Browns Daily Wrap: Gaining attention

Posted Nov 7, 2013

On Thursday’s edition of “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” co-hosts Vic Carucci and Nathan Zegura received both national and local perspective on the Browns and how far the team has come and where it is headed. Steve Wyche, from the NFL Network, and Scott Petrak, from the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, shared their take on the positive feedback he Browns are received from around the league.

Jamir Howerton, from, also spoke with quarterback Jason Campbell and linebacker D’Qwell Jackson on the importance of using the bye-week to relax, but also prepare for the homestretch of the season. Vic and Nathan wrapped up the show with Je’Rod Cherry, who shared his first-hand experience of the importance of the bye-week and the critical understanding that the players must have to not ruin their chances for a successful second half of the season.

Here are some highlights:

Nathan Zegura: “Initially, this wasn’t a team who we thought would jump to the top of the rankings, but we get a sense that this is a Browns organization that is on the rise. With next year’s draft, we have enough money to re-sign the guys who will make a splash in free agency and draft the guys who are going to take us in the right direction. The priority of the front office this year was to become aggressive on defense, to put pressure on the quarterback. That is what they wanted and that is what is giving them success.”

Vic Carucci: “There is something going on with this Cleveland Browns team that people are starting to notice. One win in the last four games is usually not impressive, but it feels like this is a positive trend in the right direction, ever since the second half of the Kansas City game. The national attention that this team is receiving is largely due to the defense and the success they have been having. That’s a big reason why all the eyeballs are on this team. I know with the players there is a serious-mindedness going in to the bye-week. They know what this team can be and they know what they are playing for when they get back (next week).”

Steve Wyche: “We have been saying for two seasons now that this team has some pretty good talent. The fact that they have played through three quarterback changes, they are right there with every other team and they are lethal. The reason why this team is so effective is that all three levels are playing on a thread. When all the guys trust each other to handle their own responsibilities, things start to work. Right now, this team needs to strike when the iron is hot and forget about the future. The window doesn’t stay open forever. While they are setting themselves up for a good future, they are playing well right now. They need to go full throttle and not let up.”

Jason Campbell: “That win (against the Ravens) was a big win for us. The offense and defense played together and as a collective group. We are hitting the homestretch now and all the games are going to be competitive.  We just need to keep grinding and keep pushing forward.  As we go down this homestretch, I expect us to keep getting better. We all need to use this bye-week to get healthy, watch film, and prepare for Cincinnati. We have all offseason to party, but right now is not the time.”

Scott Petrak: “Right now, this team needs to focus on the present, especially when the present looks pretty good. I don’t like talking about the draft too early. The players need to focus on the fact that this is a winnable division. We all know the Browns have multiple picks in the first round, and I’m not convinced that you need to be in the top five to get the guy you want. Right now, the offense needs to focus on improving their running game and the key to that is allowing (Chris) Ogbonnaya to get more touches. As far as the defense, once they clean up their poor performance on third downs and in the red zone, you are looking at a top-five defense in the league.”

D’Qwell Jackson: “The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time.  We are going to use this week to catch up on film study, to rest our bodies and gain an advantage over our opponents. Right now, we are right where we want to be. The arrow is pointing up in every area of the game and we need to keep that arrow pointing high.”

Je’Rod Cherry: “So far, I am very impressed with the success of (coach Rob Chudzinski). He doesn’t come off as a rookie coach. He fits right in and he is comfortable with his roll at the Browns. With three quarterback changes and a blockbuster trade in the beginning of the season, Chud is still calm and still finds a way to make the guys follow him. …I think this is a perfect time for the bye week. You are at a midway point in the season and you know at this point, you can control your own destiny. It is just so critical that it is on the forefront of the guys’ mind that they have something to get back to and somewhere for this team to go. They need to survive the bye week; they can’t hurt the team.”

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