Browns notes: Todd Haley says passing game takes time to build

Mental errors costly in tie with Steelers according to Haley

Daryl Ruiter
September 13, 2018 - 4:54 pm
 Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Or in the Browns case, a week.

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley offered that reminder during his weekly press conference Thursday afternoon as he fielded questions about the Browns’ inability to cash in on a multitude of turnovers and opportunities to beat his former team.

“When I first got to Pittsburgh, it was not like we just plopped it out there and we were No. 1, 2, or 3 whatever on a weekly basis of putting up yards,” Haley said. “It took time, and it takes time. Now, the name of the game is that we still have to win the game. We are going to try to do it any way that we possibly can. It may not always look pretty. If the defense keeps getting six turnovers every week, that would be awesome.

The Browns only scored 7 points off the Steelers’ 6 turnovers – it came on a 1-play, 1-yard drive – Carlos Hyde’s touchdown run after Myles Garrett stripped Steelers running back James Conner and Jabrill Peppers ran it 17 yards to the 1.

“We have to take better advantage of opportunities,” Haley said.

The problem Sunday for the offense that Haley pointed to wasn’t Tyrod Taylor’s 15 of 40 passing, or just 3 targets for Josh Gordon.

“We had 28 mental errors in that game,” Haley said. “A winning performance is 10. That is way too many to think that you have a chance to win a game. We had a chance to win it, thanks mostly in part to the defense and what they did. You can’t go out and have 28 mental errors.”

The Browns offensive line was penalized 4 times – and a fifth penalty was declined.

Taylor, who was sacked 7 times, struggled all afternoon and the offensive rhythm was non-existent, likely because of protection problems.

“It is not just the line,” Haley said. “We had backs that had an issue in protection from a mental standpoint. We had tight ends that had issues in protection from a mental standpoint. All of those things we need to clean up and clean up fast.”

From Haley’s perspective, Taylor needs to trust his line, tight ends, running backs and receivers, but he also recognizes that trust takes time to build and is easier to say than it is to do early in a season with a new team.

“To be a good or big-time passing offense, you better have trust in everyone,” Haley said. “I think we are still in the process of building that trust. Me as the offensive coordinator has to take some of that into account when planning. Like I said, we can’t just throw it out there and say, ‘Hey, we are going to be a juggernaut.’

“It is a process, and as a play caller and lead play designer, we have to be very thoughtful in what we ask all of these guys to do here especially early.”

Home grown opponent – Cleveland's Glenville high school had 5 players on active rosters for Week 1 of the NFL season, tied for 5th-most in the country.

Sunday in New Orleans, the Browns will see 3 of those 5 Tarblooder alums – Ted Ginn Jr., Justin Hardee and Marshon Lattimore.

The nominees are – Several former Browns are among 102 eligible players and coaches to begin the process for the Hall of Fame class of 2019.

QB Jeff Garcia, RB Earnest Byner, WR/KR Eric Metcalf, OT Lomas Brown, LB Carl Banks, LB Clay Matthews, LB/DE Willie McGinest, coach Marty Schottenheimer and former team president Mike Holmgren (as a coach).

The list of nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and, from there, to 15 finalists in January.

The Selection Committee will meet on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Atlanta, Ga. to elect the Class of 2019 where 4 to 8 new Hall of Famers are selected. 

Big week in the big easy – Although the Browns ended their 17-game regular season losing streak and 17-game AFC North losing streak in the opener with the tie, the winless streak continues.

Head coach Hue Jackson is hopeful that streak ends at the Superdome against the only franchise the expansion Browns have had any success against – the Saints. Cleveland is 4-1 since 1999 against New Orleans, including the first win of the expansion era that came on a Hail Mary from Tim Couch to Kevin Johnson as time expired.

“It'd be great. It'd be awesome,” Jackson said. “Obviously last week, we let one slip away. Here's another opportunity for us to show we're getting better. We need to get to winning, I'll keep saying that.”

Injury report – Did not practice: DE Emmanuel Ogbah (ankle)

Limited: CB E.J. Gaines (knee), LB Christian Kirksey (shoulder/ankle), S Damarious Randall (head/neck)

Full: LB James Burgess (concussion), LT Desmond Harrison (shoulder), WR Jarvis Landry (thigh)