Reporting Daryl Ruiter
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) - It was a game they expected to win. They should’ve and could’ve won but in the end as they always do, they lost.
Such is life for the Cleveland Browns.
Winners of 2 of their last 3 and trying to win 3 in a row at home for the first time since 2009, once again they were unable to capitalize on momentum.
And they wonder why fans are so impatient, jaded, bitter and angry.
This one wasn’t on the players – it’s on the coaching staff – all 20 of them led by Pat Shurmur.
The amount of coaching gaffes that took place Sunday boggle the mind.
The Browns were called for 12 men on the field defensively but the Ravens were kind and declined it.
2 first half time outs were wasted because of confusion and lack of communication in getting plays into the huddle. They could’ve been useful on that final drive before the half that resulted in a field goal.
They had to blow a timeout with 1:03 left in the third quarter because they couldn’t get a play call in. That was after a pair of penalties, the second was for delay of game, and when the fog cleared Weeden was able to find Trent Richardson for a whopping 1-yard completion.
Their only touchdown – a nice Brandon Weeden to Josh Gordon 18-yard TD strike – was wiped out because Chris Ogbonnaya didn’t line up correctly but no one noticed – except the officials.
Then there is 4th and 2 from their own 28 with 2 timeouts, the 2 minute warning and 3:50 on the clock trailing by 7.
Where do you begin?
Shurmur said after the game Sunday that his 4th and 2 decision will be “fun to talk about,” – his veiled cheap shot at talk radio and newspaper columns.
What Shurmur doesn’t get is that there is nothing fun about talking about bad decisions or ripping the man who makes them.
Entertaining to do at times – yes.
Fun – no.
Not punting effectively raised the white flag and gave the game to the Ravens with nearly 4 minutes to play.
Shurmur himself in his second season is clearly trying to find himself as a coach. He wants to be aggressive, yet conservative and vice versa.
Now 2-7, a game worse than where they were 9 weeks into the season a year ago, this is quickly becoming a season of missed opportunities.
In 25 games, which the Browns are now 6-19, we have learned quite a bit about Shurmur.
On 3rd and 1 he prefers to throw, not run despite finally having a weapon that is capable of picking up a single yard.
He will punt when he should go for it and go for it when he should punt. See week 7 at Indianapolis and Sunday’s loss to Baltimore.
They still get caught up in substitution confusion – on both sides of the football which is inexcusable.
Shurmur has – count them – 19 assistant coaches.
That’s right 19.
And they still can’t count personnel, make sure they’re lined up right or get plays called right.
These are things that cost a head coach his job.
As Shurmur has said himself repeatedly this season, “There are no excuses.”
Not even for him.