FFODC Looks at Cleveland

We Have The Meats:  Chris Baker wanted bigger bodies on defense near the goal line last week.  He should see more space eaters up front against the Browns because they like to go with a heavy personnel since they don’t want to see their quarterbacks throw and die.  Against the Dolphins they ran a lot of 2 tight end and 2 back sets:

brownsheavy1

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I’d expect us to be in a 3-4 look for most of the game.  Cleveland looks to be an offense that doesn’t know what they have and are trying anything and everything.  It’s lawlessness in the upstairs booth!  Last week, Miami loaded 8 in the box and dared the Browns to throw so Cleveland ran a lot of misdirection plays such as “Counter”, shown here:

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in an attempt to find breathing room with their run game.  With Pryor in, they ran zone reads and used a multitude of zone and gap blocking schemes as they attempted to figure out what worked best.  Their should be a lot of option-like assignment football against the run this week for our front 7.

The passing game looked laughable with Kessler and Pryor taking turns throwing ducks and jump balls.  Kessler seemed to be pretty locked in on Pryor so if Norman can eliminate him and Preston Smith can do Preston Smith things then we should be in business.

What to watch for when we are on defense?  Hood versus double teams, linebackers versus misdirection and safeties filling correctly versus run.  The Skins have a tough assignment against the run but I’d expect them to hold the passing game in check.

Advanced Stats:  Football Outsiders’ DVOA rankings are out for week 3.  Bad news:  Philly is number 1.  Good news:  It’s because they’ve been playing crappy teams.  Better news:  one of those crappy teams is Cleveland!  The Browns check in dead last at number 32.

Not Sure If Serious:  PFF ranked their top 10 players from week 3 and OH HAI THERE, former Skins corner David Amerson comes in at number 1.  Meanwhile, Browns’ outside linebacker Nate Orchard was ranked the worst at his position for week 3.

Preston Smith got our defense’s 2nd highest grade :

he registered two hurries, batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage, and made four solo tackles, all of them being run stops. He also did not miss any tackles

I had him checking in with the 3rd highest grade behind Kerrigan and Norman.  Notably absent from both our top grades: Trent Murphy, which makes his 50/50 snap count split with Smith seem a bit odd.

Offensive Line Shake Ups:  We sign center John Sullivan to the roster after losing starter Kory Lichtensteiger to IR.  We had a different back up center to start the year but then:

Austin Reiter made the initial 53-man roster, but was inactive in the Sept. 12 season opener against Pittsburgh. The Redskins cut Reiter the next day and re-signed him to the practice squad. But the Cleveland Browns signed Reiter to their 53-man roster last Tuesday.

Ironically, he will be in uniform this weekend when Cleveland plays the Redskins at FedEx Field

I hope he hasn’t reported to the Browns’ staff regarding any practice snafus with coaches quitting, buildings set ablaze, and Bruton entering an existential crisis after it was discovered teams like to run Power in the NFL.  FWIW rumblings out of practice indicate Spencer Long has been getting snaps at center and it looks like he’ll be slotted as our starter.

Too Good Not To Mention:  247sports pays homage to Les Miles’ career the only way you can: by reliving his best quotes.