By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
Extra Points …
Confidence in Cousins: There will be no changing of the guard on the right side of the Browns’ line.
A day after right guard Oniel Cousins was called for four penalties – two for holding, one false start and one for hands to the face – in the Browns’ 23-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins, coach Rob Chudzinski restated his confidence in the six-year veteran.
“The penalties, we’ve got to eliminate,” Chudzinski said. “Oneil has worked and improved and we need to have him continue to improve.”
The option of moving in seventh-round rookie Garrett Gilkey to the starting position has been ruled out by the coaches.
“Oneil has gotten the majority of the reps. It’s important that the guy getting the reps gives you the best chance. I’m confident in him,” Chudzinski said.
To his credit, Cousins faced the music after the game and again on Monday. I can’t remember a guard getting this much attention – negative, or otherwise – after one game.
“It’s great they believe in me,” Cousins said. “I believe in myself, like I told him. I watched the tape. I know what I have to improve on. Whether it’s going out there and taking 100 reps by myself or working with a coach before and after practice. The most important thing is just to get better.
“It’s muscle memory. Do 100 reps, so that when you’re in the game, it just flows. I’m able to play faster. Use what I’m good at, my athleticism, and be physical.”
On to Baltimore: In the NFL, there is no time to wallow. Next up for Cousins are the Ravens – his former team. Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, now joined by Elvis Dumervil.
“They’re great players, but … we’re not rattled,” Cousins said. “We just have to do what we need to do. I like to look at it as guys just wearing numbers.
“I am a Brown now. I used to be a Raven. I’m playing for the Cleveland Browns, not to prove anything to them.
The Ravens waived Cousins in August of 2011. At the time, coach John Harbaugh said he thought Cousins’ future was at guard. Sunday was Cousins’ second career start at right guard. It’s a position decimated here by the high ankle sprain injuries suffered in preseason by Shawn Lauvao and Jason Pinkston. Neither is ready to come back yet.
Breakdowns on the right side of the Browns’ line was exacerbated by tackle Mitchell Schwartz’s tough day against Dolphins sack artist Cameron Wake.
“There’s things I could’ve done better, things Mitch could’ve done better,” Cousins said. “We’re going to learn from our mistakes. You’re going to see a better game from me on Sunday.”
No moves planned: Brandon Weeden suffered a career-high six sacks in the game and was hit on 10 other occasions, according to the official game summary. He said it was the most he’s ever been hit in a game. His body was a giant welt after the game.
“One thing we saw, we saw his resiliency and toughness,” Chudzinski said. “If anybody had questions about that prior to this game, look at the game. He’s pretty tough, kept bouncing back. He’s fine (Monday). Might have a few bruises.”
Chudzinski said the protection problems have to be fixed from inside the room -- tweaking blocking schemes and improving the players on the roster.
“We’re always looking. But from a coaching standpoint, I’m always a believer of the answer being in the room,” he said.
“There’s some scheme things we can do and will do. Also, it’s a matter of execution, whether it was chips or some things we had planned, we’ll get those things straightened out.”
|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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