Berea Report: Offensive Line Leads Resurgence

Fred Greetham reports from Berea on the day-after gameballs being handed out in light of the Browns 20-14 win over the Titans. The Browns offensive line gets the credit as the Browns coaching staff and players look at the game film before beginning preparations for the Steelers...

Berea – The Browns have struggled on offense the past several weeks, but they piled up good numbers against the Titans on Sunday. Overall, the offense had 441 yards, with 169 yards rushing and 272 passing.

"I was pleased we got the victory and the way the guys played," Romeo Crennel said. "We played the whole game with energy and a positive attitude.

"Our offense was able to get on track and be able to move the ball on the ground and through the air."

The line didn't allow a sack for the first time since the Packers game on Sept. 18. Quarterback Trent Dilfer had been sacked 16 times in the past five games.

"We had a good game plan," left tackle L.J. Shelton said. "We executed it well and it worked out for us."

Reuben Droughns had his best game of the season with 116 yards on the ground and 73 yards receiving, but he attributes a lot of it to the guys in the trenches.

"The offensive line did an excellent job," Droughns said. "They're the engine to our offense and the key to our win. They've done an excellent job all year."

When you get 169 yards on the ground, everything seems to work.

"If we can run the ball effectively, it makes it easier for all involved," Crennel said.

The line knows Droughns is going to get every yard that's available, and then some.

"He's definitely a back that's going to run hard and if you get your job done as a lineman, he'll make you look good," Shelton said.

Crennel agreed.

"Reuben has that effort he gives you," he said. "He fights and struggles for that extra yard. The guys know he's going to go all out. Reuben is a tackle-to-tackle runner. He's doing a good job for us so we think we'll keep him.

"Reuben runs hard and he's always up and into the game," Crennel continued. "He's energetic and tries to get the other guys involved. The offensive line did a little more to help with extra effort knowing he would get those extra yards."

Crennel was also pleased with the passing game.

"The offensive line didn't give up any sacks," Crennel said. "The line did a nice job and Reuben did a nice job."

Dilfer was 18-of-34 for 272 yards and a touchdown, to go with not being sacked.

Crennel said the pass protection has been solid when not in passing situations.

"When we're on our terms we're pretty good," he said. "When we're in long situations, then we're stressed. We run the ball pretty well."

Crennel singled out right tackle Ryan Tucker for shutting down Titan's defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who came into the game leading the AFC in sacks.

"I thought all of them as a group did pretty good," Crennel said ."If I was to name just one I would have to name Tucker because he went up against Vanden Bosch, who was leading the AFC in sacks."

Shelton said Tucker did a great job, despite battling the neck injury that's plagued him for the past few weeks.

"Tuck did a great job on Vanden Bosch," Shelton said. "I played with Vanden Bosch and he's a good player."

The line didn't miss a step when Cosey Coleman had to leave the game in the first half with a sprained knee. Mike Pucillo replaced him and played the rest of the game.

"(Offensive line coach) Jeff (Davidson) feels he's an adequate backup and if he has to go in there, he'll do the job," Crennel said.


Quick Hits

Good Day for Dennis: Crennel said he was happy for WR Dennis Northcutt, who had the opportunity to make some plays and he made the most of it.

"I feel good for Dennis to make some plays," Crennel said. "He's wanted to be a playmaker and he knew he could do it and we knew he could do it. The pass play for the touchdown was a big momentum play for us."

Northcutt had three receptions for 80 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown. He also carried the ball once for 31 yards.

Not Happy with Penalties: After just one penalty a week ago, the Browns had nine for 63 yards, but several were in crucial situations.

"The penalties picked up in some crucial situations and on two punt returns and on a field goal that would've clinched the victory," Crennel said. "We missed the re-kick to add some drama to the game."

Injury Update: OL Cosey Coleman sprained his knee and was going to have an MRI Monday.

"When we get the results on that, we'll let you know," Crennel said.

RB Lee Suggs (thumb) is supposed to practice this week and hopes to play. RB William Green (ankle) was inactive last week and he hopes to be back this week.

"I don't know if (Suggs) will play this week, but we'll see if he can handle the ball," Crennel said.

Game Balls: Crennel said the following players will be awarded game balls for their performances against the Titans: DL Orpheus Roye, DL Alvin McKinley, RB Reuben Droughns, P Kyle Richardson, LB Kenard Lang and LB Ben Taylor.

"The punter did good and for him to go out in the conditions and punt the way he did was good," Crennel said. "He made a good tackle on the return. I'm sure his confidence is lifted after that performance. He's been in the NFL and it's a production business and he went out there and produced and helped us to win."

Richardson averaged 40.6 yards on five punts and had three inside the 10.

"The defensive ends (Roye and McKinley) hung in there pretty good," Crennel said "Ben Taylor showed up making some tackles. Kenard Lang showed up around the quarterback. His numbers were probably not as much as the other guys but he forced the interception on the final play as he was draped all over the quarterback."


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