NFL Preseason Week 2 Notes: Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns

Detroit Offense vs. Cleveland Defense

  • WR Calvin Johnson did not play
  • LB Kruger is an intelligent and unselfish player. Sets edge and forces ball carrier back inside to teammates.
  • Cleveland front 7 is getting solid push on the first drive, especially on the right side of the defense.
  • DE Rubin dropped into zone coverage in the middle of the field on 3rd down on first drive.
  • DET OL gets no push on 1st 2 runs on the 2nd drive. Being dominated at this point.
  • DT Taylor is a load in the middle, hard to move.
  • 3rd & 7 on 2nd drive: Safety blitz by CLE.
  • Browns are stunting up front and mixing up pressure packages, especially on 3rd down.
  • Browns’ defense pursues well and flows to the ball with speed – a sign they’re well coached.
  • LB Kruger playing standing up and hand in dirt (mostly on 3rd down).
  • LB Sheard plays with strength and power on the edge. LTs must focus on anchoring against him.
  • ILB Craig Robertson is flashing in both run and pass – complete linebacker.
  • Browns’ defense continues to exhibit great effort.
  • QB Stafford’s mechanics are still shoddy. Never consistent in any way.
  • Stafford overall has not been bad – quick with the ball for the most part but needs better ball location.
  • Lions are showing no ability to run the ball either inside or outside.
  • RB Reggie Bush is essentially another WR on the field and defenses will treat him as such.
  • RB Bush still has speed to get to the edge but is best when in space.
  • Lions’ OL getting zero push at the point of attack. RBs have no room to run.
  • DT Taylor moves incredibly well for 6-3, 330+ lbs.
  • TE Pettigrew is a willing blocker in the run game and is effective. Probably his best quality.
  • DET WRs are running very vanilla routes. No attempts to misdirect DBs at all, not creating separation.
  • ILB Craig Robertson covered DET WR Nate Burleson in man coverage in the slot and was in his back pocket the entire time. A poor route by Burleson but Robertson was phenomenal in coverage nonetheless.

Detroit Defense vs. Cleveland Offense

  • QB Weeden begins with 3 well thrown and well placed balls.
  • Browns’ OL is getting leverage in run game – Double teaming Suh and Fairley early.
  • Weeden showing poise and confidence in the pocket. Not rattled at all.
  • CLE OL needs to get off combo blocks faster. Need to throw block and get to second level with more quickness.
  • DET’s back 7 are out of position in coverage consistently. Need to be in a better place to make a play on a throw, and too many receivers running free.
  • Lions’ LBs are poor in zone exchange. Crossing WRs causes major issues for them.
  • WR Josh Gordon is a legit #1 NFL WR. Speed, size, and can run the entire route tree.
  • Weeden needs to improve in the finer details of the QB position: Things such as selling the play action better and following through with the roll out after handing off on a stretch play.
  • DT Suh is disruptive and plays with ferocity and violence. Needs to learn to turn it off. Will continue to rack up personal fouls this season if he doesn’t.
  • Weeden doesn’t appear to have freedom at the LOS to change the play.
  • RB Richardson doesn’t seem to have the same explosiveness I expected. Not hitting holes at full speed.
  • RB Richardson a powerful runner between the tackles and possesses enough speed to get to the edge. For his size, gets up to speed quickly when he stops his feet.
  • DT Fairley is a force in the middle. He’s smart with a great size/speed combination physically. Great example as he identified a screen and chased down the RB at the sideline.
  • Fairley shows good effort and active hands. I think Fairley is more important to the Lions’ defense than Suh is at this point.
  • Rookie DE Ansah flashed but overall inconsistent. Still raw and needs technique work.  Instincts should come with experience.
  • LG Greco is phenomenal. Took on both Suh and Fairley 1-0n-1 and stonewalled them.
  • DEs Idonije and Young gives DET some serious depth at DE. Both played well and showed ability to get to the QB.
  • TE Cameron has tremendous athletic ability and hands. Reminds me a little of Jimmy Graham with his athleticism.
  • QB Weeden knows that he can throw it high to Cameron and Cameron will be the only person with a chance to come down with the ball.
  • TE Cameron is not a blocker. Lacks the ability to anchor against DEs.
  • Backup FB Marecic looks lost. Ogbonnaya much better. Shouldn’t be concerned about his job.
  • Lions LBs get caught in the wash too much. Press behind the front 4 and then get caught inside when the RB bounces outside.

Brandon Weeden’s most critical issue as a QB is that he stares down his receivers with great frequency. He needs to master the art of eye manipulation and he could become a very good QB in the NFL. Weeden’s tendency to stare down receivers will be the main reason for most of his interceptions. Below is a string of tweets detailing the negative impact that focusing on one receiver from the outset of a play can create problems.

 

 

 

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