Putting win vs. Steelers in perspective

Posted by Vic Carucci on November 27, 2012 – 10:12 pm

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages. Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say:

Karen – Let’s face it. Beating the Steelers was our Super Bowl!

I get where you’re coming from, Karen.

It was a massive win for Cleveland and for Browns fans everywhere. It has made just about everything in and around the community look and feel just a little bit better. This is the most excitement in the aftermath of a game than anyone who roots for this team has experienced in a very long time.

So, in many respects, yes, the victory did serve as a Super Bowl of sorts, especially because it came at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

But that is not how the coaches or players on this team see it. They are still very cognizant of the fact it was only the third triumph in 11 games, and that doesn’t translate to a successful season.

For Pat Shurmur and his team, the Steelers’ game is merely a building block for the Browns rather than their entire foundation. And there are five opportunities left – beginning at Oakland on Sunday – to add to it.

All of the euphoria and excitement generated last Sunday will be quickly forgotten if the Browns are unable to generate some traction. As well as they performed defensively, they have every reason to believe they can do exactly that.

Now, they have to go ahead and do it.

Darla – All the turnovers against Pittsburgh were nice! Gotta stop the holding calls, though.

You are so right, Darla.

Although I think, to some degree, the officiating crew might have been a bit overzealous with the holding calls, the fact is the Browns had far too many of them.

After drawing so many penalty flags (on defense and special teams) against the Cowboys in Week 11, the Browns needed to be far more disciplined against the Steelers. And, on offense, they weren’t.

This is part of the maturing of a team that I believe is coming into its own and learning what it takes to perform at a consistently high level.

The time has come to severely cut down on penalties in all phases.

Michael – Can’t tell you how good it is to turn on “Sports Center,” and see them say the Browns won! Not to mention that we beat Pittsburgh!

I had the same feeling when I turned on the television Monday morning, Michael.

It’s called being relevant. It occurs when you win.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, for Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.


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Browns defined by their defense

Posted by Vic Carucci on November 27, 2012 – 3:30 am

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages. Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say:

Jason – Always been a fan of great D. The pick six at the beginning made it look like it was going to be just another loss, but the defense stood tall only allowing seven points to the Steelers. Tasty rival win for the Browns.

As a fan of “great D,” you are rooting for the right team in the Browns, Jason.

It’s clear that this team is defined by its defense, which has highly talented players on the line (tackles Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin, and end Jabaal Sheard), at linebacker (D’Qwell Jackson), and in the secondary (cornerback Joe Haden and safety T.J. Ward). And this unit doesn’t only have the ability to make stops, it also makes big plays.

Although I don’t expect the Browns to routinely force eight turnovers every game, as it did against the Steelers, I do think they will have many more multiple-turnover games. Separating opponents from the balls is something defensive coordinator Dick Jauron and the rest of the team’s defensive coaching staff constantly preach and teach.

Jauron also designs exceptional schemes that confound the opposition. That had plenty to do with why the Browns sacked Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo seven times in Week 11. And it had plenty to do with why Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch, a 15-year veteran, wound up throwing three interceptions on Sunday.

Lee – With that many turnovers, the game shouldn’t have been that close. But I’m glad they won.

You’re right, Lee. It shouldn’t have been that close.

The Browns’ offense should have been able to enjoy more success given the relatively short fields the defense provided throughout the game.

Some of that was because quarterback Brandon Weeden didn’t play particularly well. Some of that was because the Browns didn’t run the ball all that effectively. And some of that was because the offense drew far too many penalties, especially for holding.

It’s also worth noting that the Browns faced the top-ranked defense in the NFL and one of the greatest defensive coordinators the game has ever seen in Dick LeBeau.

However, it’s reasonable to think that, with greater experience, the Browns’ offense will steadily do a better job of cashing in on opponents’ turnovers.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, for Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.


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