Browns gain valuable experience from loss

Posted Aug 24, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- Coach Rob Chudzinski felt the Cleveland Browns’ loss to the Indianapolis Colts was a good learning experience for the young team.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Preseason games are more about learning lessons and adjusting to schemes and situations than they are about wins and losses.

That was the message Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski delivered following Saturday’s 27-6 preseason loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Tonight was a good test for us, coming in here and playing against a team that’s a playoff team, a very good football team,” Chudzinski said. “We did not do the things that we had been doing well and it speaks to us needing to be more consistent. Some of the things we had been doing well in the first two games, being efficient and avoiding some of the self-inflicted negatives, hurt us in the first half.

“We had a turnover, some penalties, mental mistakes in some critical situations that hurt us or hurt our drive opportunities and also extended some drives as well for Indianapolis. I give them a lot of credit. They played very well. They were sharp. They have an outstanding quarterback in Andrew Luck and showed a lot of things that he can do.”

Before losing to the Colts, the Browns had totaled 51 points in preseason wins over the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions. Their first-team lineup had surrendered only three points in three quarters of work before allowing 17 to the Colts.

Chudzinski is eager to see how his team approaches this week of practice, the preseason finale against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, and the preparations for the regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 8.

“We want to see how guys respond, how they respond to different situations, the coaching and the learning experiences that we’ll have along the way,” Chudzinski said. “This is part of the process, what we’re looking for, and I feel as though we’re trending upward.

“When you get a chance to play against a team like this, you get an assessment of where you’re at. On the road and all the things we had talked about going into the game, those are all the challenges that you have, and it was good for our guys to experience now, and it’ll help us in the long run if we approach it in the right way and learn from it.”

In addition to the Browns’ first turnover of the preseason, a fumble on a Greg Little reception across the middle of the field during the first half, the Browns committed nine penalties for 84 yards. Learning from those mistakes made in the loss to the Colts will come by studying the film and making the corrections in practice ahead of the opener.

“You always want to look good,” Chudzinski said. “You always want to win and play well. The things that I saw out there, they’re correctable, and with a young team and the group that we have, those guys will see that. We’ll keep working in the direction we need to go.”

One of the things Chudzinski will work on is improving the Browns on third down. They converted five of the 16 chances they had on third down, and conversely, the defense allowed the Colts to convert six of their 13 chances.

“We weren’t as efficient on third down as what we had been and what we’d like to be,” Chudzinski said. “When you’re playing a good football team, you just can’t make those kinds of mistakes or they’ll capitalize. That’s a lesson that we need to learn. We can learn a lot of things from this game. We’ll get back and watch the tape, make the corrections and move on.”

Click here for the photo gallery from the Browns-Colts game.

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