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McGahee: 'We need to help' the D

Posted Oct 21, 2013

Cleveland Browns running back Willis McGahee and linebacker D’Qwell Jackson feel the players need to help out the other side of the football by executing better.

For success in the NFL, all 53 men on the roster must play in unison and complement each other.

After the Cleveland Browns’ 31-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field Sunday, veteran running back Willis McGahee said the offense needed to do a better job of upholding its end of the bargain.

“I look at it as we’re not helping our defense,” McGahee said. “We can do a lot of things better from everybody on the offensive side of the ball. We put our defense out there too much last night, and they’re going to break if you keep putting them out there more and more. They’re going to give sooner or later.

“As an offense, we need to do a whole lot better because we don’t want to be that team that relies on the defense the whole time. We need to put points on the board. We need to get good drives going. If we get good drives going and put our defense on the sideline for like six, seven minutes, that helps out a whole lot.”

In addition to helping the defense, McGahee feels the Browns’ offense needs to help itself, particularly the quarterback position.

Against the Packers, McGahee and the Browns rushed for 83 yards on 23 carries. As a whole, the offense totaled 216 yards and converted only seven of 18 third-down attempts (39 percent) at Lambeau Field.

“We watched film, and basically, it’s the little things: not finishing blocks or mental errors,” McGahee said. “Lining up wrong, that’s just killing us. I think that’s the biggest part. We’ve got a quarterback that we need to help. That’s everybody, the O-line, the wide receivers, the running backs. We can’t put all the pressure on (Brandon Weeden), and we’re not helping him right now.

“It’s hard for a quarterback to come out and be perfect. At the end of the day, I take my hat off to him because he still walks around with a smile on his face. He’s still competitive, and that right there shows what kind of character he has.”

Defensive captain and inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said his side of the football “can’t afford to make crucial mistakes,” which includes missing tackles, and nowhere was that more evident than on the Packers’ first possession of the game.

Green Bay tight end Jermichael Finley gave the Packers a 7-0 lead over the Browns with a 10-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Aaron Rodgers with 12:22 left to play in the first quarter.

Finley ran to the left of the formation, caught the pass and spun his way through a tackle attempt from Browns linebacker Craig Robertson. Then, he worked his way through two more attempts from safety Tashaun Gipson and cornerback Buster Skrine before pushing his way across the goal line.

“We did a poor job of tackling against Green Bay, and we knew that going into the game, they don’t take a ton of shots downfield,” Jackson said. “They rely on a lot of quicker throws and allow their athletes to make plays. The first two touchdowns, it was obvious that we were missing tackles, and a one-yard gain ends up turning into a touchdown. Those types of things, we’re much better than that. It just comes down to fundamentals.”