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What We Learned: Browns-Jets

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Browns lose a tough one, but good signs are still showing.

I love this team. I love how we don't quit. I love the toughness. 

We may not win the Super Bowl this season, but we are headed in the right direction.

On to the five:

1. Colt McCoy is now the face of this franchise. Don't believe me, take it from his team mates:

"Colt's leading us" - Mohammed Massaqoui

"No.12 is a special player. The poise is unreal for a rookie. I never saw anything like that for a rookie. The way the offense plays so hard for him. That whole drive [end of regulation], to see a rookie do that with calm [is unusual]" - Sheldon Brown

You still not convinced? Watch his press conference after the game. When asked about Chansi Stuckey's fumble, a play that very well could have cost the Browns a win, McCoy had an answer that just reeks of a leader;

"It's not Stuckey's fault, It's not anyone's fault on offense. I need to make plays."

How refreshing is it to hear that? Someone who actually accepts the role as leader and has no qualms with having the buck stopping at his door? That is a kid who understands what being a leader of men entails. Accepting fault even when it isn't your fault. Colt McCoy is the leader of the Cleveland Browns.

2. Injuries hurt us today. The loss of Sheldon Brown meant too many appearances by Ray Ventrone in coverage. The loss of Scott Fujita caused our linebackers to wear down too soon. While not all that surprising, it does show that the Browns still have some work to do in shaping this roster. 

I like Ventrone, but as a special teams player, not a rotational defensive sub. The Browns lack of quality depth hurt us in the second half when the Jets went on long, time consuming drives. We are closer than we have been in years, but we still have some room to grow.

3. The Browns need to attack the edges of a defense more. McCoy looks very comfortable throwing crossing patterns and down the middle of the field, but he seems reluctant to throw to the outside. Without getting a better view it is impossible to know if the WR's are open or not, but part of me wonders if McCoy just doesn't have anyone to throw to out there?

With all that said, Evan Moore needs to be a bigger part of the passing offense. His size alone is a mis-match for even the best cover corners (anyone else notice Revis struggling with him?). He has plus hands and seems to know how to use his size to shield the defensive backs.

4. We may be 3-6, but there isn't a team in the NFL that we can't go toe-to-toe with. As I write this, I am watching the Patriots, a team that was whacked last week in Cleveland, dismantle the Steelers

The way that this team plays like the Browns (runs the ball, plays tough defense, punches you in the face) can hang with anyone. The Browns are slowly, but surely, becoming a team that is no longer an "easy win" but a game that you as a team have to be up for. Because if you don't, the Browns will hammer you.

5. Just so we can live it again.

2:35 left. Browns have 3 timeouts. Ball on our own 41 yard line. Need a touchdown to tie.

1st and 10 CLE 41: McCoy incomplete pass left

2nd and 10 CLE 41: McCoy to Watson for 9 yards middle

3rd and 1 50 yard line: McCoy sneak for 1 yard FIRST DOWN

2:00 WARNING

1st and 10 NYJ 49: McCoy incomplete pass middle

2nd and 10 NYJ 49: McCoy to Watson for 11 yards middle FIRST DOWN

1st and 10 NYJ 38: McCoy incomplete pass right

2nd and 10 NYJ 38: McCoy incomplete pass right

3rd and 10 NYJ 38: McCoy to Watson for 17 yards right FIRST DOWN

1st and 10 NYJ 21: McCoy to Moore for 18 yards right FIRST DOWN

1st and Goal NYJ 3: McCoy to Massaquoi for TOUCHDOWN

I never doubted it for a second. We have a Quarterback of the future now.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.