Saturday, August 27, 2016

Krunch Time With Katelin: Browns vs. Buccaneers, Preseason Week 3

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

Well, this might be a long season. The Browns lost their "dress rehearsal" game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-13. The game overall told an interesting story of what we could expect from our beloved Browns. This team is going to struggle defensively and the only way they are going to help out their young secondary is if they get to the quarterback. At times they got to Jameis Winston who still delivered strikes to his guys deep down field and racked up 259 passing yards in one half.

*Note: Tampa had their second and third string guards in and the Browns still had problems. But overall I'm interested how defensive coordinator Ray Horton will create pressure this upcoming season.

Another down in this game was the offensive line play for the Browns. I don't know how many vines I've seen of Cam Erving looking completely lost. And on the five sacks Robert Griffin III took, three of them appeared to be the fault of Erving. I understand Erving is a project, but my goodness. Its just sad how bad the Browns drafted the past six years. Erving was the center/left tackle for the national champion Florida State Seminoles and a former first round pick and the same goes with Danny Shelton who was taken before Erving in the Draft. These two guys contributed almost nothing this preseason. They both look slow, both physically and mentally and are being out played by undrafted free agents.

The last down from the first team was the punt return touchdown they gave up. Now I'm not going to fault Andy Lee for slowing up and not stopping the touchdown, it is the preseason, but my goodness again. The Browns' special teams must have had a major miscommunication because all the of coverage guys were in the middle of the field and left the near side of the field wide open. And shout out to Marlon Moore who got hurt on the play but almost ran down the returner while coming from the opposite side of the field. That showed effort and how much he wants to make this team.

Now there were a few positives from the game despite the outcome:

First off, Josh Gordon is back. He had two catches for 87 yards, including a 43 yard touchdown catch. Both catches were against pro-bowler Brent Grimes. After Gordon's four week suspension the Browns' offense should be really good. Having a freak like Gordon will help rookie Corey Coleman, Terrelle Pryor Sr, and Gary Barnidge. Who no longer is our only target down the middle of the field.

Robert Griffin III was solid again this week. Now he didn't have great stats on paper but he handled the pressure really well. Yes he got sacked five times but overall he didn't look rattled in the pocket while taking the hits. There was one sack where instead of just rushing of four yards and taking a big hit he just slid down and took  the sack. Now in the grand scheme of things it looks bad taking a sack, but for Griffin to understand that those four yards don't really matter overall is a huge step in his way back to becoming a solid NFL quarterback.

And the last positive for the offense I seen was Isaiah Crowell. He again ran the ball will force and decisiveness. This again is a huge step for Crowell and he did a nice job building off of his solid outing last week against the Falcons.

Now I wanted to end this article on a positive note on the defensive side of the ball. Like the first two preseason games, Carl Nassib and Emmanuel Ogbah did their thing. It really looks like the Browns found two guys who can get pressure on the quarterback. And with the trade of Barkevious Mingo to New England, those two rookies will get an enormous amount of playing time this year. Yes they will have their struggles like any rookie but in two/three years they will be studs for this team.

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