April 18, 2014

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Browns notes: Brandon Weeden 32nd out of 33 NFL QBs in final quarter

BEREA — Brandon Weeden ranks 32nd of 33 NFL quarterbacks with a 63.2 rating in the fourth quarter. He’s ahead of only Houston’s Matt Schaub, who has a 58.4 rating but has thrown only 31 passes and has a 7-1 record.

Weeden was 5-for-11 for 33 yards with an interception Sunday in the fourth quarter of a 25-15 loss to the Ravens and overshot Greg Little on fourth-and-2 trailing by seven. For the year, he’s completed 51 of 93 passes (54.8 percent) for 604 yards with three touchdowns and five interceptions in the final 15 minutes.

“They need to be better, especially in a situation where we need to come back,” coach Pat Shurmur said Monday of the stats. “We need to improve there.”

Weeden fired too high to Little and was high in a similar situation in a Week 1 loss. But Shurmur doesn’t think he’s pressing in the biggest moments.

“I don’t sense him doing anything,” he said. “We just have to get better.”

Shurmur called clunker a “good word” to describe Weeden’s performance Sunday. He went 20-for-37 for 176 yards, two interceptions and a 44.4 rating.

“You just go back to the business of getting him better and you look at all the mistakes for what they are,” Shurmur said. “We look at the film based on the progressions and where the ball should have gone and the rhythm and the feet and all that stuff. You look at it and try to improve on it.

“We want to get more completions, we want to score touchdowns and win games.”

Behind the scenes

Hawaii, Bermuda, Mexico … the Browns’ chartered plane and team hotel.

Travel Channel has partnered with NFL Films and RIVR Media to produce “NFL Road Tested: The Cleveland Browns,” a series that shows life on the road in the NFL. It will premiere Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 10 p.m.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in such an exciting and unique endeavor,” new owner Jimmy Haslam said in a news release. “This show will offer viewers a great perspective of the inner-workings of an NFL team and what it takes to support a team.”

Haslam’s wife, Dee, is the CEO and founder of RIVR Media.

Win, lose or draw

Shurmur explained the draw call to running back Trent Richardson on third-and-11 from the Baltimore 23-yard line after Chris Ogbonnaya’s illegal-formation penalty negated a touchdown. Richardson was stopped for no gain.

“Were at the top of the field-goal range,” Shurmur said. “A field goal there puts us ahead 15-14. I did not want a holding call. I did not want a sack. I did not want anything crazy to knock us out of that situation. At that point in the game, a field goal puts us ahead and that’s why I made that call. Now if the situation is different, then maybe you take another crack at the end zone.”

Special effort

One bright spot from the game was the kicking game. Phil Dawson made all five field-goal attempts, punter Reggie Hodges had a 40.8-yard net and the Ravens averaged only 3.5 yards on punt returns and 20 yards on kickoff returns.

“We’ve made huge improvements there, and that was kind of a heavyweight fight when you watch the special teams compete,” Shurmur said. “They’ve got a lot of very fine athletes. They’ve got a lot of very dangerous people on their special teams units, and I think our guys went out there and battled. And I think they’ve done so for the most part all year.

“The best game out of our punter. Phil made five field goals. All that is for naught because we did not win. But we will build on that.”

Choices, choices

Shurmur said he considered keeping undrafted rookie receiver Josh Cooper active but went with veteran Mohamed Massaquoi, who returned after missing five games with a hamstring injury. Massaquoi caught one pass for 6 yards on three targets and limped off the field late in the game.

“He did not reinjure it, but he was less than 100 percent, let’s put it that way,” Shurmur said. “He didn’t have a huge impact in terms of production on the passing game.”

Shurmur said Cooper could return to the gameday roster after the bye and acknowledged his connection with Weeden, his teammate and buddy from Oklahoma State.

Call me maybe

The film didn’t change Shurmur’s mind on penalties called against receiver Josh Gordon and safety T.J. Ward. Gordon was flagged for offensive pass interference and unnecessary roughness on a crackback block. Ward was called for roughing the passer on the Ravens’ winning drive.

“I’m going to get clarification,” Shurmur said when asked about each call.

That means Shurmur disagreed and will ask the league office to see if the calls were correct.

Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was still frustrated about the call on Ward, who was whistled for making contact with Joe Flacco’s head as he tried to knock the ball loose.

“I still think the T.J. call didn’t fit the crime,” he said.

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or spetrak@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.