Upon Further Review: Browns-Raiders

It took me a while, but after another a first look at Sunday’s Browns-Raiders clash, I finally figured out that I was watching some odd pairing of Browns’ Past versus Browns’ Present. In some wrinkle of a West Coast time zone, parallel NFL universe, the Browns basically beat themselves yesterday – only their past form was represented by the current Raiders, a team stuck in the kind of slump that the Browns experienced through much of September and October.

How else to explain the Raiders’ creaky defense and endless dull variations on 3rd and 3 play calls? Or, the cosmic muddling that creates a mold of quarterbacks such as Carson Palmer and Brandon Weeden? Somewhere in the painted dirt of Oakland, the ghosts of Al Davis and Art Modell snickered when they realized just how tethered their franchises have become.

Just like one big clump.

A clump of winning football, that is.

And since you’ve no doubt read all of the tired narratives on how the Browns “are learning to win” and “growing up” and some silliness about a “drive of destiny”, let’s take a look at some other aspects of what proved to be both the Browns’ first road and consecutive victory in quite a while.

First, a few words on Brandon Weeden.

As many of you have noted throughout the season, I’ve been decidedly neutral on making some type of judgment on Weeden. First, doing so is kind of ridiculous, given the circumstances of the Browns’ offense. Similar to Colt McCoy last season, I can’t find a reason to evaluate Weeden in what I still feel is an ill-suited offense for his skills. Or, as someone described it late last night, the Browns run a “dial-up” offense in a digital world.

In related news, I’m totally stealing the “dial-up offense” line and claiming it as my own.

Anyway, Weeden is certainly talented and tough. There is little doubt that he “looks the part” of an NFL quarterback – a statement that has many layers to it. I think it was @jimkanicki who make the comment that Weeden probably wants to be an NFL Quarterback more than he wants to be an NFL Quarterback. I took this to mean that the hunger to win probably doesn’t consume Weeden like it does other NFL QB’s – which is probably similar to Pat Shurmur’s existence as an NFL coach. In all honesty, both are simply surviving at the moment – and there’s no way you can fault either one for their efforts.

Another way to interpret Kanicki’s comment is to suggest that Weeden likes to play the role of an NFL Quarterback more than he wants to be an NFL Quarterback. He is clearly a polished, canned sort of political presence – the kind of public persona who would effortlessly say things like this regarding the divinity of weather:

“He was with us today,” Weeden said, looking skyward. “The way it turned out, I’ll take it.”

I never thought I would say this about a 30-year old rookie QB, but dude – grow up.

However, the Oakland game opened up my eyes to a realization that Weeden’s NFL ceiling is probably something close to Carson Palmer’s career. Physically, the two quarterbacks are similar – strong arms, awkward feet, huge evidence of mechanical coaching, oddly laconic, yet robotic personalities. And on given days, either QB can torch an opposing defense for 400 yards or melt down and throw four picks.

On the low end, Weeden and Palmer are the Dave Krieg for an evolved passing generation – which really isn’t a horrible thing. Ideally, Weeden will find an offensive scheme that is better suited to his strengths, which is also something Palmer could use at this stage of his career. However, a more optimistic take on this comparison is the realization that Palmer has not been the same player since his 2009 arm injury – and Weeden still has room to develop in the NFL.

One area of immediate concern is Weeden’s body position and mechanics. Go back and check out both of Weeden’s Sunday interceptions and you’ll see how awkward his body looks upon delivery.

Anyway, back to those game-defining clumps…

Or, for Reason #8 Million why I can’t stand Fantasy Football. Trent Richardson is deemed some kind of failure by Stat Jerks, yet his twisting, grinding, Hercules efforts to turn yet another check down into a manageable Third Down go ignored.

And then, all the morons who only look at stat lines will wonder why Montario Hardesty is not starting for the Browns.

Richardson’s second down effort sets up the first of Weeden’s QB sneaks – a harbinger of clumps to come.

But first, here’s another in a weird progression of Shurmur’s offense. Obviously, Shurmur and his coaching staff are putting in effort and deserve the fruits of what has occurred over the past two weeks. However, I’m continually confused by the variations on the same five or six core WCO plays that are always called.

Here’s a play that shouldn’t take forever to develop.

Richardson takes a hitch step to the left, then the design of the play takes him forever to get across the field, which only loosens the Browns’ blocks. While the fake is always appreciated, it seems to be misplaced here.

Back to the Browns Past versus Browns Present theme from earlier, talk about giving Palmer zero options on a play. On this 3rd and 3, Palmer basically has either a slant route or nothing. With a resurgent Phil Taylor caving in his pocket, Palmer has little choice but to launch a pass to nowhere.

And yes, it feels great to summarize this play knowing that the Browns weren’t the victims of a dull play call.

Or this one – another 3rd and 3 check down that has a familiar feel.

Returning to Weeden’s body position, his TD throw to Josh Gordon showed the kind of upright, proper mechanics that occasionally make Weeden very effective.

And in terms of an image, there’s little better than this:

Or, when a team’s “young” Head Coach suddenly appears completely overwhelmed as the unit in which he is considered an expert in begins to melt down. In response, the coach then digs a hole into his laminated play calling sheet.

Where have I seen this before?

Later in the half, Weeden is again off balance and this time under throws Gordon down field.

The harshest of Weeden critics could even make a case that the TD throw to Gordon was an under throw – some indicator of Weeden’s deep ball inaccuracy. However, what I have realized is that Weeden works best with minimal footwork. If he is set and his weight is not shifting dramatically in a given direction, his passes are mostly accurate.

As for some other young players who are still developing, I will yet again state that Greg Little can be a Pro Bowl player in a more creative offensive scheme.

On this particular play, we know exactly what the play call will be given the situation – and it takes a player with Little’s unique skills to make it work.

And let’s not forget about another dynamic down field block from Little – this time on Mohamed Massaquoi’s long reception.

Later, as the game began to truly define itself, here’s where the narrative grows richer.

First, Richardson turns another 4th and 2 check down into gold.

And then on what proved to be the “game defining drive”, Shurmur took what he learned against the Colts and finally, stubbornly makes the following realization that he is coaching for his job.

And just to be perfectly clear about his intentions and/or to get it on the record, Shurmur later affirmed his decision.

“I had every intention to go for it in that situation.”

Yes you did, Pat. You did a nice job there.

After 28 games, you are finally learning what it takes to beat a bad team on the road.

Nope. Not today. I will give Shurmur the credit he deserves. In fact, I will even take it a step further by addressing the idea that all of those previous Travis Benjamin fake reverses – all 613 of them – finally sort of, kind of paid off on Richardson’s game-sealing TD run.

Only because the Browns won, I feel that the following questions need to be addressed regarding this situation:

1. First, will Travis Benjamin actually ever get the ball on one of these reverses?

This question leads to the following:

1. Is this a really sad version of “Metcalf Up the Middle” or just some Post Modern diversionary tactic straight out of 1992 that just looks ironically hip?
2. Also, it is okay to laugh at Benjamin considering he has to confront his family after games and tell them how he contributed to a Browns’ victory?
3. Do you think the Browns’ coaching staff spends extra time just thinking of ways to screw with Benjamin – and then they laugh for several minutes at a time?
4. And then one day Benjamin just breaks down in tears – a not whimsical and kind of soul-emptying version of Charlie Brown getting fooled one too many times.
5. Should I call Travis Benjamin the “Saddest Man on the Planet?”

Anyway, a few final thoughts:

1. I have a tendency to first defend Browns’ players when they are attacked by the majority of fans – then I seem to fight back against the original backlash and find a more distinct path of criticism. Frostee Rucker is a great example. When Rucker was signed by the Browns this past offseason, most fans were disappointed – probably because he wasn’t a marquee name. However, I suggested way back that Rucker could be a key addition to bolster the Browns’ run defense. Yet, after so many games, I don’t really see it. If anything, Rucker has been a better pass rusher – yet in the Oakland game, rookie Billy Winn spotted Rucker on some early downs before giving way to Juqua Parker on Third Down.

2. The bigger points here are that I’m not sure what Rucker’s strengths are. He’s somehow become a sort of “tweener” type of player – which appears to be a role that Billy Winn is better suited to play. Regarding Winn, I’m not sure the Browns could have received more “value” in a late-round draft choice (whatever that is supposed to mean). Winn outplayed his draft status by mid-September and looks to be a vital role of the Browns’ defensive line rotation.

3. Speaking of the defensive line, which of the following scenarios is more likely:

a) Phil Taylor both plays the entirety of the regular season AND is as effective throughout as he has been over the past few weeks?
b) Phil Taylor just needs an eight-game break every season.

4. Referring back to my tendencies in #1, I’m thrilled that Sheldon Brown has continued to make key plays for the Browns. Basically, I’m a huge fan of any player who gets trashed by a trio that includes Browns’ fans, coaches and media. This is why I’m a die hard Sheldon Brown fan, along with Josh Cribbs, Josh Gordon and most other highly visible targets. Of course, it’s worth stating that Brown can be masterful when defending in tight windows of coverage.

5. Because of the glow of the moment, I’ll refrain from any talk about damaged opponents or leveraged future draft slots. These current Browns are probably the most likable group of players to emerge from the expansion era. They are talented, play hard and deserve another win.

Much more later in the week. Leave your thoughts in the COMMENTS below.

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Comments (27)

  1. Sam Chambers

    “First, will Travis Benjamin actually ever get the ball on one of these reverses?”

    He has. Early in the season, he carried 5 times, for 51 yards.

  2. pdxscott

    dk, great write-up.

    “5. Because of the glow of the moment, I’ll refrain from any talk about damaged opponents or leveraged future draft slots. These current Browns are probably the most likable group of players to emerge from the expansion era. They are talented, play hard and deserve another win.”

    to this i say, amen.

    question for sobo: if we drop from 5ish to 10ish draft-wise, are we really missing out on much? do our needs align with the players available at 5 (who wouldn’t be available at 10) or can we enjoy these wins without the bitter taste of hurting our 2013 draft?

    also, can we keep jauron and heckert and dump shurmur?

    • I’m sure I’ll be called negative for it – but here’s where I’m coming from.

      Compared to past GMs, Heckert has done a good job. BUT, if we’re truly entering a new era, then EVERYONE needs to be fully evaluated. OR, can we do better than Heckert, Shurmur and Jauron? I’m thinking we can. I just don’t get why Browns fans either ask for the moon or settle for mediocrity.

      • pdxscott

        the heckert-as-a-good-but-not-great point is moot if the rumors about lombardi have some substance to them. i think some of us prefer the devils we know.

        beyond that, i want the young and talented pieces that we have now to continue to fit. retaining heckert and jauron is one way of achieving that. shurmur hasn’t been particularly good at tailoring his offense to the strengths of his players so i see no reason to keep him around. for the first time in 13 years the homegrown talent is there – let’s let heckert do his job and continue to add to it.

        i’ll be livid if we end up with lombardi as GM and saban as HC (who favors a 3-4).

        • Mike Lombardi is nothing but PR fluff. He’s really good at floating his name out there and impressing people, but he’s not a real GM candidate. Give Joe Banner credit for simply knowing enough about these type of people (I’m speculating here, but practically speaking, it makes sense).

          On your point about keeping young talent AND retaining both Heckert and Shurmur, these things are NOT contingent upon each other. Look no further than the 49ers, where Harbaugh won with another coach and GM’s players. The idea is that the next coach is brought in to further elevate what’s already here. Same goes for a GM.

          As for Jauron, don’t get caught up in the performances over San Diego and Pittsburgh – or against Oakland. His defense is extraordinarily simple. What he’s doing is basically putting his players in easy positions to succeed. A new coordinator (if it happens) can take what’s there and elevate it to a higher level.

          For any readers here or Browns’ fans in general, let’s not mistake competence (Heckert and Jauron) for greatness. Let’s instead focus on improvement and pose the question. Are Heckert, Jauron and Shurmur better than any other candidate out there?

          • pdxscott

            haven’t the 49ers had the same GM for a while? harbaugh came in and won with the talent that the GM had assembled.

            no one is going to get it exactly right and i think that all things considered (especially mike holmgren forcing stupid qb-related moves), heckert has the potential to be a very good GM. why blow it up if it’s working? without the benefit of hindsight, what should heckert have done differently?

          • pdxscott

            sorry, dk. you’re right – baalke’s only been there for a couple of years.

            my point that aside from the quarterbacking stuff that holmgren trumped him on, heckert’s drafts have been good (in my opinion). maybe the texans have drafted a little better over the last three years, but i don’t know about anyone else.

          • I can think of about 16 teams that have drafted as well as the Browns have over the past few years. That’s half of the league’s team, which means Heckert has been average to good. But, compared to what came before him, he would be considered very much above average.

          • pdxscott

            16, eh?

            that’s a bold claim.

            i’d love to know what a draftnik like sobo thinks…

  3. jamindunn

    DK,

    Is it just me, or are you the most jaded you’ve ever been? sometimes I read your columns and have to check and make sure that George Kokinis wasn’t rehired.

    You’re much better at providing in depth analysis than I am, and I’m also at work and need to make this quick, but, I need to pose the question: is Schurmur making a case to stay? I was in High School when Belicheck was here. I remember how the media and Browns fans hated him, mostly for how he handled Bernie Kosar’s dismissal from the team, but also because Belicheck wasn’t Belicheck yet. His teams here were not very good until 1994, and then if you agree that the 2000 Ravens were the result of what happened in Berea during Bill’s time as head coach as the “Cleveland ’95″ documentary suggests (a premise I agree with), then what do we really know about Shurmur?

    He is a first time head coach that had to deal with a lockout shortened first offseason and a roster lacking in talent all over the field. This season he was given the youngest rostor in the NFL boasting 27 first or 2nd year players and 4 rookies starting at the 4 most important positions on offense that aren’t left tackle. After starting 0-5, Shurmer’s been able to win 4 of his last 7 and I believe he’s poised to win at least a couple more games. If he does this, he will have finished the season 6-5. Forgive me for stating the obvious here.

    I think the most important question facing Haslam and Banner is this: where is the ceiling? Have we already seen Pat’s best? This team plays hard. His players fly around the field and hit harder than any Browns team I’ve seen since ’99. Is it ridiculous to think that a further upgraded roster via draft and free agency won’t continue to improve and perhaps even contend next season?

    I refuse to nitpick yesterday’s win. The Browns could have won the game by 21 points, but they also would have lost this game a few weeks ago. They didn’t. They won. Maybe, just maybe coach and players alike are learning how to win together. The new ownership could blow it up. again. I’m afraid that could stunt the growth of this unit no matter who comes in. I’m also a little afraid that Shurmur could go on to coach another team to a Super Bowl. (this isn’t necessarily a rationale fear, but one that comes from 30+ years of being a Browns fan.)

    Let’s just keep winning!

    • I don’t know anymore. I thought today’s post was pretty reasonable – maybe it wasn’t.

      Regarding Shurmur – he is STILL the exact same erratic coach who runs a primitive offense. Wins over Charlie Batch and the Raiders do not change this realization. This is a really talented young team that should be closer to 8-4 than 4-8. That’s on Shurmur and his bungled game management against the Eagles, Bengals I (and really, Bengals II), Ravens I, Giants, Cowboys and Colts.

      Moving forward – with ideally a more talented roster – does anyone expect that SUDDENLY Shurmur is going to morph into a decisive game manager whose offense suits his talent? As the stakes rise, is it worth gambling on Shurmur? Or how about this, is Shurmur really better than the two to three dozen genuine Head Coaching candidates that are available?

      AT BEST, he is a coach with a ceiling of mediocrity. Why are we suddenly okay with this?

      He is an offensive coordinator who has little to do with the team’s defense. That team that “flies around and hits hard” is not because of Shurmur. If Shurmur leaves Cleveland, he maybe – MAYBE – gets a shot as an offensive coordinator somewhere there is a Holmgren/LaMonte connection. Otherwise, he is coaching quarterbacks.

      The fact that we’re still debating his merit as an OFFENSIVE PLAY CALLER let alone a Head Coach is crazy.

      So far, his greatest coaching accomplishment is not screwing up a game on the road against the Raiders. This is not exactly a beacon of light for the future.

      Anyway – Love to hear from you Jamin. It’s just frustrating to think that we’re getting suckered again.

      • jamindunn

        hey DK,

        I get what you’re saying. I’m just curious about whether or not Pat can improve. If the Browns finish 7-9 with wins over Washington and Pittsburgh again, what would you think?

        I just remember Belicheck getting some of the same criticism. and by 95 they were favored to win the Super Bowl. they were 5-0 before the Baltimore announcement. I don’t want history to repeat itself.

        There’s some coaching up going on there. There has to be. Teams that are 3-8 play like the Raiders. The Browns are playing like they’re a team in the playoff hunt. (I’m talking about effort, not necessarily execution all the time.)

        Also, Brandon Weeden. You seem pretty down on the guy. He definitely needs to improve on some mechanics. Mechanics can be improved. we’re not talking about Tim Tebow mechanics here. I would like to see him develop and see what season 2 brings. There’s not a standout QB coming out this year anyway. Holmgren lost us RGIII. Something I’ll never forgive him for. But I’ll take Brandon. I don’t think it’s right for you to question his desire to win. How can you know that? I’ll take his goofy sound bites over Phillip River’s being an ass all day on the field.

        • If they finish 7-9, Shurmur’s ceiling is still mediocrity. I just don’t understand why an organization would settle for that.

          As for Weeden, I explicitly stated that today was the first time that I actually critiqued anything about him – and what I said was pretty innocuous. His passes sail when his feet aren’t set.

          I don’t get the Belichick comparison – Belichick took the Browns to the second round of the playoffs and produced competent teams each year. Shurmur just beat one of the worst teams in the league.

          • jamindunn

            Belicheck did it in year 3. I just see parrallels is all. Everyone thought he was terrible here. His teams were boring and looked very bad at times, and then in 94 they came out and won 11 games and won a playoff game. Not saying Pat is Bill, but when Bill was a Brown, he wasn’t either. we caught a glimpse in year 3 and 4.

            if the browns go 7-9 after starting 0-5, that’s turing a corner. 7-4 and 3 division wins and 2 against pittsburgh is major progress. I think that’s progress that could be carried into 2013.

            The Browns haven’t done it yet, and they might not. I’m curious. An argument could be made that we should be 7-5 right now. An undropped interception, and an undropped touchdown and we’re 6 and 6. If the players on the field could have just stopped Romo for 1:11 that’s 7-5 (if Haden was in that game the Browns win. period.). NFL games are ugly. We’ve seen the Giants, Ravens, 49ers and Packers all lose multiple games where they looked ugly just this season. Shoot, the Raven’s just lost to Charilie Batch after much of Cleveland treated last week’s win like a loss against Pittsburgh. Maybe I’m a sucker, but I think I’m willing to let much of the Browns’ record hang more on the fact that 27 of the team’s 53 players weren’t even in the league in 2010.

            The other issue you bring up is the other question: If not Shurmur then who? There needs to be a slam dunk option out there I think if Banner and Haslam decide to change coaches and blow it up.

            Nick Saban? maybe, but why would he leave Alabama? The guy’s going to get the State capital’s name changed to Saban at this rate.

            Chip Kelly? huge upside if he can coach in the NFL, but if not, then we’re going to be right back here in 2 years.

            Shaw from Stanford? This guy intrigues me because of all his NFL experience, but is he a slam dunk?

            Then you go to “hot” coordinators and the usual Cowher/Gruden type names that I honestly think would be wrong for the Browns right now.

            I just fear that there’s not a better coach out there right now. there will be 6 or 7 other teams looking at these coaches too. The though of changing again makes me uneasy.

  4. Everwind

    In the last 2 games I am seeingmore of what I think the team has needed to be successful. More play action passes. While my aging memory has been challenged, it seems that with a respectable running game, the Browns have had a lot of success with play action passes.

    In the lasty two weeks the Browns have done a lot better at tackling. They are actualy wrapping up guys like they teach you in junior high football. Rubin, Taylor, & Sheard are pretty good. We are still giving up too much easy stuff over the middle. While DQ has been a stud, the LBs are still inconsitent in their gaps, but are doing better at tackling. I would love to see some LB sacks, but they are really rare. I don’t know if that is a Jauron defensive philosophy or not but the Sacks need to come from all over the field IMHO.

    I think I will be happier and more confident in the Browns when they can execute a screen pass, and most importantly learn how to score more touchdowns than field goals when they get to the redzone. The games we have lost are because of interceptions and not getting redzone TDs and settling for field goals. These keep games close and allow teams to come back. I think that is why I have such guarded optimism regarding the Browns. Against GOOD teams lots of FGs will not cut it.

    • Good point on the tackling. The fundamental defensive stuff has definitely improved. And right, the Raiders aren’t a great gauge of improvement.

  5. I haven’t seen a single person mention just how incredibly stupid it was to call timeout on 4th and 1 after there was clearly a bad spot on the 3rd and 1 sneak – Why call a timeout and not challenge?

    It was our last time out, so we wouldn’t have been able to challenge a play later.

    I can think of zero reasons that this would have been a bad idea. Best case scenario it’s a first down. Worst case scenario you get a LONGER amount of time to talk about the play call if spot doesn’t get changed.

    Taking a timeout there is literally the worst thing that they could have done.

    It’s stuff like this that makes me certain we move on from the Shurmur era, whether or not we go on a little tear here and win some games. We have talent on the roster, enough to be a playoff contender, enough to win games, but I just don’t see Haslam rewarding the mediocrity of a 6-10 or 7-9 season as “Progress” and “let’s see how this turns out, team playing well” etc.

    When you have a guy who is running a dial-up offense (love it!) in the broadband era, doesn’t understand basic game and clock management, consistently gets the rules wrong and blows up on the referees like they are going to change the NFL playbook mid-game, doesn’t play to the strengths of the talent that he has (and, make no mistake, there is a chunk of talent on this team that is being underutilized) and appears to make QB’s turn into shells of themselves, you move on.

    • I knew you would love the “dial up” reference. And for the record, I thought of it myself.

      Much like the way Shurmur almost bungled away the last minute against Pittsburgh, he doesn’t get called out for not for what you spotted there.

      Most Madden kids would have figured that one out.

    • jamindunn

      it’s a moot point Zack. Challenging the spot on that call would be next to impossible to overturn, and even if the moved the ball, there’s no gaurantee it would have been for a first down anyway. You lose the challenge and a TO, or you use the challenge and call a TO. Browns have folks in the booth who see the play. No reason to criticize Shurmur here. He made the right call and the O line got a push for the record books on the next play.

      • jamindunn

        * don’t use a challenge and call a TO.

        • It don’t really think it is a moot point. It looked like an awful spot on all the replays.

          But the fact that it’s even close at all means that there is literally nothing to lose (and a huge gain to be made if it were to be overturned) just makes it a bad decision in my opinion.

          • The BIGGER picture is that regardless of the outcome or impact on the game, what Zack points to is a larger pattern of too-close calls. To say that Shurmur’s game management is anything but shaky is a massive understatement. Even if the specific act doesn’t lead to catastrophe, it’s reasonable to suggest that Shurmur doesn’t have the instincts to be a successful Head Coach.

  6. jamindunn

    This is the most active I’ve been on Reboot since I started reading. One of the things that I’ve loved about this site is that it’s not been a place to pile on negativity, but to discuss with level heads what’s going on with the team that we love. Pat Shurmur has exasperated me just as much as the next guy, but criticizing NFL head coaches is easy. We’re canabalizing the guy now. He’s won 4 out of 7 games here with a chance to add a few more. Don’t we want the Browns to win? Isn’t that why we care so much? Never would I have imagined that I’d be the Shurmur apologist here or anywhere else, but let’s at least give the guy the benefit of the doubt that he’s growing as a head coach just as this very young team is growing.

  7. I get that and I appreciate the discussion, but he has NOT grown as a Head Coach. Because he has been so ineffective, his near competence lately should not be mistaken for something that is either acceptable or even scraping an above average level.

    If it wasn’t for facing bad QBs and having Jauron, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    Later, I will offer my Shitty Drummer analogy. This may make more sense.

    And yes, great stuff all around.

  8. NoDomesInCleveland!

    Can’t Shurmur’s capabilities as a head coach, and therefore the issue of whether he should get another crack next year, be boiled down to a single pertinent question: The Browns are currently 4-8 – what would their record be, right now, if someone else had been coaching this season? Every article I’ve read on the Browns this year – and that’s a LOT, from national writers, local beat writers, bloggers, fan posts – has said the Browns could have/should have won at least three of the eight games they lost, with some rather giddy estimates going up to as many as five of those games, had it not been for horrendous coaching decisions, time management blunders, and running a totally outdated, uber-predictable offense. All of those indictments are direct responsibilities of the head coach. Even taking the most conservative of those figures, three games, and taking any average non-clueless coach to not bungle those games but instead win them, this team would be 7-5 and right in the thick of the fight for a wildcard slot. That’s with these same players against this same schedule. Anyone think the fan base might be enjoying that kind of action right about now? I don’t see how any argument can be made against that single example, that any non-automaton of a coach probably would have won at least three games more than the team has actually won under Shurmur this year. What defense against that could possibly justify retaining him for another year?

    • There really isn’t a defense. Put Jeff Fisher in charge of this team and the Browns are at least 6-6. Put Dick Jauron (the guy who got fired twice) in charge and a similar result occurs.

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