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The view from Cleveland Browns media


The view from Cleveland Browns media

In Cleveland, much of the Monday morning quarterbacking about the Ravens-Browns game centers on Browns coach Pat Shurmur. Sure, some of the criticism is focused on the failed fourth-and-2 call from the Browns' 28 with just under four minutes left. But there is plenty of criticism left for the Browns' disorganization and other curious play calling by the Browns in the Ravens' 25-15 win.

 Here is how some of the Cleveland media saw the game:

Craig Lyndall, Waitingfornextyear.com

"Pat Shurmur is his own worst enemy sometimes. With the game on the line and facing 4th and 2 from their own 28 yard line and he seemed to want to prove that he’s learned to be aggressive. Never mind that the previous controversial fourth down plays in question occurred at the Browns’ opponent 40-ish yard lines.

Shurmur decided to roll the dice for once, and unfortunately for him it was absolutely the wrong call.

The Browns ran one of the worst-looking plays of the game with Weeden air mailing Greg Little and the Browns basically handed the Ravens the ball in field goal range trailing by a single score 22-15. Of course the Ravens moved the ball a few feet and made it a two possession game."

Terry Pluto, Plain Dealer

"Games like this remind you that being a Browns fan means suffering. It means being teased.

It means throwing passes to Alex Smith in the red zone, sideways passes to the fullback that have zero chance of going for a first down -- much less a touchdown.

It means with the game on the line and third-and-4 situation, the Browns threw a two-yard pass to ... not the fullback, but receiver Greg Little. It means going for it on fourth down, and looking a bit panicky with a forced pass play that failed."

Marla Ridenour, Akron Beacon-Journal

"A Browns team that arrived at Cleveland Browns Stadium upbeat and predicting victory left angry. And judging by their silence, much of that anger was directed at coach Pat Shurmur....

After nine games, the Browns’ offensive operation is still a work in progress, at times a comedy of errors. The play-calling is conservative one week and riverboat gambler the next. The responsibility falls on Shurmur, even if the gaffes are not all his doing.

Against the Ravens, the most head-scratching moment came with 3:53 remaining when Shurmur went for it on fourth-and-2 from his own 28 with the Browns trailing by seven points. Receiver Greg Little ran a slant and said he was open, but Weeden overthrew him. ...

But the fourth-and-2 decision might not have been what angered Shurmur’s players. Even more disconcerting was the amateurish operation on the sideline. The Browns couldn’t get play calls in and couldn’t get the proper personnel on the field. High school teams are run more efficiently."

Jeff Schudel, Willoughby News-Herald

Just when the Browns think they’re on the right track, the NFL orders them to play another game and they derail again.

Last week, the Browns scored one touchdown but made it stand up for a 7-6 squeaker over the Chargers. A win is a win, players in the locker room said, and they felt momentum going into their home game with the Ravens on Sunday.

 Splat went the momentum Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium against those intimidators from Baltimore, and splat went the hopes of riding into the bye on a high.

The Browns were beaten by the Ravens for the 10th straight time, this time 25-15 on a day when they packed a month’s worth of offensive blunders into three hours of football that made it fair to wonder what the heck they learned in training camp and the first eight games of the season."

Bud Shaw, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Let's call the Pat Shurmur Era "The Longest Yard-and-a-Half." ...

What (new owner Jimmy Haslam)  saw in the Browns' seventh loss in nine games was wasted timeouts, more impotence on third-and-short and his coach unconvincingly masquerading as a riverboat gambler. Even with Halloween delayed in northeast Ohio, Shurmur picked the wrong time and place for the role playing.

The Browns' head coach no doubt feels unfairly second-guessed. In this case, not guilty, your honor. This was a first-guess. Trailing by a TD. Almost four minutes remaining. Fourth-and-two at the Browns 28 after another confounding third-down completion short of the first-down sticks. ...

With much friendlier field position in Indianapolis, Shurmur punted. Sunday, he went for it, despite a day of mystifying communication issues on offense and scattershot accuracy from quarterback Brandon Weeden. Fail and you give the Ravens the ball already in field-goal range. And that's exactly what they did. A fourth-down pass intended for Greg Little soared out of reach. Ravens 25, Browns 15."


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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst


Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 


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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."