Bobby Carpenter: Browns Let Titans Run All Over Them

LISTEN: Former NFL LB Says Browns Must Be Disciplined Moving Forward

Taz and the Moose
September 09, 2019 - 10:18 am
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) bows his head on the bench during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at FirstEnergy Stadium

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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The Cleveland Browns had an eventful and efficient offseason. They traded for star wide receiver Odell Beckham. They signed Kareem Hunt and acquired defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson. The expectations were high for Cleveland entering the season. However, reality hit Cleveland following its 43-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. 

Baker Mayfield threw for 285 yards on 25 passes. He was intercepted three times, reaching the end zone just once — a three-yard strike to David Njoku. Beckham led the team with 71 receiving yards. But the defense became undisciplined and allowed Marcus Mariota to throw 248 yards and three touchdowns. Former NFL linebacker Bobby Carpenter detailed what led to Cleveland's demise when joined "Taz & The Moose" in the aftermath of the Browns loss.

"The Browns came out, they played really good in the first series and looked great - then all of a sudden stuff started falling apart," Carpenter said. "I think Baker's trying to press in the second half and sometimes that happens, you start throwing picks. But I was really disappointed with the Browns defense and their offensive line being able to protect Baker, get the running game going and they let a Tennessee team really run all over them - and their tackling was bad. Those were the things that were more disappointing to me outside of them not really being able to score the football."

Cleveland was penalized 18 times for 182 yards in the loss, becoming the most penalized team in the NFL after Week 1. Myles Garrett and Sheldon Richardson were each called for roughing the passer and Damarious Randall's defensive holding call — all on the same drive — led to Titans taking an early 10-3 lead over Cleveland. With the Browns trailing by nine points in the second half, Mariota capitalized on Denzel Ward's holding penalty to extend Tennessee's lead.  

"They had tons of yardage but not any points because they took penalties," Carpenter said. "There was a massive amount. They'd pick up yards then they keep moving back so they weren't able to convert on third down. It is good for them because a good beating might promote some personal growth. Everybody takes a look in the mirror, tries to figure things out. Sometimes you actually have to lose the game ... I think the Browns still have a really talented roster. I do like Freddie Kitchens. If the turnovers and penalties continue into next week, then you have a problem. But if he's able to get those things corrected, then I think moving forward they're going to be a team everyone expected them to be." 

Carpenter, who was a Cowboys' rookie when Kitchens' was the team's tight ends coach, expects the head coach to correct the fatal miscues that cost the team from taking an early lead in the AFC North. 

"It all falls on the head coach, so the behavior you see is either taught or allowed and so they're either coaching it or allowing it to happen," Carpenter said. "You've got to find a way to get those things corrected. I'm sure that he will. I do believe that he's going to try to run that team as some of the mentors he's had. I would tend to believe this isn't going to be a pleasant week in practice."

Click the audio player below to listen to Carpenter's interview in its entirety.