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Mike Holmgren, Browns still seek signs of progress

Mike Holmgren is on his third year with the Cleveland Browns as team president. They team has tried out four starting quarterbacks: Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Colt McCoy, and Brandon Weeden. It feels like they are no closer to finding out if they have The Guy.

Holmgren is on his second head coach. Now 0-4 after a loss in Baltimore, we're not sure Pat Shurmur's squad is any better than it was under Eric Mangini.

We didn't expect the Browns to win Thursday night in Baltimore. They fought valiantly in a 23-16 loss; there were a lot of positives. But the reality is the Browns are 0-4, and we're not sure Holmgren's program has made a lot of progress. Pete Carroll is in year three in Seattle, Holmgren's old home, and Carroll appears to be building something more lasting.

Here's what else we learned on Thursday night:

» Anquan Boldin showed Thursday night you don't always need to be wide open to make a big impact. He caught nine passes for 131 yards, all but one of which came in the second half. Almost all of them were fantastic grabs in traffic. He showed power, great hands, and some open-field running. He's slowed down over the years, but Boldin is always one of our favorite receivers in the league to watch.

» Joe Flacco threw the ball 46 times in the rain. He showed off the full arsenal, but we wonder if Cam Cameron gets a little too pass empty with empty backfield when the team is ahead in the second half by two scores.

» Brandon Weeden had his best game as a pro. He threw for 320 yards despite a lot of drops from his receivers. If Greg Little held on to a touchdown try late in the fourth quarter, this one would have been even tighter. Weeden did a nice job positioning the Browns to go for the end zone for a tie in the closing seconds. He mostly stood in the pocket well. He occasionally is a step slow, but he's starting to make some impressive throws.

» Little continues to drop the easy passes, and catch the tough ones. He had two or three drops on the night, depending how generous you are.

» Haloti Ngata was the most dominant player in this game. He's the entire Ravens' pass rush. Their blitzes weren't getting home.

» The Browns' defense hasn't been great this year, but the unit took a step forward. Ahtya Rubin, Jabaal Sheard, Billy Winn and Craig Robertson all had good nights. The defensive line could be strong when Phil Taylor returns.

» The Browns need to get Trent Richardson the ball more, especially through the air. He had 104 yards from scrimmage. That is all.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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