Yes, it was ugly.
Take away the unveiling of the new video boards, and the only reason for Cleveland Browns fans to say, “Wow!” at FirstEnergy Stadium Saturday night was in reaction to how badly the home team performed on offense and defense.
Coming in the third game of the preseason, the supposed “tune up” for the regular season, made the egg the Browns laid against the St. Louis Rams hard to digest for anyone connected with the team -- emotionally or directly.
And that included Mike Pettine.
“I believe in the coaching staff,” Pettine said. “I believe in the players in that locker room, that we have a system that we’re trying to implement. You don’t get in mid-season form implementing something new overnight, but it’s certainly no time for us to panic.”
New systems are being learned on both sides of the ball. During the preseason, the Browns, like every NFL team, do very little in the way of specific preparation for opponents.
Not only do they take almost no time to try to exploit the weaknesses of the opposition, but they also steer clear of providing their own players the Xs and Os with which they’ll work beginning with the Sept. 7 regular-season opener at Pittsburgh.
“I think when we get into true game plan situations that we’re going to take advantage of what our guys do well and avoid some situations where it might not be advantageous for us to be doing things like that,” Pettine said. “I’m confident that by the time we get to Pittsburgh that we’ll have a good game plan and we’re going to put our players on offense in the best position to be successful.”
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE NFL ...
ST. LOUIS RAMS COACH JEFF FISHER has named Shaun Hill the team’s starting quarterback to replace Sam Bradford, who has been lost for the season after re-tearing the ACL he first tore last year Saturday night against the Browns. Hill, 34, is beginning his 13th NFL season and the most extensive action he has seen in his career is starting 10 games in 2010 for the Detroit Lions. “Shaun’s our guy,” Fisher told reporters. “We brought him here. He’s got experience. We’ve got all the confidence in the world in him.”
HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK DAN MARINO has returned to the front office of his former team, the Miami Dolphins, for the second time. He will be a special advisor. “Dan is and will always be an important part of the Miami Dolphins and we are excited to get him involved in a more formal way,” Dolphins chairman of the board and managing partner Stephen Ross said. “Dan is unquestionably one of the greatest players in NFL history and his enthusiasm and passion for the Dolphins is inspiring to everyone here.”>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com. We take your questions at 216-578-0850 and via Twitter @Browns_Daily.