Cleveland – Romeo Crennel's debut as an NFL head coach wasn't what he was hoping it would be as the Browns dropped a 27-13 decision to the Cincinnati Bengals.
"I'm not happy about anything when we lose," Crennel said. "We shot ourselves in the foot. That makes it tough to win."
The Browns committed several costly mistakes that paved the way for the loss including being whistled for two penalties that called back touchdowns. Dennis Northcutt returned a punt 73 yards for a score in the first quarter, but it was called back on a illegal block penalty by Corey McIntyre.
"Well, it hurts, it really does," Crennel said. "That punt return would have given us a lot of momentum, but we had a penalty on that. Then we had another touchdown called back. What can we say?"
Crennel admitted for the Browns to win they cannot afford those kind of mistakes.
"Probably so, as this team is situated right now," Crennel said. "I have been in this business long enough to know and see that. Half the games in this league are decided by seven points or less."
The Browns committed seven penalties for 56 yards, including the two very costly ones. Quarterback Trent Dilfer turned the ball over on a fumble and threw two interceptions. He was 26-of-43 for 278 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He was not sacked and had a QB rating of 67.8.
"I think more importantly, I turned the ball over," Dilfer said. "The bottom line is that in this league, you cannot make mistakes. As a quarterback, you cannot throw interceptions and I threw two and lost a fumble.
"We cannot afford those types of mistakes," he said. "We will keep working on not turning the ball over. It is tough to win games in this league when you turn the ball over."
Crennel knows the team has to get better.
"We know we have a lot of work to do," he said. "I was pleased that they didn't quit. We just didn't do enough of the things you need to do to win."
Frisman's Coming Out Party: WR Frisman Jackson upstaged the more highly touted receivers as he caught eight passes for 128 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown catch and run in the second quarter. That was Jackson's first career touchdown.
"I thought Frisman came in and made some big plays," Crennel said. "He did a reasonably good job for the position he was in."
Jackson came into this season with 13 career catches for 203 yards and no touchdowns. His previous career best was five receptions for 61 yards against Pittsburgh on Nov. 11, 2004.
"Once I caught that first one, it was like I told Braylon, ‘that is all you need is to catch one and you will get that rhythm and you can go with it,' " Jackson said. "It felt good to catch that first one. It gave me confidence."
Dilfer said Jackson was the hot hand.
"Frisman played well and rose to the occasion," Dilfer said. "He took advantage of the four receiver set and made some plays, particular on the touchdown."
Injury Update: WR/KR Josh Cribbs injured his knee on the opening kickoff. He fumbled the ball on the play and did not return. Reuben Droughns replaced Cribbs on the kickoff returns. TE Steve Heiden suffered a stinger and did not return. LB Matt Stewart injured his leg and did not return.
It's Rueben: RB Reuben Droughns was everywhere as he accounted for 219 all-purpose yards. He started at running back and had 78 yards on 12 carries (6.5 avg.), including a 24-yard run on his first carry. William Green played in the second quarter and had four carries for 12 yards. Droughns also had three receptions for 22 yards. After Josh Cribbs was injured on the opening kickoff, Droughns took over kickoff return duties and had five returns for 119 yards (23.8 avg.), including a long of 35 yards.
Getting Defensive: S Chris Crocker, DL Orpheus Roye and LB Andra Davis led the Browns with 10 tackles each. Bodden had seven tackles and one interception, one pass defense and one forced fumble. He had another interception return for a score called back by a penalty. Crocker had one of the Browns two sacks. The other was by LB Chaun Thompson, who also had a forced fumble.
Good Start for Phil: K Phil Dawson was 2-of-2 after a shaky preseason in field goals. He hit a 29-yard to open the scoring and then hit a 34-yarder to end the scoring.
For Starters: Chris Crocker started at strong safety over Sean Jones. LB Kenard Lang started over Matt Stewart. Chris Perry started over Rudi Johnson at running back. Johnson violated team rules, but he was in the game after three plays. Johnson finished with 26 carries for 126 yards, as the Bengals had 148 yards rushing.
Inactives: Inactives for the Browns were CB Gary Baxter, CB Antonio Perkins, RB Lee Suggs, OL Dave Yovanovits, OL Nat Dorsey, TE Aaron Shea and LB David McMillan. QB Doug Johnson was the third QB. For the Bengals: WR Chris Henry, CB Rashad Bauman, CB Greg Brooks, LB Hannibal Navies, DE Jonathan Fanene, G Scott Kooistra and DT Matthias Askew. The third QB was Craig Krenzel. QB Charlie Frye, OL Mike Pucillo and DL Ethan Kelley did not play for the Browns and QB Jon Kitna and OL Eric Ghiaciuc did not play for Cincinnati.