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Ryan won't fall on his sword

By Marla Ridenour Published: November 27, 2009

Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has not shied away from taking the blame this season for the team's 32nd-ranked defense.

But Ryan wouldn't do that when he spoke Friday about the Browns blowing a 24-3 first-quarter lead in Sunday's 38-37 loss at Detroit.

''It’s not all me this week,'' Ryan said. ''I usually like to say it’s all me, bull crap. It’s a lot of people last week. I don’t like to say anything that’s negative about our players and I won’t. But I know one thing, we sure have to play better than that to beat Cincinnati.''

Asked if he was disappointed or stunned by the loss, Ryan said, ''A little bit of both. You get 37 points, you better win and we didn’t do that. I made sure the players know that. You don’t relocate your whole family up here to lose that game. It was disappointing. The bottom line is we can’t do that. Back in the days with Don Coryell on offense, you still had to play defense and we didn’t play a lick of it last week. Hopefully we’ll rebound against an outstanding offense with a great quarterback.''

Ryan, like coach Eric Mangini, said much of the Browns' problems against Detroit were caused by poor technique. But Ryan said poor communication also contributed.

''Poor communication does lead to it. I believe a good defense is a noisy defense,'' he said. ''They talk to each other. You have to be alert for certain situations and when they occur you need to know how to respond to them. We gave up some huge plays.

''We got crossed up on a double move deep for Calvin Johnson’s big play for a 75-yard touchdown. We had a play that we should have been pretty good on, we call an F close with a fullback there and two halfbacks and he runs down the middle of the defense. We should have seen that play. I think David Bowens, who has good experience, did hit the receiver and Kaluka (Maiava) needs to see it. Instead of just taking a simple turn, he tried to spin around like they do in ballet. That wasn’t what we teach and that’s not we’re looking for and that hurt us.

"We gave up crossing routes in zone coverage, where we have a zone to one side, and man to the other. When you have a man coming to you, you have to roll with that coverage. You can’t just look at the quarterback and let a guy cross your face. That happened to experienced guys a couple times. (Those are) things that just can’t happen for you to play good defense. That happened and it’s disappointing, obviously, and embarrassing, to me.''

Ryan said the Browns also ''blew it'' on the Lions' 10-play, 88-yard drive to end the game. They took over with 1:46 remaining and no timeouts.

''The very first play that was a zone pressure if we just back straight up, the kid would have looked like he did on Thursday,'' Ryan said of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. ''He’s a talented quarterback, but we also helped him. We made a mental mistake there and used the wrong technique.

''Even on the third-and-10 throw, if we just play with the right leverage on that, now they can’t spike the ball, now they have to throw a hurry up. Those things happen and it looked like they happened in bunches because we didn’t play well.''


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