BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Hue Jackson wasn’t that impressed with Isaiah Crowell breaking off the longest offensive play of the season that set up their only touchdown last Sunday against the Ravens.
If the fact that Crowell only touched the ball 2 more times against Baltimore wasn’t your first clue, what Jackson said Friday about it not inspiring him to call more runs for Crowell was nothing short of jaw-dropping.
“Me and you, all 5 of us could have run through that hole. Go back and look at the play so I’m not saying that,” Jackson said. “Inspiring runs, just so we are all on the same page, are when you break tackles. It is the tough runs. It is when everybody is knocking the crap out of you and you find a way to still make four or five yards. That is running in the National Football League. When everything is blocked pretty and you can just run down up through there, that doesn’t happen but once or twice in a game.
“Not saying that Crow doesn’t do that. He does it well for us, but I’m just saying you guys are talking about a run that – I’m being very honest – we all could have run through. What I’m looking for is more of the grunt, tough-type of runs that I know that you have to have in the National Football League from our runners, period. I think they gave us some. We have to continue to do more and that is where we are.”
Jackson followed up with this gem when he was asked about Austin Reiter being seen blocking 3 Ravens players on Crowell’s big run:
“Did you see the play the second time we ran it behind Austin Reiter? Did you watch that? We did run that play. I knew you guys didn’t know that. I know the people who ask these questions didn’t,” Jackson said. “Yeah, we did. Go look and see what happened the second time we ran the play. Then maybe you will understand a little better. The second time it was a minus-2 play. Same play, different area of the field, behind the same people. That is football. That is the way it works.
“Every hole is not going to be a 59-yard run. Sometimes you have to make your holes as a back, and I think the backs understand that.”
Crowell didn’t seem amused with Jackson’s comments since he spent part of Friday afternoon ‘liking’ tweets on Twitter critical of Jackson.
Run At Your Own Risk – Chicago has used their run game to bring rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky along this year and that rushing attack has seen Jordan Howard, who has 12 100-yard games in his first 2 seasons, total 1,069 yards on the ground.
Chicago averages 118.6 yards per game good for 11th-best in the league so far this season and it’s a good bet the Browns will get a heavy dose of Howard Sunday.
“We have been challenged by more than a couple teams this year trying to run the ball up and down on us,” rookie defensive end Myles Garrett said. “Most of them haven’t been successful so it is the same challenge every week: stop the run no matter who it is. It is just another team that we are up against. Respect to them for being able to run the ball well, but it is one where force meets object so who wins?”
Cleveland enters Week 16 ranked seventh in the NFL at stopping the run giving up just 96.1 yards per game after being ranked 31st in run defense a year ago.
“We are looking forward to the challenge,” safety Jabrill Peppers said. “We love teams that want to line up and run the ball against us. It is going to be a cold weather game. It is AFC football. If they are going to run the ball on us, go right ahead. That is what we want, but we also know that if we make the game one-dimensional and put the game in the quarterback’s hands that we can cause a lot of danger in our favor.”
Feeling Your Pain – The Browns have become the NFL’s carwash. So many players and coaches get chewed up and spit out here that it’s hard for anyone to truly understand the love and passion northeast Ohio has for the Browns.
Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor, who has survived the firings of Pat Shurmur, Rob Chudzinski and Mike Pettine and is in his seventh season, does.
“It hurts. I’m not going to lie about that or be shy about that because people do make statements that it is a great fan base, and it is [a great fan base],” Tabor said of the team’s winless record Friday.
“It is disappointing because obviously, being here for so long, I understand what football means to Northeast Ohio, not just the Cleveland Browns but college football, high school football and small college football. Football is an important deal around here. That is why I love coaching here because football is important. The wins are going to come. It is a bad place we are in right now, but we just have to stay the course and keep fighting through it. When you do that, good things will happen. I believe that.”
Bah Humbug – In another stunning development Friday, Jackson revealed he’s never seen ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.’
“We didn’t have that in the hood,” Jackson said laughing.
Jackson did say that he’s at least watched ‘Home Alone.’
Injury Report – QUESTIONABLE: CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (knee), CB Jamar Taylor (foot), WR Matt Hazel (hamstring); EXPECTED TO PLAY: RB Isaiah Crowell (shoulder), QB DeShone Kizer (ribs), RB Duke Johnson (shoulder), LB Josh Keys (wrist), TE Randall Telfer (knee).