Fast Lane: Grasping at Victory

A dejected Hoyer on the loss, "We didn't do enough to win the game. We had the chances to win this thing and didn't get it done, it's very, very disappointing. We have ourselves to blame."

- Head coach Mike Pettine has not taken the Browns 23-21 loss to the Baltimore Ravens lightly. Following the game Pettine spoke with members of the coaching staff about the play of positional groups and cited necessary, immediate improvement needed, not just from the player groups, but those leading those groups on staff.

- The Browns have not discounted the notion of trying out players during the bye-week. The Browns usually look at players each Tuesday of the week, when the team is off for the day. There was some discussion following the loss regarding the special teams.

- The Fast Lane was told following the game the staff will meet as they do during the week and discuss potential changes within the special teams - return game as well as evaluating the defensive scheme/players and determine whether to modify the scheme, play-calling or personnel packages.

- Pettine was very unhappy with the inability of Travis Benjamin to field punts against the Ravens. This follows up a less than ringing endorsement from Pettine for Benjamin's lackluster job in the return game since the start of the season.

- Pettine believes from his view, the Browns special teams did not adjust when the Ravens overloaded the right-side on the blocked FG attempt of Billy Cundiff. Pettine also believed the kick did not get off as quickly as it should have due to issue between the long-snapper and holder. The entire kicking unit will be evaluated on Monday.

- Pettine was very unhappy with the number of penalties the Browns committed. The HC said the team isn't obviously good enough to overcome all the mental mistakes.

- The Browns defensive staff is not happy with the inability of the defensive line to maintain integrity against the run -- very displeased with the over-pursuit and poor recognition of the OLBs.

- When asked whether the defense should simplify its scheme, a Browns defense coach noted that due to the inability to execute, especially at key times it's possible we see them scale it back a bit.

- While not specifically addressed, there are grumblings that we will see more Desmond Bryant (as he gets healthy) and John Hughes at the DE spots. it was noted both players can generate push and hold their position.

- Also noted was Phil Taylor and Billy Winn have not had a good couple weeks.

- Browns staffer quick to point out teams continue to run misdirection (cutback) knowing the Browns defense will over-pursuit, leaving enormous lanes in the running game.

- Browns defensive staff has talked about additional DB support for the run defense at the expense of coverage.

- When asked whether the signings of Karlos Dansby and Donte Whitner are paying off, "those guys are doing everything plus more than we ask of them. They get in the right look, but execution remains an issue for the defense as a whole. We'll spend a lot of time during the bye-week correcting the problem -- from scheme to situation play to personnel, we will address and make changes."

- On going with rookie RB Isaiah Crowell to start the second half, "He was running well, seeing the cuts and pounding the ball."

- On the play of Brian Hoyer, "Did you see the same game I did? What more could you really ask of him. He player very well, sure there were a couple opportunities we missed on, but the guy gets out there and this team responds to him, he is a gamer in the truest sense."

- A dejected Hoyer on the loss, "We didn't do enough to win the game. We had the chances to win this thing and didn't get it done, it's very, very disappointing. We have ourselves to blame."

- The Browns are unhappy with a couple holding calls on the DB's against the Ravens. The defensive staff cites that Baltimore WR was pushing off the entire game and was never flagged, much less even a comment from the umpire watching the play. Inconsistency in the way holding is being called will again be brought to the attention of the league.

- Simply put, CB Joe Haden was beaten by Smith on the game-winning drive for the Ravens - no excuses, Smith made an excellent move and Haden couldn't recover.

- One Browns defensive lineman noted to the Fast Lane that he had never been held as much as he was today against the Ravens. When the player said something to the referee, he was told to quit complaining and play the game.

- WR Andrew Hawkins noted the pass attempt which he did not catch late in the fourth quarter should have been caught. The pass was behind Hawkins, but the receiver got his hands on the ball but couldn't pull it in.

- Hawkins and WR Taylor Gabriel noted that the wind was a factor catching the ball. On Gabriel's long reception in the 4th quarter, the receiver said the ball was coming right at him and a wind gust moved the ball off its flight and nearly missed it.

- The Browns offense missed potential big play runs late in the 4th quarter when the rookie RBs missed the cutback lanes against a Baltimore defense that was selling out.


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