Berea Report: RAC Tackling A Serious Problem

NFL players get Tuesday off, but Browns head coach Romeo Crennel was available to the media today to talk about the Browns win in Buffalo, and some issues they need to tackle. Fred Greetham was there and brings today's Berea Report...

Berea—If the Browns are going to do anything in the final six games, they need to shore up their defense—and it starts with tackling.

"We can try to keep mixing it up and let the guys know there is competition," Romeo Crennel said. "I know there were a lot of missed tackles in the game and I don't know how many yards were given up in terms of missed tackles."

With the defense being porous in the last several weeks, Crennel is concerned.

"You don't like it because one of the foundations of a defense is tackling the ball carrier," he said. "It's disturbing when you don't stop them.

"We missed a lot of tackles," Crennel said. "We emphasized that last week, but we'll do that more and see if we can get it corrected.

"You can put emphasis on it, but you can beat them up more by tackling," he said. "Some of the missed tackles are from over pursuing and not knowing where the help is."

The Browns defense has been unable to hold leads and has given up over 1,200 yards in the past three games, including 334 against the Bills. The Browns have also given up 37, 34, and 27 points in the last three games after not giving up 30 points through the first half of the season.

Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson led the Browns with 11 tackles in the win, but the Browns were guilty of poor tackling in the win over the Bills.

"We've been working hard, but we're taking bad angles," Jackson said on a call with Tony Rizzo on WKNR Tuesday morning. "We have to do a better job of tackling."

If not for a missed field goal by Rian Lindell, the Browns would've lost three in a row and have set a record for blowing three 13-point or greater leads in the process.


Playoffs…Playoffs: Despite a 4-6 record and blowing two big leads late in games, the Browns are just two games out of the Wild Card chase. Presently, behind the division leaders, the Dolphins, Patriots, Colts and Ravens are 6-4. The Bills are 5-5, while the Browns, Jaguars and Chargers are 4-6. Two teams make the playoffs as Wild Cards after the division winners. The Browns are behind the Steelers in the division, who are 7-3. The Browns play the Colts at home a week from next Sunday.

Big Leg: K Phil Dawson kicked a career-long, 54-yard field goal earlier in the season and then outdid that with a 56-yard kick to win the game over the Bills. Dawson is 22-of-24 this year in field goal attempts with both of his misses coming from over 50 yards. He has made 13 in a row and also is 17-of-17 on PATs. He is 3-of-5 from 50-plus yards.

"Phil Dawson," Crennel said. "You can't say enough about him to kick a 56-yard field goal to win the game."

Where's Jerome?: RB Jerome Harrison has clearly been the most explosive running back for the Browns this season and yet he has seen very limited action. He carried the ball just three times against the Bills and accounted for 80 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown run. He also caught a 21-yard pass to set up a field goal. Harrison has 20 carries for 207 yards and 7 receptions for 103 yards. Harrison is averaging over 11 yards when he touches the ball.

"He provided us a spark and made a major contribution," Crennel said. "Jerome has a special ability and talent."

What will it take to get Harrison on the field more?

"We also have Jamal Lewis and Jason Wright," he said. "(Harrison) is very patient in waiting his turn and his contribution (against the Bills) was tremendous. He made the biggest contribution in the second half."

Defensive Standouts: Crennel mentioned the play of DL Shaun Rogers and DB Brandon McDonald for their play on defense.

"Shaun Rogers continued to show up and make plays," he said. "Brandon McDonald came back and shows he can play at this level with a interception and a fumble."

McDonald was replaced in the starting lineup by Travis Daniels, but McDonald was inserted in the lineup on the second play.

Injury Update: Several players were nicked up against the Bills, including DB Sean Jones (ankle), DL Shaun Smith (calf), RB Jerome Harrison (hamstring),TE Kellen Winslow (shoulder), RB Jason Wright (stinger). Winslow and Smith will have a MRI to check out their injuries. Crennel said that Smith is questionable for Sunday's game.

Brady Tested: Crennel said that he was pleased with QB Brady Quinn's play, despite not throwing a touchdown pass. He had no interceptions.

"I think he was tested more this week but was able to move us down there to get the field goal."

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