Right to the Point

With the team 2-4 and Jacksonville looming, now is not the time to beat around the bush. Now is the time for straight talk, and Lane Adkins provides it as he gets Right to the Point.

Let's cut through the clutter, and get right to the point.  

- Down by 11 in the 4th quarter of a low-scoring game, you take the field goal. Make it a one-score game and let the cards fall where they may. The Browns offense was inconsistent and executed poorly throughout, but showed signs of life in the 4th quarter. Take the field goal. 

- Don't lay the blame of this loss on the back of the defense. The Redskins did manage to run the ball well, but the Browns defense kept the game within its grasp. The lack of quality and depth are an issue along the defensive line, but the overall play of the linebackers must improve if this Cleveland defense is going to be anything more than an a middle-of-the-pack unit.

- Solid linebacker play is critical for the 3-4 defensive to be successful. When offensive linemen can get to the second level of defense, there are going to be issues, and this was the case at times against the Redskins. The Browns' outside linebackers were so determined to get an upfield push, they gave up gap integrity and there was no compensation for the move. ILB D'Qwell Jackson plays the game at a fast pace, but lacks the bulk to be a difference maker. At the other ILB spot, Andra Davis and Leon Williams do not display the consistency required to make the expected plays, much less anything of significance. In a nutshell, this is why the run defense continues to struggle.

- Inexcusable lapses in execution and focus remain an alarming trend for this team. Enough of the excuses. There is no reasonable explanation for receivers continually dropping passes or the QB consistently missing the mark.

- Another game, plenty more wasted opportunities. No less than eight times in the game against the Redskins did the Browns have a receiver open in space that the QB couldn't find in his progressions.

- As I have noted on far too many occasions, the Browns offense goes as QB Derek Anderson goes. The 'good Derek' versus 'bad Derek' weekly gamble has turned this Cleveland offense into a group of players who are pressing and looking for something positive to latch onto. Against the Giants last week, Anderson was wavering but hit on a couple early plays and the confidence was back. In this game, Anderson started off terribly, receivers dropped a few passes and the flood gates to poor play were open.

- Question the game plan and ability of offensive coordinator all you would like. When the QB this team fields is so erratic, inconsistent and inaccurate that simple swing passes are no longer a safe bet, any offensive team would struggle.

- Of course, a change at QB could be a disasterous move by the staff. Or, of course, it could be a move which changes the complexion of the team, not simply a struggling offensive unit. This is a tough call for the organization, but one which I fully believe should be explored to its fullest. We are talking about throwing an unproven young man into the mix, but one who's also competitive, very bright and a leader in the huddle.

- The offensive as the offense has turned out, the situation should not be solely blamed on the QB. There has been sufficient time to evaluate the starting QB - and the end result has been failure. Despite their 2-4 record, the Browns are not out of contenion, but now face a tough Jacksonville team who will challenge  the questionable Anderson and Browns' offensive mindset. There has never been a better time to see what a change could provide, as the mental state of the starter could not be any lower as it is right now.

- When your #1 receiver drops passes often and tends to let the game get to him mentally, this team is going to have issues. Players can say all the right things to the media, but there is an issue. The seeds of doubt are creeping around some within the roster.

- Granted, TE Kellen Winslow was coming off an illness, but why was his play-making presence missed so much on Sunday? The TE was in on obvious passing downs and beating coverage in such opportunities. This young man has every reason to be discouraged about the state of the offense - much less the apparent personal issue he has with GM Phil Savage.

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