Why didn't Trent Richardson get more carries? And 3 more questions after Browns Week 1 loss
Connor Kiesel, newsnet5.com
5:08 AM, Sep 9, 2013
6:27 AM, Sep 9, 2013
CLEVELAND - The Browns lost their season opener for the 14th time in 15 years. If you have the solution to that problem, please report to Mr. Jimmy Haslam's office.
There are some questions from the loss to the Dolphins to which there may be easier to try to answer:
Why didn't Trent Richardson get more carries?
Fantasy owners may already be frenzied. Highly-rated back Trent Richardson carried the rock just 13 times Sunday for 47 yards. Brandon Weeden threw the ball more than 50 times.
Before jumping to conclusions about Richardson's workload, bear this in mind: only six running backs got 20 or more carries so far in Week 1. Only one back, the Patriots' Shane Vereen, eclipsed the 100-yard mark and a quarterback, the Raiders' Terrelle Pryor, is the NFL's leading rusher.
The NFL isn't the ground and pound, one-back heavy league it once was. Running backs split carries for almost every team.
Richardson didn't get a carry in the fourth quarter and Head Coach Rob Chudzinski attempted to answer the question of why - kinda, sorta, maybe not really - after the game:
"I think how games go is gonna dictate that sometimes. We were trying to play from behind, you're gonna throw the ball a little bit more. If you're playing with the lead, you're gonna have a chance to run it a little bit more. As things are happening, you have to adjust to the game as well."
Did Rob Chudzinski consider pulling offensive lineman Oneil Cousins?
No. Despite Cousins' four penalties and struggles moving over to the right guard position, Chudzinski has faith in him.
"He's the best we have and he's gonna get the job done for us. I'm confident. Again, it's one game. Oneil made the improvements and he's gonna get better," Chudzinski said.
Brandon Weeden was sacked six times and hit 16 times Sunday.
How good can Jordan Cameron be in the new coaching staff's offense?
Cameron was one of the bright spots in the Week 1 loss. Norv Turner and Rob Chudzinski have perennially produced strong tight ends in their offensive systems and Cameron seems poised to continue that trend.
The third-year tight end out of USC caught nine balls for 108 yards and a touchdown. Weeden targeted him 13 times, so he's obviously going to be a focal point of this offense. Cameron, a former basketball player, is extremely athletic and has the potential to have a breakout season.
What's up with the secondary?
They didn't look very good.
While the rush defense was stout, allowing just seven yards in the first half and 20 yards rushing on 23 carries for the whole game, the pass defense was picked apart.
Ryan Tannehill stayed away from Joe Haden, who covered offseason acquisition Mike Wallace, but did take aim at other options with ease. Brian Hartline was targeted 15 times, catching nine passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Gibson racked up 77 yards on seven receptions and fullback Charles Clay caught six balls for 54 yards.
Chris Owens was victimized much of the time he was on the field and Buster Skrine again looked overmatched in situations. A shutdown corner is a strength that becomes mitigated when your other corners that quarterbacks attack can't shut down their men.