Adkins: Notes off the Cuff

Blindsided by the Browns disasterous 0-2 start? Lane Adkins explains the issues.

- Yes, we know QB Seneca Wallace can throw a football a country mile. But what was the purpose of the questionable down-field bombs on what would be deemed manageable third-down conversion attempts?

- Even outside the third-down issues, play-calling has to be examined. The Browns offense often flip-flopped between the run and pass and weren't able to gain any consistency. An area of concern is the inability to adjust to the opposition defense. It's hard to tell if this is due to the quarterbacks' inability to execute or make pre-snap reads or if the lack of adjustment is due to the quarterback being told not to change the offensive play. Either way, this is a recipe for disaster.

- The differences in the quarterbacks is clear and obvious. Jake Delhomme sees the field well and at times pulls the trigger late, which can lead to success or disaster. With Wallace, he takes a very quick look, possibly not waiting on his progressions to develop before relying on his athleticism.

- As has been the norm since training camp, the Browns offensive line has not been able to generate sufficient push at the point of attack, which has been stifling the rush, and creating an issue in the passing game. On numerous occasions during the Browns two games this season, defenses have flowed linebackers and safeties toward the box, challenging the Browns to beat them over the top. Little respect has been shown for the Browns passing offense and receivers.

- While the success at the point of attack has been limited, there has to be concern with the lack of consistency at the tackle positions. Teams have generated push off the edges, forcing the QB to step up into a pocket that has been minimized by the inconsistency within the interior of the line.

- The lack of true speed on the offensive side of the ball is evident. Without threatening speed, teams have cheated on coverage and scheme and will continue to do so. Teams have locked-up in man coverage often against the Browns and been successful. Another troubling aspect is when teams do provide over-the top help, the Browns play-calling or QB awareness has not led them toward an open receiver in the soft spot of the zone.

- A season ago, the Browns utilized the tight ends as blockers often and successfully in the second half of the season. In 2010, the Browns have looked toward the tight ends as an increasingly viable weapon in the passing game. The problem at this time has become that tight ends as primary receivers have been relegated to the short to intermediate passing game, despite opportunities to match-up well in the vertical seam.

- Without a viable pass rush, the Browns will continue to struggle. Against the Chiefs, the Browns pass defense was only successful when the QB was inaccurate, or when pressure was created. Especially in the second half, the Chiefs attacked the middle of the field, often exposing the hole in the defense, when a hard-hitting, viable safety would patrol.

- The activity of the Browns linebackers and the nose tackle has improved the Browns run defense, but the inability to consistently slow the pass has created less than stellar numbers. A week ago in Tampa, the Bucs run game improved off the pass. Sunday in Cleveland, once the passing game achieved, the run game improved. While one facet of the Browns defense has improved, the pass defense and lack of pressure has helped the team start the season 0-2.


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