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Browns' special-teams play a worry

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Posted Oct. 28, 2011 @ 12:42 a.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

The Browns' special-teams play, a strength in recent seasons, has been a major weakness recently. The kickoff coverage faltered in the Week Six loss at Oakland, surrendering a 101-yard return to the Raiders' Jacoby Ford. The following week, a punt-return score by the Seahawks' Leon Washington was nullified by a penalty. The Browns also have had far too many misadventures on field goals. Seahawks DE Red Bryant blocked a pair of kicks in Week Seven, splitting through the line both times. Also, the Browns gave up a touchdown on a Raiders fake field goal. The special teams remain strong in some areas — PK Phil Dawson is dependable, and RS Joshua Cribbs is a standout — but they look far more vulnerable in other areas than they were a season ago. In general, the coverage units, which have had some personnel turnover from a season ago, don't appear as strong. This is no small concern for a Browns club that doesn't score many points. 

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