It’s easy to bash the coach. Pat Shurmur makes it easier when he says things in press conferences like:
I don’t know, we’ll have to talk about specifics later. I think if we’re running in a position to make a play, then then we’ve got to get a good throw and we’ve got to catch it. I think that’s fair to say.
(quoted on Cle.scout.com)
Please tell us he doesn’t sound like that when he’s trying to inspire the team.
It’s especially easy to trash the coach when he insists on calling the plays and the plays he calls lose the game.
Yes, we all know that it’s the West Coast Offense. Run it a couple of times and then switch to the short-passing game. Take a few deep shots.
If the stock market were as predictable as the Andy Reid version of the West Coast Offense, there would be no recession.
On the Browns second possession of the game, Pat Shurmur (or Brad Childress or whoever is coming up with this stuff) called: Trent Richardson run right (three yards), pass to Trent Richardson left (six yards), Trent Richardson run right—punt.
Please. Fans don’t know whether to storm out or take a nap.
The broadcasters gave Pat Shurmur credit for “sticking with the run.” Really? Since when does 13 rushes in four quarters count as a commitment to the rushing attack?
By the beginning of the third quarter, the run was a faint memory—and the game was still well in reach at that point.
Not to mention using Chris Ogbonnaya twice. Twice. Let’s not even go there.
To give Shurmur and the short-passing approach their due, the offense’s best series was their first possession in the third quarter. Eight short completions, one run and one 22-yard TD pass.
Terrific. Move on. Don’t try to replicate that drive through the rest of the third quarter and into the fourth. The Bills saw it coming. Everyone saw it coming.
(As a short digression, may I just say that I hate the draw play? About 95 percent of the time, it’s too slow for professional defenses. I really hate it when the draw play works. It just encourages coaches to use it again.)
Of all the “throw things at the television” moments, the capper was the Browns final offensive play:
On a last-ditch hope, on 3rd-and-21, Little ran a route that stopped 12 yards from scrimmage.
Of course that’s who Weeden threw it to, but why is that route even in the play call?
Of course he was open—the defense ignored him since the reception was irrelevantly short of the first-down marker! What the…?
To date the best comment that Pat Shurmur has made during his tenure was, “To me, every down is crucial.”
With a record of 4-15, one would think so.
Despite these frustrations, it is truly easy to be optimistic about Cleveland as an observer and football lover who has not spent hundreds (thousands) of dollars on Browns tickets. There are many areas of increased franchise value.
Had one paid hundreds (thousands) to sit in the rain—perhaps one would not be quite so filled with a feeling of hopeful largess.
Join me tomorrow night (Tuesday September 25th at 9 p.m. EST) on The Huffington Post's new live platform: live.huffingtonpost.com. We’ll be discussing the NFL referee lockout.