Browns Offensive Strategy Now Includes Handing Off to a Third-String Tight End

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Of all the bungling bungles in yesterday's loss to the Rams, the most confounding confoundment was the decision in the fourth quarter, when the Browns were in the red zone and threatening to score to pull ahead of St. Louis: handing the ball off to backup tight end Alex Smith.

Yes, not only one in a string of three straight running plays that showed Pat Shurmur had no designs on trying to score a touchdown, but, to repeat, a handoff to a third-string tight end who said after the game that he couldn't remember a single instance going back to middle school of taking a handoff. Pee Wee, high school, college, pro — no handoffs.

Shurmur explained that fullback Owen Marecic was supposed to be the target, but Marecic was injured on the sideline and Smith had subbed in for his spot. Apparently, the Browns coaches were unaware of this.

After the game, Shurmur did not welcome questions about the play. Via the PD:


"Come on, now," Shurmur said, raising his voice. "We tried to hand him the football and he dropped it, that's the thinking. There are so many things that happened in that game. Missing the kick, dropping the [ball], there were a lot of things."

Translation: we sucked in far too many aspects of the game to focus on just that one suck.

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