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Pass protection a weakness for Cleveland

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Posted Nov. 11, 2011 @ 2:55 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Pass protection is a considerable concern for the Browns as they enter the second half of their schedule. Cleveland had significant problems with Houston's blitzes in Week Nine, when QB Colt McCoy was sacked four times and hit eight times overall. However, head coach Pat Shurmur noted that there was only one case where an unblocked rusher was unaccounted for at Houston, though he noted that the pass protection did have to improve. Nevertheless, it is clear that conditions are ripe for clubs to continue testing the Browns with the blitz. The Browns don't have a blue-chip target who merits special attention for opposing defenses, nor has their offense shown an ability to consistently stretch the field. Also, their running game has been hampered by injuries to Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty, forcing the untested Chris Ogbonnaya and Thomas Clayton into bigger roles.

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