Little mistakes prove costly, but Browns ready to move on
Seattle returner Charlie Rogers took advantage of a special team lapse to set up the game-winning kick.
By TOM WILLIAMS
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
CLEVELAND -- Butch Davis, who earned the nickname "Hurricane Butch" after sweeping away about two dozen former players in the off-season, is ready to move on and get ready for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"We made some mistakes in some really crucial situations and that led us to lose the game," said Davis after the Browns' loss to Seattle.
"I told the guys in the locker room that there is a long way to go in the season and they are going to have to put this behind them as soon as possible. I think these guys will be able to respond and go out and correct the mistakes."
Running back Jamel White said Davis' talk after the game concentrated on positives.
"There was no down talk, nothing like that," White said. "He said, 'We worked.'
"We didn't lose by a lot, but those are the ones that really get [to] you," White said of the close game. "We need to work on things to make us show we're a lot better than we showed."
Crucial errors: The mistakes that stood out the most were poor coverage by the kickoff team after Phil Dawson's 24-yard field goal tied the game at 6, and quarterback Tim Couch's third-quarter interception at the Seattle 20.
"The main thing is we made some mistakes that we shouldn't have made that allowed them to get the key field goals that they got," linebacker Jamir Miller said. "We're happy that they didn't get into the end zone, but I'm unhappy that they did get into scoring position."
About Charlie Rogers' 49-yard kickoff return, Aaron Shea of the coverage team said, "We can't let that happen. That was a big momentum lift for them. They had the ball at the 50 and all they had to go was 15 yards. We've got to stop making plays like that.
"Little things add up -- that can be the difference between 10-6 and 6-10," Shea said.
With the Browns trailing 6-3, Seattle safety Reggie Tongue intercepted Couch's pass when wide receiver Kevin Johnson and tight end Rickey Dudley weren't close to where Couch was throwing.
Davis said "it's nobody's business" whose fault it was on the crucial turnover.
But Couch said Johnson and Dudley were running post routes and "they may have collided in the middle of their routes. I didn't see them run into each other. I was going for K.J."
Improvement needed: The third-year quarterback, who missed half of last season with a fractured thumb said, "We have to be sharper in the red zone.
"I threw the ball well at times, we had great field position at times. I think that when that happens, when you get a turnover like [defensive back] Earl Little's interception, the offense has to come out and capitalize."
Couch was referring to Little's pickoff of Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck on the Seahawks' first series. Little's return to the Seattle 38 had the Browns poised for an early lead.
But the drive stalled at the Seattle 20 and Dawson missed a 37-yard field goal attempt.
On their next possession, the Seahawks marched into Browns territory where their kicker, Rian Lindell, hit the right upright on a 44-yard try.
Stumbling in second half: The Browns had several problems in the second half that were costly.
Punt returner Lamar Chapman chose to not make a fair catch at the Browns 20, allowing the Seahawks to down the ball at the 2.
Kick returner Andre King missed a ball, forcing the Browns to settle for a touchback.
The Browns' first two fourth-quarter possessions were three-and-out series.
The tide turned in the final quarter when cornerback Daylon McCutcheon intercepted a Hasselbeck pass at the Cleveland 33 but was ruled out of bounds. Davis won a replay challenge overturning the call.
Sparked by the turnover, the Browns marched to the Seahawks 5 before settling for a game-tying field goal by Dawson with 2:14 to go.
"To let it slip away like that hurts," Little said, "but you have to play for the full 60 minutes."