Browns Daily Wrap: Steeler analysis

Posted Nov 21, 2013

On Thursday’s edition of “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” co-hosts Vic Carucci and Nathan Zegura examined the strengths and weaknesses of the Pittsburgh Steelers and how the Browns can adjust to those components to ultimately help their chances for success. Jim Donovan and Doug Dieken, from PNC Bank Cleveland Browns Radio Network, also joined Vic and Nathan to study the threats of the Steelers’ offense and what Joe Haden and others need to do to eliminate the pressure.

Ron Cook, from the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, joined Vic and Nathan by phone and expressed his concerns with the Steelers and the chance that the Browns have to walk away with a victory. Jamir Howerton, from, went inside the locker room with veteran running back Willis McGahee, who spoke highly of the young players and their readiness to bounce back after the loss to the Bengals.

We rounded out the show with Je’Rod Cherry, who wants to see the Browns stick with the run for what is expected to be the Browns’ coldest game of the season.

Here are some highlights:

Nathan Zegura: “This is going to be an interesting game for both teams; neither can effectively run the ball. Getting to Ben (Roethlisberger) is only part of the equation. I worry about (wide receiver) Jerricho Cotchery. He’s one of the best red-zone receivers in the entire NFL. He’s been the touchdown-maker and he’s the guy that the Browns need to take care of in the red zone. The Browns really need that leadership from some of the older guys going in to Sunday’s game. I have hope that (Jason) Campbell can bounce back from a tough loss, but I need Cameron to show up this week. If he and Campbell can get on the same page and execute the play, it will go a long way against the Steelers.”

Vic Carucci:  “The weather on Sunday is going to be conducive for a more physical game and that is where the Browns have an advantage. I think it’s obvious that the Steelers don’t have much of a run game, either, but the key is that you don’t want to let a team that doesn’t run the ball find success on the ground and find that balance. I worry about (wide receiver) Antonio Brown. He’s a fast guy and that speed could be a challenge for Joe (Haden). But I also think that the Steelers will have a hard time covering the tight end. I want to see Jordan Cameron have a huge game. When he has big games, the team wins.”

Jim Donovan: “I think this Steelers game comes at a good time for the Browns. They want to bounce back and what better way to do it than against Pittsburgh. We need to get a hold of their secondary guy. I thought they did a great job last week and I have total confidence in our secondary, but you have to worry about that. This is a big rebound week for Campbell, no question, but I worry about him feeling 100 percent with his ribs. There are times when the Browns let the game slip away. They need to stick with it and keep banging away. They have a great shot at these next two games to straighten everything out and get this bad taste out of their mouth.”

Doug Dieken: “This game may very well come down to a battle of the defenses and who turns the ball over and who doesn’t. Jerricho Cotchery is their Hines Ward now, so the Browns are going to have to play him the same way. It’s an older Steelers team, so utilizing the young legs of Chris Ogbonnaya, who forces the Steelers to cover the entire field, is an advantage that the Browns have to capitalize on. I think the guys are realizing that you have to start holding each other accountable. If you are going to feel sorry for yourself, this isn’t the week to do it.”

Ron Cook: “Obviously, Ben has been playing a lot better, but they have been very inconsistent all season. I don’t know what to think about them; I’ve been wrong about them all season. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Browns beat them this week. The offensive line is a mess and they haven’t been able to run the ball all year. If the Browns can force them to be one dimensional, then they have a good chance against them. I don’t think the Steelers are necessarily afraid of the Browns’ offense, but I just don’t know what Steelers team is going to decide to show up on Sunday.”

Willis McGahee: “Pittsburgh has always been a great team with a great defense. Our goal is to go out there and play Cleveland Browns football. It’s a divisional game, so there is a lot on the line. We want to get an edge on them early in the game, but we have to come ready to play. If we do what we need to do, (the offensive line), everything will work out for us. These young guys are little pit bulls, just waiting to get off their leash on Sunday.”

Je’Rod Cherry: “The Steelers are a vulnerable team right now and it will all start with whether or not the Browns’ defense can stop Ben. Jerricho Cotchery is a solid human being. You like playing with guys like that and you hate playing against guys like that. He’s become Ben’s red-zone guy, and it will be vital for the Browns to shut him down. I would like to see the Browns’ offense just run the ball, stick with it and run, run, run. I want to see them commit to it. Why not give it a shot? Especially if Campbell is having issues with his ribs. Especially with the weather being the way it is projected to be. Ogbonnaya needs to get the ball, hold on to it, and take advantage of the opportunities he is going to have this game.”

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