Quick Hitters

Quick thought and observations coming from the Browns win in Oakland.

- Say what you want, this Browns team is improving and much better than a season ago. While the game is ultimately judged on the record, it's easy to see this team is developing.

- Head coach Pat Shurmur draws the ire of fans and media with some of game-day decisions, but the head coach is also gaining a better grasp of his game-day duties. We can sit back and criticize his play-calling and issues with disrupting the flow of the game, this team comes out prepared and is very competitive.

- The fourth and two call was gutsy of Shurmur and showed confidence in his offense. Now, I wonder why he didn't challenge the spot on the QB sneak and used a time out.

- As the season has progressed, the Browns have become increasingly physical and it showed in Oakland. The Raiders got physical with the Browns at the point of attack and the Browns punched the Raiders in the mouth. Watching some of the blocks and push coming from offensive linemen was good to see.

- The Oakland Raiders defense isn't one to stop the opposition, but QB Brandon Weeden threw the ball well today. It was refreshing to see Weeden look downfield and make some very good throws. This aspect has been missing from the Browns offense in past weeks.

- While the Browns offensive line has done a good job protecting Weeden, the run blocking remains a concern. Far too often the defense penetrates the line of scrimmage, leaving little room for consistent positive plays coming from RB Trent Richardson.

- G Shawn Lauvao's inconsistency drives me nuts. I love the aggressiveness; I wish he had better feet.

- RT Mitchell Schwartz is playing well. The Browns may ultimately end-up with the best combination of tackles in the league due to the excellence of LT Joe Thomas.

- Rookie WR Josh Gordon makes it look too easy on the playing field. There are very few WR's in this game that can swipe a ball out of mid-air one handed like he can and continue with his momentum. Gordon's route-running is improving and he has the potential to be a legitimate number-one rec eiver and he is getting close.

- WR Greg Little made a couple nice grabs, but nothing bigger than the huge block he laid on Mohamed Massaquoi's 54-yard reception.

- Though the defensive line only got to Raiders QB Carson Palmer, there was an element of pressure throughout the game. Looking forward, the Browns really need a pass rushing presence to take pressure off the defensive backs.

- CB Buster Skrine plays with all he has, but his size continues to be an issue. The young man simply cannot match-up with bigger receivers and he doesn't trust his game enough to play without grabbing onto the receiver.

- Veteran Sheldon Brown keeps plugging away and used his physical nature on Raiders receivers throughout the game.

- Without a doubt, CB Joe Haden and S T.J. Ward are significant influences on game-day for the Browns.

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