Reporting Ken Carman
It’s not a moral victory. 0-2 is still 0-2. But…
It may seem like there’s always a “but” to a team that is in constant building mode, but yesterday proved if there was ever a place for a “but” after a loss, that was it.
For the first time since the beginning of the preseason, the first round quarterback that the Browns front office pushed all their chips to the center of the table on, actually looked like a first round quarterback WORTH pushing all their chips to the center of the table on.
Not only that, but he had a lot of help from the other first round pick, Trent Richardson. With two rookies doing so much, it’s extremely easy to find the positive in a loss.
On the road, Weeden showed poise in the pocket. He didn’t seem flustered from the very beginning, even with sporadic offensive line play on the first few drives. He moved out of the pocket and found open receivers, and rolled out and found more receivers on the trot. Offensively Weeden flat out got it done.
What made the offensive output even more encouraging was the play of Trent Richardson. In a moment of full honesty, there were five of us in the newsroom standing and yelling while Richardson hurdled and stiff armed his way to the endzone on the first touchdown pass. If it’s exciting to us, I can’t imagine how others felt.
For the first time in anyone’s recent memory, it finally seemed like the offense actually clicked.
Yes, yesterday was a loss, and there are always fingers to point for a loss. Let’s get a few of them out of the way:
- The play of the defensive backs made me want to sip battery acid. Joe Haden is out, and his absence definitely hurt, but it’s up to those players to step up and fill the void, and they were burnt the entire game.
- Good special teams play is the one of the most clear indications of a team’s attention to detail. Any TD given up is a failure. Four missed tackles on the punt return TD became the difference between 34-27 and 27-27.
- Everybody but the defensive line and D’Qwell Jackson were grabbing and not tackling.
- I don’t know why Owen Marecic is in a Browns uniform. Any fan could put on a Browns jersey and run around the field and drop balls and miss blocks, and they would do it for a lot less.
There were some others, but those were some main sticking points to the loss.
Yet, it’s a different feeling than the other losses. Because in this one, young players stepped up and performed.
A loss may be a loss, but in the case of other rookies, they can have poor records and still look good for their team’s future. While you may be mad that the Browns didn’t win, and fans have the right to be, today was one of those games.
As this week goes on, the pressure will rise for Weeden and Richardson to repeat their performances. Today gives some faith that they can.
If they do, we won’t have to look for any silver linings in any losses for very much longer.