BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – One play can change the outcome of a game and no one knows that more than Browns special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.
Unfortunately last Sunday that play came at the expense of his unit which gave up a blocked punt that got recovered for a touchdown less than 3 minutes into the game.
“It is like you get to Christmas, you open up the present and it is just a box of rocks,” Tabor said. “You are disappointed. That is really not even a good word to describe that because it was an easy one. They ran it two [punts] later, and no one even talks about that play.
“That is a hard lesson. We are learning that the hard way and that can’t happen.”
Earlier this week running back Matt Dayes, who served as a protector on the play, said that he had a miscommunication with long snapper Charlie Hughlett on the blocking assignment.
“I put that on myself,” Tabor said. “I am responsible for that unit, and I have to do a better job of getting those guys to communicate better and coach them better.”
Head coach Hue Jackson defended Dayes on Friday.
“It was not Matthew Dayes,” Jackson said. “I’m not going to say who the culprit was, but it was not Matthew Dayes for sure.”
The blocked punt for a touchdown ended up being the difference in the 21-18 loss.
“We are going to win a game for the Cleveland Browns,” Tabor said. “We have done it here before and we will do it again. We will get it done.”
A big reason why Tabor can feel so confident in making a statement like that is Jabrill Peppers. Peppers ripped off a 25-yard punt return, which was longer than any punt return they had in 2016 – Duke Johnson had the longest which was 18 yards.
“I want him to be aggressive,” Tabor said. “We always say it in our room, we want to be an aggressive unit that plays with good judgement. That second part is the key. I think he has that because he is a good, instinctive football player. If you want to make big plays, you have to take a chance. It’s just like anything in life. If you want to do something, you have to take a chance. He is willing to do those things so I have a lot of confidence in that guy.”
More Looks – Expect new receivers Sammie Coates and Kasen Williams are expected to see more playing time this week against the Ravens.
“I’m not sure exactly what the weather is supposed to be in Baltimore this week, but I think it is supposed to be hot so we will need every available body we can have out there,” Jackson said.
The Browns acquired Coates from the Steelers on Sept. 2 and claimed Williams off of waivers from Seattle a day later.
Coates was on the field for 20 special teams plays against the Steelers while Williams got 12 offensive snaps where he was targeted twice and did not catch a ball.
If They Can Do it – Right guard Kevin Zeitler will play Sunday with a protective brace or cast after having surgery on his right thumb Monday night but he doesn’t expect it to hinder his ability to block.
“So many people have done it before that it shouldn’t [be a problem],” Zeitler said Friday. “Other people could do it, I can do it.”
Zeitler wouldn’t say what the injury was other than a “sore thumb” but he’s determined not to allow it to force him to miss any time.
“My mindset is, I can play so I’m going to play ad I’m going to give it my all on the field,” Zeitler said.
No Change – Jackson said Friday that he will stick with Kevin Hogan as the backup quarterback this week.
“I am not going to switch it. It will be the same as it was last week,” Jackson said.
Cody Kessler, who is currently third on the depth chart, was inactive for the season opener and it stands to reason he’ll be inactive again Sunday.
Quote Of The Day – “I thought I was going to be a doctor one time, but everybody was worried about my bedside manner so I am a coach,” – defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who is known for getting a little NSFW with his vocabulary at times on the field.
Injury Report – OUT: DE Myles Garrett (ankle), DL T.Y. McGill (back); EXPECTED TO PLAY: RG Kevin Zeitler (thumb), LT Joe Thomas (knee/rest), DT Danny Shelton (knee); FULL: DL Caleb Brantley (finger), WR Kenny Britt (knee), RB Duke Johnson (chest), TE Randall Telfer (knee)