Lane's Direct Hits

Players in the Browns locker room aren't very happy, and neither was Lane Adkins after the Browns loss to the Ravens. Here, Lane lays out the next steps for the Browns...

- To lay the blame of this loss on Derek Anderson would be irresponsible, although #3 did have his hands firmly wrapped around the neck of the Cleveland offense, as well as his own. The QB directly relates to the inconsistency of this Browns offense with his inability to string together above-average performances; if that continues, this team will remain average at best.

- I hear all the boo-birds, some of which are calling out offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. At times I question his playcalling, but I do not see him as the issue for the performance of this Cleveland Browns offense. The offense is not as explosive or as vertical as many would like, but look to the QB before assuming the OC has lost his imagination. With a birds-eye view of the game, the Browns had receivers running in the clear throughout this game - these are what we call missed opportunities and there were plenty.

- At 3-5, there are not many more excuses the head coach of the team could and should make for not winning ballgames and evaluating talent. Again, I sit watching this team and come away confused as to what I was viewing. The execution level of this team is below average and this issue appears to be wide-spread -- numerous players, various positions and all seemingly coming at the most inopportune of times.

- What was head coach Romeo Crennel thinking early in the ballgame? The Ravens, in field-goal range and were called for holding - which would have backed them up and out of Matt Stover's range. Rather than accepting the penalty and forcing the Ravens into a third and very long - Crennel declines the penalty, the Ravens remain in Stover's range and he converts on the attempt. Now, as the Browns have struggled against teams on third-down - I don't blame the head coach for his decision, when all things are considered - but you would like to see the head coach have confidence in the unit to stop a team on third-down and a half-mile to go.

- Unless the unthinkable occurs, this is not a legitimate playoff-type team. It bothers me that teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens can reload and win; there is little reason not to see some changes in personnel as the season unfolds as it just may create a spark on the playing field.

- Yes, I will say it: Romeo Crennel needs to announce to the free world that Brady Quinn is going to play and WR Braylon Edwards is being taken off the 5-hour energy drink he promotes on TV -- Hell, gotta try something! This receiver has concentration issues; Edwards' drop of an Anderson strike was as big a play as there was in this game.  It was simply inexcusable for him to drop that pass. Meanwhile, as all of this is happening, Quinn is continuing to put in extra effort waiting for his opportunity.

- Spare me the accolades of Anderson's throwing a TD pass into coverage, which Edwards came down with. Once again, it was a poor read and the Browns were fortunate the WR has the ability -- though inconsistent -- to fight for the ball. Much of the same should be noted on another Anderson toss, this time into coverage to Kellen Winslow. The tight end was called for pass interference as he ran through a DB and caught the pass. However, his play on the ball ensured the pass was not intercepted.

-Anderson has shown improvement in recent weeks and is not the lone reason for the Browns continued issues on the offensive side of the ball. His recent four-game run has been solid in many instances - but not good enough to get this team over the hump. Inconsistency and a lack of execution continue to haunt the QB, as was the case in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens. There has to come a point in time when the organization must decide whether he is the future, or whether 2007 first round draftee Brady Quinn has the tools to lead this team. Following this latest loss - today should be the day, but sticking with Anderson provides the continuity head coach Romeo Crennel feels secure with - but he may be pushed into a corner on this issue.

- Watching the Browns offensive line, the continuity and communication from a season ago appears to have vanished. RG Ryan Tucker has been placed on IR and LG Eric Steinbach has suffered with a shoulder and hip problem, while RT Kevin Shaffer and RG Rex Hadnot appear to be slow and lumbering at the point. Some of the offensive inconsistency and execution issues are directly related to the very average play of this unit.

- Sean Jones, injured knee or not, did not look like the same player we viewed a week ago in Jacksonville. On Sunday, Jones was a step slow and did not possess the drive through a ball carrier when in on the tackle.

- Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker's pressing, blitzing defense can and will be effective when pressure can be applied to the QB. Against the Ravens and their rookie QB, the pressure was minimal and the rookie made many tremendous passes. CB Eric Wright is a playmaker, but he has to play a little smarter than he did on Derrick Mason's 28-yard TD reception.

- Here's to hoping G.M. Phil Savage and his staff can find a couple of linebackers in the immediate future. Andra Davis isn't getting the job done and I'm not sold on Kamerion Wimbley. Alex Hall is really an unknown and Willie McGinest is eight games away from retirement.

- Its too early to lay the 'bust' label on DE Corey Williams, but his performance against the Ravens was far from impressive. Williams has been hampered by a shoulder injury since training camp, and this injury issue shows on the playing field.

- Following the Browns 37-27 loss on Sunday, one anonymous player told The Orange and Brown Report, "The time has come for someone to take responsibility. Enough is enough. We are better than this."



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