The Cleveland Browns had a 17-13 lead over the Cincinnati Bengals with five minutes to go on Sunday, but a defensive breakdown allowed Bengals receiver A.J. Green to score an easy 41-yard go-ahead touchdown. Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron says he’s to blame for that.
“When the offense is ready to snap the ball, we’ve got to be ready to play defense,” Jauron said. “That’s my responsibility and I didn’t get it done on that play.”
The Browns’ defense didn’t have its play called when the Bengals hurried to the line on that decisive touchdown, and at the time the ball was snapped, Jauron was looking down at his play sheet. There’s no excuse for that lack of preparedness, as Jauron acknowledged.
“To have that happen to you is hugely disappointing to everybody, to us and to our players and to our fans,” Jauron said. “It’s one of those things that clearly you don’t expect, and when it happened, you probably will never forget it.”
Jauron has instituted one change that he hopes will prevent another similar screwup: The cornerbacks will get hand signals rather than join the defensive huddle. That idea came a week too late for the Browns.