Category Archives: “Battle”

Catching up on the “battles”

Pat Shurmur answered 14 questions after his opening remarks following the 20-14 win over Pittsburgh, and had four battle references.

Given it was a win over Pittsburgh, it seems appropriate to review them:

In his opening remarks: “I thought the players executed, fought and battled and went to the field knowing that we had the opportunity to be a good football team.”

On the run defense: “I thought our guys battled and did a good job of controlling so that the run game didn’t have a huge effect on the game.”

On the feeling at halftime, after the Browns had given up a ridiculous touchdown drive that ended with a pass interference penalty on Sheldon Brown in the end zone and Chris Rainey bouncing outside of a pile of would-be tacklers to score from one yard: “I felt like our guys had a feel for the game and again, we had battled all the way through.”

Finally, on all the holding penalties called in the game: “Those are some full grown men out there playing defense and they’re hard to block and our guys battled and I think that showed up and I’m proud of their effort.”

Overall, Shurmur represented well with his battle references. He was poised, polished and focused, and he stayed in the moment.

Clearly, it was a one-battle-at-a-time news conference.

Two key guys on each side of the ball let the Browns down vs. Ravens

Two of the Browns more important players did not come through against the Ravens.

Brandon Weeden looked rattled against the Ravens rush and coverages, and something he said initially in his postgame press conference indicated he was a little intimidated by the presence of Ed Reed.

Weeden said he was surprised that the Ravens played so much Cover-two — a result, no doubt, of losing cornerback Lardarius Webb, and added: “When you’ve got 20 (Reed) back there hawking the center of the field, you know that’s tough.”

Recognizing Reed is a good thing, but at some point you have to believe your abilities are good enough to win. Early in the game Weeden missed a potential touchdown to Greg Little because Reed was lurking. Weeden threw short, and the Browns kicked a field goal.

Later, Weeden threw an interception on a pass in the direction of Jordan Cameron that Weeden said he tried to throw into the ground.

“I think Brandon is going to watch the film and see that there were some things he’d like to have back,” said coach Pat Shurmur, adding the obligatory “he battled.”

Translation: Weeden did not have one of his better games.

The best evidence: The Browns got inside Baltimore’s 20-yard-line five times and never got into the end zone. That largely falls on the quarterback.

This isn’t the end of the world, nor does it mean it’s time to write the guy off. Just that Weeden had a bad day. It happens.

Defensively, Joe Haden had a very rough game. A few days after I sent him some serious love, Haden was treated by the Ravens like he was some guy named Skrine. Joe Flacco threw at him without fear or hesitation.

And with the game on the line Torrey Smith abused Haden after the catch to score the game-winning touchdown. Smith caught a quick in, took a step toward the middle and spun away to the outside as Haden raced in thinking he’d make the tackle to prevent a first down. He prevented the first down, just not the touchdown.

I’m not sure what to make of Haden. He patiently answered questions after the game, and did not duck from responsibility.

He has immense potential and a ton of talent, but he got that four-game suspension and there are times when his celebrity seems to get in his way.

The temptation is to say that the Browns do not know how to handle victory, that they lack the maturity, and Haden is the embodiment of that reality. But it’s tough to tell if the temptation is an overreaction.

What is true is that players have to treat every play, every down as if it can change the game.

That didn’t happen Sunday.

The battle count

There was only one, single, solitary, stinking battle reference in Pat Shurmur’s postgame presser following the 7-6 win over San Diego.

If this keeps up it may be time to cancel the battle watch.

Shurmur’s only use of the word came early when he said: “The guys battled.”

Yes indeed.

They certainly did.

And perhaps given that there was no need to add another battle to the tally.

A new feature in honor of battling

In honor of “the battle,” we start a new feature: The Midweek Battle Quote of the Week.

This is not meant to do anything other than highlight the time that Pat Shurmur praises a player or unit for battling. Longtime readers may recall the Romeo Crennel Bottom Line Quote of the Week. This is presented in the same spirit. Which basically is a spirit that says I do not have enough to do. It might appear regularly, depending on what is going on in my life and what I feel like doing. At this point, in this mog, it is, after all, all about me.

Wednesday Shurmur was asked about getting more from the run game and the offensive line’s play.

He said:

“It’s easy to talk about production, we haven’t given up any sacks, but again I think there’s a combination of reasons why. I think they’ve battled in the pass protection area. I do think as a team we need to run the ball better and each week we look at the opponent we playing, the types of runs that we like, the runner that’s in the game and then making sure we get them blocked properly. Speaking specifically on the offensive line and tying it to the team, we need to do a better job of making yards when we run the football.”

Not only is this a brilliant “battle” reference, it also is the kind of deep, special insight one can glean only from a news conferences.