity to continue his career.

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