CLEVELAND -- The Browns went out and tried to improve their pass rush in the off-season through free agency and it paid immediate dividends as three of the pass rushers they acquired accounted for all four of the team's sacks.
Desmond Bryant, who had been sidelined for most of the preseason with back spasms, started the second quarter with an eight-yard sack of Ryan Tannehill. On the next defensive series, Quentin Groves dropped Tannehill for a four-yard loss and then Bryant came back two plays later with his second sack for another four-yard loss. Paul Kruger got in on the action with a sack on the first series of the third quarter.
Rob Chudzinski said that was one of the bright spots in the game.
"I thought we we were able to do a good job against the run today, against Miami's run offense," Chudzinski said. "I think we were able to get pressure on the quarterback."
"We were able to rush well, especially early in the game."
Bryant was very active, considering he was limited throughout the week at practice dealing with back spasms. He had three tackles, including two sacks, but also he had two tackles for loss with four quarterback hurries and a pass broken up.
Billy Winn, who started for Ahtyba Rubin said the difference was when the Browns put pressure on Ryan Tannehill, they were effective. The Browns had three sacks in the first half and also an interception.
"When you're able to get pressure on him, it helps our corners out because that forces him to throw the ball up there," Winn said. "We were able to get one turnover today and it takes a lot of stress off of our secondary when you can get pressure on the quarterback. It makes us happy as a defensive line."
Most of the Dolphins success came in the second half after the defense had been on the field for quite some time. Bryant said the defense wasn't worn down.
"That is definitely not the case," he said. "We missed a couple of assignments in the second half, but we'll go look at the tape tomorrow and get those corrected. We'll be ready for Baltimore next week."
Winn said the Browns just didn't do what they wanted to in the second half.
"We didn't execute how we wanted to," he said. "We had a really good game plan, but it just came down to us not executing on both sides of the ball. We weren't able to get after him, but we're going to go back and fix those mistakes. Then, next week, we'll come back firing."
The Browns held the Dolphins to just 20 yards rushing on 23 carries for a 0.9 rushing average.
"We just had a great defense against the run game," Bryant said. "If we would have picked up more assignments in the passing game, we could have pulled out a win. We have to get back in the film room, see what we did and come back out ready for Baltimore next week."
Cameron Breaks Out: TE Jordan Cameron had his best game in his career with nine receptions for 108 yards (12.0 average), including a seven-yard touchdown. He was targeted 13 times and had a long reception of 22 yards. WR Davone Bess had five receptions for 47 yards and WR Greg Little had four catches for 26 yards. WR Travis Benjamin had three receptions for 44 yards.
Bad Weeden: Much was written about which QB Brandon Weeden would show up. The quarterback who had an 139.8 rating in the first two preseason games, or the one who played poorly in the Colts game? Weeden started the first half 12-of-21 for 118 yards, including three interceptions. He finished 26-of-53 for 289 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. His rating was 48.4 rating. He did throw a nice touchdown pass to TE Jordan Cameron to give the Browns a 7-6 lead with 28 seconds left in the first half. Two of Weeden's interceptions were tipped balls that could've been caught by the Browns receivers. Meanwhile, QB Ryan Tannehill was 24-of-38 for 272 yards with a touchdown and one interception. HIs rating was 82.3.
"Obviously, I had some missed opportunities," Weeden said. "I felt like I did some good things. It's hard to look back on a game you lose and really think you played halfway decent, it's just tough to do. I felt like I stood in there and continued to battle, even though things weren't going our way and I player four quarters.
"I need to watch the tape," he said. "There were some good things, obviously some throws I'd like to have back and do a couple things different, but that's every game."
Chudzinski was asked of his initial assessment of Weeden's play.
"I'll need to go see it and go see the tape on that to really give you an accurate assessment of that," he said. "We'll look at it. I think he was harassed quite a bit. A lot of throws were altered. We'll look at how his reads were and those types of things and go through it and make the corrections tomorrow."
Third Down Blues: The Browns were a paltry 1-of-14 on third down for seven percent. Meanwhile, the Dolphins were 8-of-16 on third downs.
Where's T Rich: Browns RB Trent Richardson had just 13 carries for 47 yards. He caught two passes for 30 yards. However, Richardson started pretty well as he had four carries for 26 yards on the first series, but seemed to back off the run as the game went on. He had eight carries for 33 yards in the first half and no receptions.
"(Richardson) came out, we had some holes," Chudzinski said. "He was able to hit them. I thought he ran extremely hard. We'll just have to look and see what happened as the game went on in terms of that."
Gipson Pick: DB Tashaun Gipson intercepted QB Ryan Tannehill for the Browns only turnover. The ball was tipped by LB D'Qwell Jackson.
Billy's Start: K Billy Cundiff made his only field goal attempt of the game from 39 yards out. He also converted his one PAT attempt. Cundiff had two of his three kickoffs not returned as he kicked it either through the end zone or deep into it.
Return Men: Rookie RB Bobby Rainey had four kickoff returns for 103 yards in his debut with the Browns, including a long of 33 yards. WR Travis Benjamin had two punt returns for 31, including a long of 31 yards. He also had two fair catches.
Spencer's Day: P Spencer Lanning made his NFL debut with five punts for a 45 yard average, including a long of 52 yards with two kicks inside the 20.
Rough Day: OL Oniel Cousins, starting at right guard for OL Shawn Lauvao committed four penalties for 33 yards. He was flagged twice for holding, once for a false start and once for illegal use of the hands. On the illegal use of hands penalty, the penalty wipe out an 18-yard completion to WR Davone Bess. The offensive line also gave up six sacks. As a team, the Browns had nine penalties for 57 yards.
"Well, he's the best we have and he's going to get the job done for us," Chudzinski said. "I'm confident. Again, it's one game and Oniel will make the improvements and he will get better and we will move on."
"It wasn't just MItchell," he said. "Whether it was chips or lining a guy up or a tight end helping, it wasn't just Mitchell. We just didn't do a good enough job on Cameron Wake today."
On the Defense: LB D'Qwell Jackson led the Browns with nine tackles, followed by DB Chris Owens. DB Buster Skrine had six tackles.
Old Friend: Former Browns DB Dimitri Patterson intercepted Weeden in the first quarter after a ball bounced off WR Greg Little's hands at the Browns 27. Later, Patterson made his second interception off of Weeden. The Dolphins other interception was by DB Nathan Carroll.
Buckeye Hurts Browns: Former Ohio State WR and Canton native Brian Hartline caught 9 passes for 114 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to give the Dolphins a 13-7 lead as he beat DB Buster Skrine.
Rookie Kicker: Rookie K Caleb Sturgis made all three of his first game NFL attempts. His first was from 45 yards. He also hit from 49- and 36-yards out.Sturgis was drafted in the fifth round by the Dolphins this year from Florida.
Rubin Out: DL Ahtyba Rubin missed the game with a calf injury he suffered Thursday in practice. DL Billy Winn started in his place at left defensive end and had two tackles.
Winn had filled in the preseason for DL Desmond Bryant.
"I just approach it like every game,"he said "This is the NFL and guys are going to get hurt. It's the next man, the next guy to go and carry the flag."
Other inactives for the Browns were: OL Shawn Lauvao, LB Barkevious Mingo, LB Paul Hazel, QB Brian Hoyer, TE MarQueis Gray, OL Martin Wallace, DL Ahtyba Rubin. Lauvao had a 42-game streak of starts snapped. QB Jason Campbell, OL Patrick Lewis, OL Garrett Gilkey and DL Armonty Bryant were active but did not play.