Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 8/14/12
First and 10 with the Browns returns for the 2012 season, and in honor of the 2011 offense well start the new season with First and 15:1) Watching the sloppiness of the exhibition game in Detroit, the thought came to mind: What changes when this happens under new ownership? Randy Lerners style was to hire people and leave them alone. Like really leave them alone. He might ask, but he would not interfere, and the few times he showed emotion in the owners box he would leave it there. Haslam has given every indication he will be more involved, more hands-on and more probing. So when a team has eight penalties I wonder how hell handle things.2) What can Haslam do, you ask? He cant just go in and fire people well he cant until the midway point of the season and he cant throw bookshelves around well, looking at his Hochuli guns I guess he could, technically. But he sure can raise holy heck and make it known that he will not sit back and tolerate nonsense. Not that the first exhibition game was complete nonsense, just that a fair part of it was. A different owner could make it very clear that he will not tolerate things like off-field issues or sloppy play. He could get in a coachs grill and make it very apparent that the coachs livelihood depends on how he handles things like excessive penalties. This is where a change in ownership can change the dynamic of a team. The owner creates the culture and environment where people work. Some owners like tension, some like hugs. Where Haslam fits once he officially takes over will be interesting to watch.3) Why would an owner create tension for a coach? The question is why not? Coaches create those kind of situations all the time for players. Pat Shurmur admitted as much when he said the team called some running plays in Detroit where they knew a guy would be unblocked. The idea: To see how Montario Hardesty handled it, to see if he stuck his nose in and ran hard. Hardestys response will tell the coaching staff something about him. Same is true from owner to coach. The owner will support and back the coach, but he also might challenge him. And if the coach doesnt respond well the owner will know something more about him. This is a dynamic that might have been missing a bit the past few years.4) Pat Shurmurs consternation about Twitter caused a ministir this week. Its the Browns, so things like this have shelf life. Shurmur said after the game that Mohamed Massaquoi had a concussion, but Massaquoi took to Twitter to say he didnt. Tuesday Massaquoi said he had no symptoms, but the press box observer thought the hit he took warranted his being examined. Its logical, because players have shown they will conceal a head injury to return to the game. Shurmur didnt seem to appreciate the fact that Massaquois tweet was reported. Interesting. Because Massaquoi was answering a question with fans the same way hed probably answer it with reporters. This reveals a few things, which have to go by letters since this entire item started with a number: a) Players will almost always minimize an injury to get back on the field; b) Shurmur and Massaquoi were both telling the truth, as they saw it; and c) There remain a lot of folks still sensitive about the Colt McCoy fallout from a year ago -- Shurmur made a point to say at least twice in his postgame news conference that the Browns were following proper protocols. Nobody really doubted they would.5) I continue to wonder why the Browns dont play Brandon Weeden more in preseason, say a half in the first game, three quarters in the second and third and a half in the fourth. The guy is a 28-year-old rookie. Let him play. The argument against, of course, is twofold. Putting him out behind the second-team offensive line increases the risk of injury, and keeping the first team in longer limits the amount of time the coaching staff has to evaluate other players. That being said, it seems to me that getting the starter ready is more important than evaluating the guys who take the 46th through 53rd spots on the roster. The Browns kept Mitchell Schwartz in the first game for a half. Is risking him to injury easier to do? Shurmur gave a simple no when I asked if he thought of giving Weeden more time than usual because of his rookie status. I think its important to evaluate everybody, Shurmur said. But I do think that if you mix up too many ones with twos then the game gets a little sloppy at times, and I dont want to do that.7) This obviously is the moment to cue the first team never looks sloppy jokes.8) Sure is good to see Trent Richardson has that Subway commercial. Before hes even played a down.9) There has been a change in Shurmur on the field this camp. He seems to be holding folks more accountable. Hes jumped Josh Gordon, hes told Montario Hardesty to catch the ball with two hands not one -- Hes a running back, not a circus act -- and he moved Trevin Wade ahead of Buster Skrine and James Dockery this week as Dmitri Patterson probably will miss due to his ankle injury. This could simply be the head coach being more assertive, or it could be the difference between a coach feeling his way, as Shurmur did last season when he met his guys the day before camp started, and a guy who knows he has to produce with this new owner in town.10) Everything you hear about Joe Haden indicates that the only way he doesnt miss the first four games is if he appeals and the legal process drags out. Haden has done a lot to enjoy his celebrity status in Cleveland -- including in the community -- but at times its seemed like hes been living too fast. Put it this way: Would a player like Haden be a celebrity in any other NFL city?11) I continue to insist that one of the more underrated Seinfelds of alltime is the time George discovered the best bathroom in midtown -- Exquisite marble, high ceilings and a flush like a jet engine, George said. So George took Kramer there, and through happenstance Kramer wound up getting a job at the office housing the bathroom. Eventually, they just had to let him go:12) Shurmur hates hearing about injuries, but they are significant and lead to a lot of ifs. If Richardson isnt ready for the opener, the growth of the running game is slowed. If Haden is suspended and Pattersons ankle problem lingers the Browns would have coverage issues. If Scott Fujitas suspension is not lifted that means two of three starting linebackers will be out. If Massaquoi has concussion issues (he said hes fine) and Josh Gordon doesnt somehow transform himself, the receiver spot is back to Greg Little and who knows what else. If, if, if. Its only the second game of preseason, so time is on the Browns side, but thats just too many ifs for a team trying to find itself.Which wraps it up.Whats that, you say?First-and-15 only has 12 items.Remember: This is to honor the 2011 Browns.So we finish three short.
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