Cleveland Browns star tight end Jordan Cameron was on fire through the first seven weeks of the regular season, and he did catch four passes for 81 yards in Jason Campbell’s first start. But by and large, Cameron has had better numbers with Brian Hoyer and Brandon Weeden behind center, though he’s not about to blame Campbell for that.
Instead, Cameron is pointing to defenses focusing in on him more as a reason for lower production, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot, “I’ve just been getting a lot more attention so it’s harder to get open. They pay attention to what you’re doing. They’re hitting you in all areas, and I just think it’s the way the defense has been playing.”
There’s also the fact that Hoyer and Weeden aren’t nearly as good at throwing the ball downfield as Campbell is, so targets that normally went to Cameron are now going to deep threat Josh Gordon’s direction. That said, Cameron still managed to haul in six receptions last week, so his only true dud of a game was a one-catch performance in Week 9 against the Baltimore Ravens. And hey, that was just one game, so it’s not really much of a sample size to draw any conclusions from.
Teams have certainly noticed that Jordan Cameron is one of the game’s most physically gifted pass-catchers, and they are doing a much better job of making sure that Cameron doesn’t have as many mis-matches that he can take advantage of. Tight ends who are as gifted at catching the ball and getting open as Cameron will command more attention once the “secret’s out”. Since the secret has been out for a few weeks now, defenses have adjusted. I don’t think there are any chemistry issues between Campbell and Cameron at all, but I do think that Campbell’s willingness, which stems from his excellent arm strength, to take more shots downfield to Gordon takes away some targets from the Browns star TE.