Cleveland Browns Coaching Report Card: An In-Depth Coaching Analysis For Week 5
Eric Mangini's job security with the Cleveland Browns has been a hot topic of discussion ever since the Browns got off to a terrible start in 2009. This week against the Falcons, Mangini did not help his cause as the Browns fell to 1-4 and significantly decreased their chances at a winning season.
Rob Ryan and Brian Daboll also have had their fare share of media time as it seems that the Browns' fans and organization as whole are beginning to become restless.
Without further hesitation, here is my coaching report card from week 5 against the Falcons.
Eric Mangini: The Positives
Despite an overall poor performance by the Browns, Eric Mangini was responsible for a few of Cleveland's strong points in week 5.
The first of which, and the biggest in my opinion, was clock management. At the end of the second and third quarters, Cleveland had the opportunity to get a play off with less than 10 seconds remaining and both times the Browns elected to sit on it rather than run a play.
I was lucky enough to be sitting in the Dawg Pound for both of those quarter-ending decisions and despite the crowd's poor reaction, I feel Mangini made the right call.
Mangini was making an attempt to promote ball security and time management with both of those calls. Unfortunately, Jake Delhomme took it upon himself to make sure the Browns turned the ball over on a few other occasions (that's a whole other article in itself).
The second thing I feel that Mangini did right was his effort in trying to get Jerome Harrison included in the offense.
Mangini is rumored to not be Harrison's biggest fan, yet he realizes that Peyton Hillis cannot carry the workload by himself.
Even though it did not pan out this week, Mangini needs to stay diligent in getting the running backs (other than Hillis) more touches in order to save Hillis and switch up the tempo against opposing defenses.
Eric Mangini: The Negatives
The fact that Jake Delhomme even saw the field this week was a fail in my eyes for Eric Mangini. Delhomme was obviously still suffering from his week 1 ankle injury and despite having a perfectly healthy Colt McCoy on the bench, Mangini called on Delhomme after Seneca Wallace went down late in the second quarter.
Delhomme has been less than impressive in both of his appearances in a Cleveland Browns uniform thus far. Throwing three interceptions in four quarters of action. It is also worthy to note that two of those interceptions resulted in touchdowns for the opposing team.
The second thing that Mangini did wrong this week was his lack of second-half adjustments.
Cleveland came out in the third quarter looking flat yet again and I am beginning to wonder what the team is actually talking about during halftime.
Mangini needs to do a better job of making adjustments and giving younger players their opportunities.
The Browns are now 1-4. No playoff hopes are realistic for this season so it is now time to start working towards the future. That in no way implies that the Browns should give up on this season. It simply means that if Mangini is going to stick with veteran players than he needs to make sure they will perform or bring in some younger talent that can at least improve themselves for future years.
Eric Mangini Final Grade: C
The fact of the matter is that Mangini is not the reason why the Browns lost this week against Atlanta. Mangini made a judgement call to bring in a veteran leader against a solid defense but that veteran leader floundered terribly. Mangini's real coaching mistake will be if he decides to go with Delhomme again next week against a Steeler defense that is much more fierce than Atlanta's.
Brian Daboll: The Positives
As Daboll's picture implies, the Browns offensive success this week was minimal at best. The offense seemed to be clicking rather smoothly until Seneca Wallace was injured and then the walls seemed to come crumbling down.
Daboll did a decent job this week of calling plays that would exploit the Falcons linebackers. On every pass play, the Browns seemed to have a good option at the check-down position for the quarterbacks to consider. The problem within is that this style of play became very predictable, but it worked for a while.
I would love to go into detail about another thing that Daboll did correctly but I have not yet been able to think of something. Please leave me a comment if anyone can think of ANYTHING at all.
Brian Daboll: The Negatives
The Browns' offensive playcalling this week is something that can be a topic of concern for any Browns fan.
Seneca Wallace and the Browns' quick paced offense quickly turned into a bad version of the Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson show after Jake Delhomme came back into the picture.
The Browns struggled to throw the ball more than five yards down the field and relied heavily on a running game that was simply not healthy enough to compete at a high level.
As I mentioned in an article posted last week, Daboll has been very lucky that Peyton Hillis has been so effective and against Atlanta, it all came back to bite him.
Hillis struggled with injury all game long as he was visited by the trainers on four separate occasions. Even though Hillis was obviously limping and struggling to be effective, Daboll insisted on pounding the ball with him on nearly 1/2 of the plays in the second half.
That type of predictable offense is why the Browns can become so ineffective at times.
Throwing to receivers underneath is normally a second option for elite offenses in the National Football League and Daboll has made it the Browns' primary weapon.
Brian Daboll Final Grade: D-
The only reason that I cannot fail Daboll this week is because of the fact that the Browns managed to hold a lead going into halftime.With that being said, I think his performance is about as low as you can possibly get without receiving a failing grade. I think Daboll should be more concerned about his job security if he continues to fail to put a quality product on the field.
Rob Ryan: The Postives
Rob Ryan continued to look like the strong point of the Browns coaching staff this week after surrendering only 13 points to the Falcons offense.
Ryan did a good job containing Falcon running back, Michael Turner, despite surrendering a large gain midway through the third quarter.
Ryan's strongest positive of the afternoon was his willingness to call complex blitz packages and have them be successful.
The Browns got to Matt Ryan on numerous occasions and never really seemed to lose track of the Falcon Receivers other than Roddy White's touchdown reception.
Rob Ryan: The Negatives
Ryan made a few mistakes in the playcalling but not many of them came back to hurt the Browns.
The biggest error on Ryan's part was the play in which Roddy White caught his touchdown pass.
White has been the Falcons top receiver the last two seasons and is worthy of double coverage on passing downs.
Other than that slight hiccup, I feel like Ryan did a solid job with his playcalling, making two key stops within the redzone to hold the Falcons to two field goals.
Rob Ryan Final Grade: B+
Ryan has now successfully defended well against two strong offenses the last two weeks and is making very good strides with the defensive unit.
If the Browns can take care of some minor issues within the secondary then Ryan's grade may very well turn into an A before the end of this season.
Honorable Mention: Special Teams Coordinator, Brad Seely
Brad Seely is head of the special teams unit that has now blocked field goals in two consecutive games. Even though the offensive side of the special teams is struggling the defensive side looks better than ever.
The Browns also stopped a Hodges punt on the Falcons one-yard line.