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Time to see what the Browns coaches did on the bye week – Terry Pluto pre-game scribbles

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Doodles in my notebook as the Browns prepare to face the Miami Dolphins:

1. The Dolphins are 6-1 and averaging 30 ppg when Tua Tagovailoa is the starting QB. So that’s what the Browns are up against. They might be the fastest team in the NFL, at least when it comes to their passing game. They are averaging 294 yards per game through the air, second only to Kansas City.

2. Defense is therefore a big problem for the Browns in this game. I wrote a column with this question: are the Browns real or fake? I meant the defense, which has shown significant improvement in its last two games against Cincinnati and Baltimore.

3. Yes, defensive coordinator Joe Woods is on site. Not in terms of dismissal. His job is safe for the rest of the season. But if the Browns are going to be more than the 3-5 team we watched in the first half of 2022, Woods needs to keep making adjustments. The Browns are without linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (knee injury). He was drafted in 2021 for his speed and for playing in these types of games.

4. The Browns have Denzel Ward (concussion) in action again. All secondary is ready. One of the best defensive stories for the Browns was rookie cornerback Martin Emerson Jr. Browns defensive backs coach Jeff Howard said, “What stands out from the day (Emerson) was here, it’s his will to compete and his day-to-day competitive fire. . I think it rolls in games. I don’t think it’s something he disables. It (the NFL) didn’t seem too big for him.

5. Tagovailoa will test Emerson and the rest of the secondary, often using play-action passes. Miami coach Mike McDaniel is a follower of Kyle Shanahan. The goal of offense is to have enough threat to block the defense with these counterfeits – then attack midfield with throws. Yes, there are long passes. But it’s more of a rhythm attack, plenty of quick short and medium throws to Tyreek Hill and Jason Waddle. They combined for 123 catches, 1,916 yards and nine touchdowns. They have 32 catches from at least 20 yards.

6. I wish I had some faith in the Browns’ downturn in Miami, but I don’t. Tagovailoa has only been sacked eight times in seven games with 15 TDs to three interceptions. The Dolphins have decent running back Raheem Mostert, who has averaged 5.3 yards per carry in his career. He was mostly a backup ball carrier. Miami has thrown 302 passes against 202 carries this season. They’ll throw the ball because the offense is averaging just 3.9 yards per carry.

How about more gaming action passes?

Cleveland Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett was very effective after faking transfers to running backs. Joshua Gunter, cleveland.com

7. Analytics like the way the Dolphins play. Statistics show that game passes are often more effective than standard throws. Throwing in the middle of the field in the 10-15 yard range also looks good, according to the stats. The Dolphins execute a lot of very quick pre-snap changes, which can confuse the defense. Woods has had two weeks to prepare for that, so we’ll see what the Browns defense looks like.

8. Miami’s defense is giving up 24.9 points, as are the Browns. Their secondary is weak and has had a few injuries. They blitz a lot. They’re vulnerable to the pass because they play a lot of man-to-man coverage with average or worse defenders.

9. Coach Kevin Stefanski had two weeks to watch the Miami defense video. Stats show Miami’s defense giving up 4.6 yards per carry, which is perfect for the Browns to attack on the ground. But if you dig deeper, they only give up 3.7 yards per run to running backs. It was mobile QBs like Justin Fields who hurt the Dolphins running with the ball.

10. Stefanski might be tempted to pitch against Miami. It all depends on the passes. How about more gaming action? Jacoby Brissett is 31 of 45 passes after faking a running back – averaging 10.6 yards per completion.

11. Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt presented stats that the Browns are one of the best in the NFL at converting third downs when there are 6 yards or less for a first down. He said: “One of the points of attention is to have productivity on the first and second downs.”

12. That said, how about more game passes? Any time the ball appears to be heading towards Nick Chubb, it will get the defense’s attention. The same goes for faking a transfer to Kareem Hunt.

HAVE A GOOD YEAR QUIETLY

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones had 30 catches in the first eight games of the season.John Kuntz, cleveland.com

13. To win this game, the Browns offense must carry a heavy burden. This does not mean scoring 35 to 40 points. That means controlling the ball, long drives that eat away at the clock. Keep the Miami defense off the field.

14. Van Pelt mentioned that the Browns are “in the top third of red zone stats.” He is right. They rank ninth out of 32 teams. I have been dwelling on this theme for two months. The overall attack was good. It should be even better when Deshaun Watson plays, although expectations should also be tempered as he has been out for 23 months.

15. Van Pelt also mentioned the Browns went from 26th in pre-snap penalties in 2021 to third in penalties this season. He said: “We have halved our waiting penalties” compared to a year ago. These are important stats because they indicate that coaches are seeing their messages embraced by players.

16. I heard the Browns never came close to trading Hunt. The market value was not high. The Browns also realized they could do more with him in the second half of the season.

17. The Browns are delighted with the play of center Ethan Pocic, who replaced the injured Nick Harris. Pro Football Focus ranks Pocic at No. 2 center this season behind Kansas City’s Creed Humphrey.

18. Two other underrated players this season have been Sione Takitaki at linebacker and D’Anthony Bell on special teams. The coaches were particularly pleased with them as they did their mid-season review.

19. I would add Donovan Peoples-Jones to the list. He caught 30 passes for an average of 13.9 yards. He only had one drop. He has become very reliable.

20. My prediction: Miami 31, Browns 23. Too much for the Browns defense to handle. My record is 4-4.

RECENT TERRY PLUTO COLUMNS

Trying to make sense of the Browns’ first eight games

Will there be basketball success for Cleveland State after Dennis Gates?

Talking about the Guardians’ and Amed Rosario’s search for power – Hey Terry

What future for Kevin Stefanski?

Could this be the start of something big for the Browns? – Terry Pluto’s doodles

What a night for the Browns, who played the game as they should.

A heart-to-heart conversation with the Browns to help fans understand

Still excited about Guardians? What about Myles Straw? – Hi Terri

The secret reason Cincinnati is so much better than people think

Browns Should Trade Kareem Hunt: Here’s Why

Screaming in the locker room, a 4-game losing streak – Terry Pluto’s Browns Scribbles

Browns are very good at doing one thing in 2022: being frustrating

Browns & Ravens, two underperforming teams having a frustrating season – Terry Pluto pre-game scribbles

What about the Game 5 starter? And Jose Ramirez? – Terry Pluto’s keeper doodles

Terry’s Talkin Browns: Why do players talk about working harder?

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