From ATI: Regression, the Hot Seat and More

Our Cleveland Browns Insiders, Lane Adkins and Fred Greetham, answer reader questions in the latest installment of our Ask The Insiders feature.

mdbrownsfan:  Lane, I'm just a high school English teacher and varsity football coach who typically only gets a chance to analyze the horrible TV feed of our beloved Browns' games.  With that said, it is abundantly clear that the problem with the run defense lies squarely at the feet of the linebacking corps.  The ILBs miss their fits and on the rare occasion that they make the right fit, they butcher the tackle.  The OLBs, ESPECIALLY Paul Kruger, dive inside to either the B or C gap as if they anticipate a DB to fill the vacated gap, thus leaving the flank of the defense undermanned.  If I can see this, why oh why, can't highly paid professionals, whose job it is to study film, see this shizznit and correct it?  What, pray tell, is the disconnect?

Lane: The issue is the staff sees is and while this is a correctable issue, the like breakdowns continue to occur on a consistent basis. 

We continue to see OLBs having issue with containment responsibilities, we see DBs late/poor in support, we see ILBs getting lost in traffic - having issue navigating through the weeds and we occasionally see the defense in the wrong look.

This past Sunday, all the above continued, along with rookie NT Danny Shelton getting handled and moved one-on-one, which is something we hadn't witnessed with the regularity we did against Oakland.

togchigi: I had been leaning for a long time towards the opinion that our DC was not very good. I wanted to know how he was viewed by others around the league. 

The ATI response was about missed assignments etc. and lets watch a few more weeks before we lynch him.

I am still astounded that after 19 games, we are still consistently having trouble setting the edge for run D.

I get it that our OLB's are rather pedestrian, but surely they should be able to set the edge by now. Doesn't this reflect squarely on the DC?

Lane: It reflects on the entire organization, from the selection of talent to the coaching to the play itself.

It's easy to say the DC sucks because the defense doesn't stop the run, but there is issue to evaluate as to why they do not -- and we see the same couple players or so doing the same thing every week -- and we know this specific has been discussed and addressed on numerous occasions.

Now, when the defense is in the wrong look, then I look at the DC, those on-field responsible.

Theruck: Is there any specific reason for the extreme performance, to the bad or good, in alternating weeks so far with the Browns pass rush?

Week 1 and Week 3 they did absolutely nothing all game long. Week 2 they had 7 sacks.

I don't see anything particularly stark in the differences between OL, run game or QB play in all 3 opponents.

Lane: I'm looking at the pass rush specifically later today or Tuesday and hopefully gain insight as to why we continue to see the up and down effort in this specific.

I immediately recognized during the game, the Browns did not overload as much as they did last week against Tennessee, Oakland QB Derek Carr was far more decisive that Marcus Mariota and the Raiders pass-blocked much better than the Titans.

Being said, I did not see many 'games' up-front coming from the Browns, minimal stunts, etc

Grover71: How much input did Mike Pettine have with the composition of this roster, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Using the Bill Parcells analogy, was he even at the grocery store to help shop for the groceries?

Lane: He had input throughout, and had his hands on many of the groceries.

Deletum: Do you think Mike Pettine is on the hot seat or is it to early for that?

Lane: I don't believe we are at that point, but I wouldn't be surprised we get to that point in 2015.

daviepie: A couple issues bugging me:

1. Why do the DL never have their hands up when rushing the passer, especially when they know they are not getting home? Every team does this against us and has at least a batted pass against us per game.

2. Why does everyone see the talent E.J. Bibbs has, but he can't be active on Sundays? Housler is a waste right now, yet we play Johnson Bademosi, Pierre Desir & K'Waun Williams over Justin Gilbert, any WR over Dwayne Bowe, Scott Solomon over Barkevious Mingo? It's not like Rob Housler is a decidedly better blocker.

Fred: Agree. Saw Josh McCown have several passes batted down just by having their hands up. Don't understand the Bibbs deal. They didn't want to risk putting him on the PS but have him inactive. I think they should play him, as Housler has not been the Jordan Cameron they were looking for.

Aqib: The OL was supposed to be a strength and they can't create holes and give up 5 sacks.  We know Joe Thomas, Alex Mack, Joel Bitonio, and John Greco don't suck.  Sure they lost their coach.  But its not like Andy Moeller is Joe Bugel or Alex Gibbs.  The DBs are in the wrong position all day.  We know Joe Haden doesn't suck.  

So does Pettine suck?  

Fred: The line is a product of the scheme. They were very successful running the ball in the wide zone scheme and Thomas said they were still employing it but couldn't against the Raiders because they got behind. Credited their success against the Titans with that scheme. With that said I think the Browns tend to overvalue their players. It was obvious the Raiders planned to go right after Haden from the get go with the rookie Amari Cooper and he was open.

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