Browns Daily Wrap: Defense must rise

Posted Oct 24, 2013

On Thursday’s edition of “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” co-hosts Vic Carucci and Nathan Zegura were joined by Jim Donovan and Doug Dieken from the PNC Bank Cleveland Browns Radio Network, and Je’Rod Cherry. In light of the Browns’ quarterback switch from Brandon Weeden to Jason Campbell, Vic, Nathan, Jim, Doug, and Je’Rod discussed the importance of the Browns’ defense coming up big for Sunday’s game at Kansas City.

Here are some highlights:

Vic Carucci: “The defense has got to go back to where they were at the start of the season. They should be the strength of this team and need to rise to the occasion. I don’t think (the defense’s strong showing earlier in the year) is fool’s gold. I think these guys have the ability to play at a high level. There are some teams in this league that don’t have the best talent (on defense), but are physical. I think that is what the identity of this defense has to be. It isn’t just schemes; you have to really beat (the opponent) up.”

Nathan Zegura: “This is an offense that the Browns’ defense should be able to keep under wraps. This is a statement game for the defense. They need to generate turnovers and those will only come from aggressive tackling. The Browns need to be physical and the defense is going to need to help carry the team. I don’t see (Chiefs quarterback Alex) Smith putting up a lot of points if the defense plays as well as they can play. (Defensive coordinator) Ray Horton said it, the defense is about to get a lot better. In this next four-week period, you’ll see a whole new Cleveland Browns defense. Our offense needs to score and our defense needs to keep the game close.”

Jim Donovan: “The defense needs to start getting turnovers to make it easier on everyone else, and I believe they are good enough to get those turnovers. (The defense) has to be the unit that carries us now.”

Doug Dieken: “This defense has the ability to make the Chiefs’ offense very uncomfortable now. …I don’t know if Arrowhead is the best place to play at this point. Jason hasn’t played a lot of full speed football. If you aren’t one of those top-four quarterbacks, i.e. Peyton (Manning), (Drew) Brees, (Aaron) Rodgers, (Tom) Brady, it is going to be tough to play there.”

Je’Rod Cherry: “I put a lot on (the defense’s) shoulders. However, they are human and they make mistakes. It gets to you at some point, though, when the offense continuously goes three-and-out. When you get to the heart of the matter, it does make a difference when you get off the field and turn around to see the punt team moving on the field. It gets on your nerves.  Maybe you start to tell yourself, ‘Why even bother?’ …Ray Horton is a double-edge sword. The players want him to look good, but at the same time, if Ray does well and the defense goes back to where they were, then Ray won’t be here next year.”

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