Browns Daily Wrap: Battle of Ohio

Posted Nov 14, 2013

On a Thursday edition of “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” co-hosts Vic Carucci and Nathan Zegura were joined in studio by Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner, who spoke about the new stadium renovations, along with the path that the Browns are taking in order to reach their goals. Vic and Nathan were also joined by the voice of the Browns, Jim Donovan and Doug Dieken from the PNC Bank Cleveland Browns Radio Network. Jim, who emceed yesterday’s press conference, shared his thoughts on the renovations, in addition to the Browns' big game Sunday at Cincinnati. Doug also touched on the pressure on the Bengals and how the Browns should capitalize on that.

Vic and Nathan were also joined by Joe Reedy, from the Cincinnati Enquirer. Joe gave us an insight on the Bengals' mindset going in to Sunday’s game. Jamir Howerton, from, also spoke with Buster Skrine, who shed some light on the hard work and effort he puts in to compete in the NFL. Vic and Nathan finished the show, as they always do, by speaking with Je’Rod Cherry, who broke down the advantages that he feels the Browns have over the Bengals.

Here are some highlights:

Nathan Zegura: “This is a chance for these young players to play in a type of game that they never really played in before. These big games, win or lose, are of tremendous value to a team. The most important thing that the Browns need to do on Sunday is get off the field on third downs. This game will come down to whichever team is more physical, and I feel that this Browns team has a little nastiness to them. Sunday is a game of big significance; the winner of this game will be the favorite to win the AFC North.”

Vic Carucci: “Yesterday was a monumental day for the Cleveland Browns, a real moment of history with this team. The renovations set in to motion the idea that not only is the stadium being improved, but the on-field talent is as well. …The Bengals are under a lot of pressure going in to this game. They could be letting their season slip away. The Browns, on the other hand, have nothing to lose; they have exceeded our expectations already. If the Browns can put (Andy) Dalton in a situation where he starts to force the issue and try too hard to get the ball in the hands of (A.J.) Green, he will force the throws and turn the ball over.”

Joe Banner: “Everything that we are doing is a part of a plan and a part of a belief that we are striving to be the best. If you look at the things we are doing, hiring (Coach) Chud, competing with free agents, going for it on fourth down, building the modernization of the stadium, I hope you see this all as a theme. This isn’t just the next group of guys; it’s a transformative time for this team. My focus isn’t how many games we win this season, although I am competitive and want to win as many as we can, it is seeing the coaching staff come in and coach the way they are, and to see the players follow them. That is what is critical to help us get to where we want to go. After trading Trent (Richardson) and beating the Vikings, I think that was the moment that convinced people that it wasn’t just talk. It convinced them that we were going to be true to what we said. We have a clear vision of what it will take to be successful and we will do everything we can to get there.”

Jim Donovan: “Yesterday’s announcement was a big day and became a huge story. Things are moving quickly in this organization; they certainly aren’t dilly-dallying. … I have no doubt that we can compete with the Bengals. It’s the emotional factor that I’m not sure about, the unknown as to whether or not these guys are ready to play emotionally in a big game. The Bengals are feeling a lot of pressure in this game, which makes it critical that the defense gets in Dalton’s face. He’s a lot like other quarterbacks and once he gets in a rhythm, he will play really well. When you start getting in his face, the ball starts going high and that’s when we need to force the turnover. I’m sure Andy is wondering if he is the guy that can take them to the next step, and he is feeling that pressure. (Jason) Campbell seems pretty relaxed and the other guys feel relaxed with him in there, which is going to help the Browns' offense.” 

Doug Dieken: “This Browns team has a lot of young kids, some who came from winning programs and some who haven’t. How you control your emotions going in to the game is key. Sometimes, you get overhyped and  this is when you need the Joe Thomases and D’Qwell Jacksons to step up and help the younger guys. It will be key for the Browns to play the complete game. Especially on the road, it’s a different environment and different crowd. Our team is a physical, power team and Cincinnati is a finesse team. This is when we need to go in there and just smack them; hit them hard and hit them early.”

Joe Reedy: “Cincinnati has good Andy and bad Andy. During October, he showed a lot of different ways to beat teams. Now he is taking sacks when he shouldn’t. It’s not only Andy though; the entire offense needs to improve. This is a ‘gotta-have-it’ game for the Bengals.”

Je’Rod Cherry:  “The Bengals have a lot of pressure on them. My concern with the Browns is matching the energy of the Bengals. There will definitely be a greater sense of urgency with them, and I hope that the Browns can come out and match that energy. Here is the Browns' chance to be the ultra-physical team and take it to another level. They just have to do it in a smart fashion.  They can’t afford to make stupid penalties and if the Browns can avoid doing that, then yes, they will be at an advantage.”

Buster Skrine: “Coming in to this season, I’ve become a lot smarter. I learned that it’s not about how athletic you are; you just have to be a smart player. I study film for about two hours when I go home each day. I work out whenever I can. I’m a small guy, so I have to keep my strength up."

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