Loading…
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
HomeSportsPro
Published: Tuesday, 11/6/2012

Shurmur second-guessed after latest loss

Browns watch another game slip away

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur, center, argues a call with referee Jeff Triplette, left, and line judge Jeff Bergman in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens. Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur, center, argues a call with referee Jeff Triplette, left, and line judge Jeff Bergman in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

BEREA, Ohio — Browns coach Pat Shur­mur slipped into his chair be­hind the mi­cro­phone. Be­fore be­gin­ning his Mon­day news con­fer­ence, Shur­mur looked at his notes and let out an au­di­ble sigh.

He knew what was com­ing.

Ques­tions. Tough ones.

One day af­ter a 25-15 loss to Bal­ti­more, Shur­mur was ques­tioned about sev­eral de­ci­sions, in­clud­ing a crit­i­cal one in the fourth quar­ter that back­fired Sun­day, as the Browns (2-7) lost to their AFC North nem­e­sis for the 10th straight time and headed into their bye week a frus­trated, dis­ap­pointed, and even an­gry team.

With time to re­flect on an­other win­na­ble game, Shur­mur, who fell to 6-19 in two sea­sons, ac­knowl­edged that there were some things he could have — and maybe should have — done dif­fer­ently.

“There were some de­ci­sions, when I look back on them now, of course, that don’t work out,” he said. “Then I'll say, ‘Well, you know what? Maybe we should have done some­thing else.’ That’s what you do on Mon­day.”

Shur­mur’s choice not to punt on fourth-and-2 at his own 28-yard line with 3:53 re­main­ing and two time­outs may be the one he prob­a­bly re­grets most.

After the Ravens took a 22-15 lead on Joe Flacco’s 19-yard TD pass to Tor­rey Smith and a 2-point con­ver­sion, the Browns got the ball at their 20. They gained eight yards on two com­ple­tions by quar­ter­back Bran­don Weeden, who then threw high to wide re­ceiver Greg Lit­tle on fourth down.

Bal­ti­more took over and got a 43-yard field goal from Justin Tucker to open a 10-point lead, es­sen­tially end­ing the game with 2:53 left.

“What I would like us to do is ex­e­cute, give him a bet­ter play and make it,” he said.

“I watched the game last night, the [New York] Giants punted in that sit­u­a­tion and never saw the ball again. Be­ing that we did get the ball back, yeah, I would con­sider do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent if I can guar­an­tee I’m go­ing to get the ball back.”

The Browns’ big­gest is­sue Sun­day was their in­abil­ity to score in­side the Ravens’ 20-yard line.

The red zone was where Cleve­land touch­down drives went to die.

In­stead of get­ting any TDs, the Browns had to set­tle for five field goals by con­sis­tent kicker Phil Daw­son, who has made 23 straight at­tempts dat­ing to last sea­son. The one time Cleve­land got in the end zone, Weeden’s 18-yard TD pass to rookie Josh Gor­don was nul­li­fied by an il­le­gal for­ma­tion pen­alty against run­ning back Chris Og­bon­naya, who lined up wide but was the eighth player on the line of scrim­mage.

Shur­mur then called a draw for run­ning back Trent Rich­ard­son on third down that was stopped for no gain and the Browns set­tled for Daw­son’s 41-yard field goal to take a 15-14 lead.

Shur­mur said he played it safe to en­sure the Browns, who trailed 14-0 in the first quar­ter, wouldn’t waste the scor­ing chance.

“I did not want a hold­ing call. I did not want a sack. I did not want any­thing crazy that knocked us out of that sit­u­a­tion,” he said.

There’s lit­tle doubt the Browns have im­proved. After be­ing blown out of­ten last sea­son, they’ve been com­pet­i­tive in ev­ery game but don’t yet have the wins to show for their prog­ress. They're still mak­ing too many mis­takes.

The bye comes at an op­por­tune time for the young Browns, who are men­tally and phys­i­cally worn out and need a break to re­charge. After prac­tice to­day, play­ers will be dis­missed un­til next week.

Cleve­land’s coaches, though, will stick around to try and fix sev­eral prob­lems, in­clud­ing some con­fu­sion in send­ing in plays.

Cleve­land has strug­gled sub­sti­tut­ing per­son­nel and get­ting off the snap be­fore the play clock ex­pired.

Scor­ing in­side the op­po­nents’ 20 will be an­other pri­or­ity as the Browns rank 31st over­all in red zone ef­fi­ciency. Weeden, too, has to im­prove in the fourth quar­ter as his 63.2 rat­ing in the fi­nal pe­riod is sec­ond-worst in the league. His five in­ter­cep­tions in the fourth lead all QBs.

NOTES: Shur­mur will ask the NFL for clar­i­fi­ca­tion on two pen­al­ties against Gor­don, one for pass in­ter­fer­ence and one for un­nec­es­sary rough­ness on a crack-back block. He also wants an ex­pla­na­tion on the call against safety T.J. Ward for rough­ing Flacco, a pen­alty that helped Bal­ti­more's go-ahead TD drive.

Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur, center, argues a call with referee Jeff Triplette, left, and line judge Jeff Bergman in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur, center, argues a call with referee Jeff Triplette, left, and line judge Jeff Bergman in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories