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Three things we wonder about the Cleveland Browns


1)     I wonder … who came up with the brilliant defensive game plan against the Saints? During Wednesday's press conference, coach Mike Pettine told the media the Browns left running holes open for New Orleans to gash through on purpose.

Wait, what? So having the Saints rush for 174 yards on the ground was by design? This fascinating concept helped win the Browns the game.

"Sometimes when you go against those elite quarterbacks, you have to have that mentality a little bit that you understand you're going to concede some rushing yards, but in the long term, the clock's moving, you're shortening the game," said Pettine. "I think they ended up with 10 possessions for the game, which is below the NFL average."

2)     I wonder … how the Ravens will prepare for Brian Hoyer? Yep, you heard that correctly. Hoyer won the chess match in Week 2 against Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, sticking with his instinct that New Orleans was in a cover-zero package at the end of the game. The 28-yard toss to Andrew Hawkins set up Billy Cundiff's winning field goal sent the city of Cleveland into a frenzy that's still going four days after the win. Hoyer is proving he's advanced at reading a defense before the snap. Baltimore needs to get creative, or Hoyer will find a place to throw the football.

"There's a familiarity with their players, their schemes, that type of thing," said Hoyer, who has never played against the Ravens. "Like I said, you just put the work in during the week and that's really what you go into during the game. Yeah, it might be nice to have played a team before, but that's not something I'm concerned about."

3)     I wonder … who will be the next player to exceed expectations in a big way? In Week One, it was running back Isaiah Crowell. Nobody could've predicted the undrafted free agent would step right into the lineup and score two touchdowns. In Week Two, it was tight end Gary Barnidge. Of his four receptions, three were on third-down and long and the last came on the biggest fourth-down of the game. A prediction for this week – wide receiver Taylor Gabriel. It wouldn't be as surprising as Crowell or Barnidge, but the depth in the Ravens secondary is not exactly the team's strong suit. Look for the Browns to take a deep chance or two with the rookie from Abilene Christian.

"I'm just a rookie trying to get better at running route," said Gabriel. "When my opportunity comes to make a big play, I'm preparing my best to be ready to do it."


Watch Inside the Cleveland Browns videos *

The first video below about Brian Hoyer's high school days at Saint Ignatius tell a ton about how the quarterback started developing his skill set right in our own backyard. Hoyer's high school coach, Chuck Kyle, said a couple things were very apparent about one of the prestigious football school's best quarterbacks ever.

"What was very noticeable to us is that he was a quarterback up here (points to his head)," said coach Kyle. "He really understood the concepts of the passing game…He also really enjoyed the hurry-up offense. He loves that. He always did. He always loved that situation with quick decisions, managing the clock, things like that."

Watch the video in its entirety and great work from our tireless video crew downstairs in Berea. 

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