Romeo Crennel came to the defense of his embattled offensive coordinator during the bye week. Crennel said the Browns' game plans are solid, and he was not pondering a change in play-calling duties.
"We are not trying to screw up," Crennel said.
But as he spoke about offensive errors this season, Crennel referred to himself as the man calling the shots and not Maurice Carthon.
Crennel said "I" did not give the ball enough to Reuben Droughns in the opener, and said the game plans are fine and when the team struggles, everyone struggles. His explanation is admirable, but does not really explain the notable struggles of the offense.
Play-calls are subjective, but statistics are statistics. Carthon coordinated a unit last season that finished last in the league in points, 26th in total offense.
After five games, the Browns were 25th in points scored and 31st in total offense after five games. The improvement in scoring is a bit of a mirage, though. A year ago they averaged 14.5 points per game, and now they're averaging 16.2. That's hardly a total that will keep opposing defensive coordinators up at night.
The problem for Carthon is that the offense is putting up ugly numbers despite the fact that Charlie Frye is more comfortable in his second year, Braylon Edwards is healthy and Kellen Winslow is leading the league in catches by a tight end.
In short, the Browns thought that improvement would follow adding Edwards and Winslow to the package and teaming them with Frye and Reuben Droughns would help.
It hasn't happened so far, and until it does happen, Carthon will continue to be the lightning rod for criticism.
QB Charlie Frye used the bye week to heal. Frye is on a pace to be sacked more then 50 times. Making things worse is the fact Frye has been hit countless times in games. The Browns need to figure a way to protect him better.
RB Reuben Droughns is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry. This is a poor number from a player expected to be a significant contributor. Droughns injured his right shoulder against Cincinnati and appears to be running to protect that shoulder.
WR Dennis Northcutt has a "rib-area injury" but no broken ribs, according to coach Romeo Crennel. Northcutt's availability will be on a week-to-week basis.
WR Joe Jurevicius figures to finally break into the starting lineup following Dennis Northcutt's dropped pass that led to an interception and defensive score in Carolina. Jurevicius is too dependable to sit. He provides a secure outlet for Charlie Frye.
CB Leigh Bodden figures to return to face Denver the week after the Browns' bye. Bodden might have been able to force his way on the field in Carolina, but the team felt his injured ankle should take time to heal. Bodden's return will help, as the Browns had to move safety Brodney Pool to corner to take his place.
CB Gary Baxter has played in just two games this season due
to a pectoral muscle injury, and the Browns had hoped he would return after the
bye. Baxter will test his shoulder in practice before it's determined if he will
play against Denver.