By: Will Burge
As another losing season comes to an end, the Browns will begin the rebuild of their front office. This regime will have to leave on a sour note after losing to Pittsburgh 24-10. Here are the ten things that jumped out at me from the loss.
1. Thad Lewis played alright. He certainly isn’t a starting caliber quarterback in the NFL but he performed admirably considering the circumstances. He finished 22-32 for 204 yards with a touchdown and an interception and did enough to keep the Browns competitive for most of the game. More importantly, he was the reason #ThadLewisFacts started trending on twitter. If you haven’t seen it yet search for it and thank me later.
2. As hard as I have been on the Browns for their lack of effort in the second half against the Redskins and last week against Denver, I have to give them credit for their effort in the season finale. They played hard to the last snap and it looked as though this game really meant something to them.
3. I said after the Browns defeated the Steelers earlier in the year that the rivalry was renewed and I was proven right today. It seemed that there was a fight in just about every TV timeout. Phil Taylor was in the midst of most of it and after the game said it was just football. He also said that players need to keep their head on a swivel when asked about his borderline hit on Kelvin Beachum. We will see if the league agrees with him.
4. I think we can put to rest the idea that the offensive line is the reason Trent Richardson has not looked good running the ball this season. Brandon Jackson, Montario Hardesty, and Chris Ogbonnaya combined for 100 yards on 24 carries. They were decisive and used their cutback lanes frequently. This tells me that Richardson has been nowhere near healthy while playing this season.
5. Phil Dawson said he couldn’t really grasp the idea that this could be his last game as a Cleveland Brown in the locker room. Dawson had a miss early in the game but bounced back with a 51 yard field goal, the second longest in Heinz Field history.
6. In all likelihood, Pat Shurmur has coached his last game with the Browns. After the game he gave a passionate speech to his team and D’Qwell Jackson even said he was fighting back tears. He would not use any excuses when talking to the media saying he didn’t win enough games and that’s what he was evaluated on. As much as the fans hated him, Shurmur was a good guy who had an uphill battle to succeed here. He obviously didn’t do a good enough job but I will miss his sound bites on 3-Deep, that’s for sure.
|Browns Coach Pat Shurmur Photo/Getty|
7. I though Travis Benjamin’s reaction to his fumble was funny. First, he jumped up and tried to run and then when he lost the football he tried to say he was touched down. You can’t have it both ways.
8. I was extremely disappointed in Josh Gordon’s effort in the little time he was in the game. He gave up on a go route on the first series, gave up on a deep route a few series later, and then looked disinterested on the play he got injured on. A lot of players “play out the string” at the end of the season but I would have liked to see some more fire from the young man.
9. Speaking of injuries, Josh Gordon left the game with an ankle injury, John Greco left with a knee injury, and Thad Lewis left at the end on what Pat Shurmur thought was a helmet to helmet hit. That is why Shurmur was so animated on the sideline, he felt like his guy got a cheap shot.
10. How fun was that fake punt? We don’t get to see plays like that very often in Cleveland but when we do its Reggie Hodges running for 50+ yards or Ray Ventrone scrambling down the sideline. By the way, Ventrone was much quicker than I thought he would be.
|Will Burge covers the Browns for ESPNCleveland.com and hosts 3 Deep, Monday - Friday from 7pm-9pm.|
Follow Will on Twitter @WillBurge
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