Round-up; Ask the Insiders

Have you heard what we've heard? Have a question and not getting the juice from the fish-wrap? Have no fear, the "Ask the Insiders" forum holds the answers, and this is a small round-up of the latest.

redright : Was the change in Shurmur and McCoy occasioned by a little chat with Holmgren? Is it likely that Mike is getting more involved?

LA : Holmgren has added his input, here and there since Shurmur's arrival. I'd say Shurmur came to life somewhat on Sunday due to his familiarity of the Rams, as well as having some match-ups on Sunday that were beneficial. I find no Holmgren conspiracy behind the actions.


redright : Best hope for Shurmur is to have an assistant head coach...say Childress and an offensive coordinator with Holmgren tree credentials. Any chance of those changes being made come season's end? Who would be candidates that would fit into the Holmgren mold?

LA : It's possible and something that has been leaked around by someone of interest.

At the present, we'd have to know who may become available.


brownsouth : Holmgren and Heckert realize that their head coach is rapidly losing both the confidence and respect of the fan base? He's coached one game so far that's shown any form of imagination and he abandoned that at the most crucial moment. That game was not lost by one botched field goal, it should never have come down to that. What lost the game was "offensive boy-genius's" inability to generate any scoring ability in the red zone.

LA: They are listening to what is being said about this team and they are not satisfied with the state of the team presently. The front office thought this team would be further ahead. It's a major disappointment to them, as much as it is the fans, but I don't see them making a rash decision.


ramllov : I have not noticed this player on any stat sheets the past two games. Is this player still have some confidence of the Pat Shurmur and do we expect to see him catch a few passes this year?

LA: It's good to know he has worked hard, practiced well and has gotten to the game-day active roster. Maybe he'll gain an opportunity to display his speed, quickness and length, all needed by this offense desperately. Where I become skeptical is the when. Jordan Norwood has made it to the game-day roster, gets open from the slot quickly and isn't really targeted. This concerns me when I look toward Mitchell, as the offense could use the threat, but he sits idle. ,


ramllov : Holmgren, Heckert and Shurmur way they want to win every game and they prepare each week to win that game. One at a time is their model. I agree with the approach, it is universal to all NFL teams. The difference between this current group and all the previous groups hired by Lerner and son, has one major difference.

Mike Holmgren and Pat Shurmur have confidence in Tom Heckert. I don't know if other groups had this confidence. Pat Shurmur is playing the young players. Not all young players are going to be successful NFL stars, but, they currently appear to be NFL players, who can grow to become quality NFL players, with maybe a few positive and negative exceptions.

The long term benefits are that some of these young players will contribute meaningfully in the second, third and fourth plus years for the Cleveland Browns franchise. The previous group did not believe this and they did not play their young players enough early to find out.

The fans appear to have some confidence in Tom Heckert, whereas, there does not seem to have been much confidence in the preceding talent selectors.

Do you agree?

LA: I'd agree this HC does play the youth, some by design, some due to option. The benefit should be this talent should be in the development stages and could be players for years to come.

But, there is a fine line in developing talent, having veteran presence types in place to grease the wheel for this development and potentially separating a locker room.

In the end, I believe getting the inexperienced on the field does speed up the process.

In Cleveland, this is certainly the hope.


rutger : Do you guys believe Shurmur's handling of both McCoy and the last offensive series sits well with Holmgren?

If it does than Holmgren needs to explain how this offensive approach differs from Mangini's and why he got rid of him only to replace him with a guy that' handles situations like that exactly the same way he did?

But taking the ball out of a young QB's hands to try and win a meaningless game in a lost season instead of finding out "IF" this is the QB you can win with next year and in the future, is nothing short or wasting another season, isn't it?

No running backs, rookies at guards, a limp at RT. Limited at best at wide receivers. You've allowed the kid to get beat the hell up half the year already. At least give him a chance to win or lose the game on his own when it's on the line. Show some balls for a change, we haven't seen a coach around here with any since Palmer for crying out loud.

And screw the wide cat, stick your only offensive threat in the back field, off set him to McCoy in a shotgun, pitch it to him, hand it to him on an extended hand off, swing him out on a pass, fake it to him and slip him through the line over the middle, put him in motion, run him on a reverse, swing him out and throw it the other way. You can get him the damn ball a dozen times a game and set up other plays other than the "wild cat", something that no-body wanted to see again anyway.

LA : I tend to believe the team president would have attempted to get the ball into the end-zone, via the pass on at least one attempt, forcing the opposition to score a TD to beat them.

Though, I don't believe Holmgren was ultimately upset with the HC not throwing the ball and siding with the law of averages and K Phil Dawson.

We will never get an explanation, much less anything in comparison to the Eric Mangini era from Holmgren. It's not how he operates.

I will agree, this offense needs to better utilize the talent.

Again, any fan sitting in the stands above the playing field could have viewed Cribbs and Little in the clear often this past Sunday.

To go further, Jordan Norwood was open nearly every time he stepped on the field.

Either McCoy needs to get the ball out as he did Sunday, and/or Shurmur has to open the door and let this offense get into a hurry-up type scenario and force the opposition to play them, rather than the other way around.


hamster : Guess I'm the only one who saw improvement? Colt was protected more and had time to set himself, which resulted in better accuracy and more zip on the ball. He got the ball out of his hands quicker, outplayed a number one pick who had a STUD RB to help him. Receivers stepped up and made some pretty good plays finally. We got good runs from a practice squad RB. The play calling was more creative and good for the most part. Outside of the missed FG we out played the opposing team.

Shurmur gets nailed for not being ‘creative' enough in the past and then hung out to dry by fans when things aren't executed by the players. (Edit, got my answer on why the TE was used). The game was lost simply on a FG miss. It can happen. Seems now every little thing gets second guessed and the loss is put Shurmur instead of what really took place.

For me it was a good game except the final outcome. We can't expect to play at a high level or beat good teams until we have more talent and more experienced rookies. Neither will happen quickly. That doesn't take away from much of the good I saw today.

Did you see any good?

LA: It was good to see Shurmur AND McCoy taking shots down-field. This team would be much better off if they gave this perception, which forces a defense to play it.

McCoy threw the ball as well as I have viewed since coming to Cleveland and the offensive line was more consistent. What was viewed on Sunday was the type of improvement, the development sought.


mes92658 : Any chance, even the "SLIMMEST GLIMMER", our fearless leaders will reach out and bring us a "REAL" NFL Coach ???

I, for one, would almost give my left..... naw, but a lot for CHUCKIE !!! Gruden would NOT let this type of **** happen. Could he, and, would he come back to Ohio ???

LA : it would take a major earth-shattering, world changing event to occur for Holmgren to remove Shurmur after one season.


ramllov : I don't want to say lack of talent at WR or rookies playing at the starting postions of the guard or the top three RBs are either on the IR or hurt for the majority of the games. This as well as the new scheme, new head coach and new players as well as lack of a full off season is just more information which we have heard for the past 10 weeks plus.

Is Pat Shurmur's West Coast version he is developing for the Cleveland Browns so complex that the players have to achieve a certain level of proficiency prior to moving to the next step?

I use the one, two, three step in the subject line, although if I am write, I hope they are now on step five, six or seven.

If the players need to reach a certain skill level and demonstrate both in practice and on the NFL game field Sunday, then it maybe just a wait and see.

It seems each week we hear from Pat Shurmur and Colt McCoy that they had a very good week of game practice. It does not seem to translate on the playing field on Sunday.

There are more questions in this write-up that I intended.

I am just wondering what is going on?

LA : The WCO itself isn't the easiest offensive system to learn, much less master. An accurate QB which can establish this aspect as well as timing can go a long way in this scheme.

When dealing with youth, inexperience and lesser time to to teach, coach and understand the concept, the process is not going to be dialed up quickly. As development is achieved in the scheme, a QB and receiver will grow into sight recognition, as well improving hot reads.

What transpires, especially when a team as young in the scheme as the Browns are, you'll deal with great inconsistency. This is greatly magnified when talent and inexperience are questionable and a coaching staff doesn't appear to have a great deal of confidence in certain aspects.

To be fair, this offensive unit of the Browns and the HC truly need the better part of a season to just work the system and players, which will lead to development, as well as identifying additional needs.

Through nine games it doesn't look good, but there is potential for growth and development.


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