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Browns' attitude reflects Chudzinski's leadership

Posted Oct 5, 2013

Browns safety T.J. Ward believes the team is a reflection of Coach Rob Chudzinski’s leadership.

The Cleveland Browns trailed the Buffalo Bills by 10 points and had lost their starting quarterback, Brian Hoyer, with what turned out to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee, but instead of fall victim to the adversity during the first quarter, the players and coaches banded together and fought their way to a 37-24 win at FirstEnergy Stadium.

“It was an up-and-down game, but we never got at each other,” said safety T.J. Ward. “We never pointed the finger. It just feels like a great, team win. The offense scored when we needed them to score, and we held them when we needed to hold them. It was a complete, team win. It just feels so good just to know that everybody did their part and everybody came together for that win.

“That’s what good teams do. Things happen throughout the season. You lose good players, things don’t always go your way, but good teams find a way to pull games out and come together and play as a team. That’s what we’re trying to become. We’re trying to be on top in this division, win games consistently, and be one of those teams that other teams fear and have to worry about, week-in and week-out.”

Arguably, Ward made the biggest play of the game when he returned an interception 44 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

The Browns had just gone up by six points on Billy Cundiff’s 44-yard field goal, and the Bills began driving the ball. However, undrafted rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel, who was in the game because starter EJ Manuel was out with a knee injury, threw the pass intended for wide receiver Robert Woods, but failed to check for Ward.

Ward recorded the interception and had nothing but daylight in front of him.

“I was dropping down into my zone -- we were in zone coverage -- and basically, just read the quarterback’s eyes, got a good jump on it, grabbed it out of the air and ran it back,” Ward said. “They had a few routes out of that formation, and I just happened to jump the one that I thought it was and was blessed to get in the end zone.”

Ward’s interception sealed the Browns’ third straight victory, and at 3-2, the team will remain in at least a tie for first place in the AFC North Division depending on the results of games for Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals this weekend.

“Our attitude is we’re happy that things are going the way they are, but we’re in no way settling into what we’re doing right now,” Ward said. “We’ll continue to work hard. We have that drive for greatness, that drive for betterment every week. We have a group of hard workers, determined, persistent players, and I think we’re a reflection of Coach Chud.

“That’s a sign of our team, a reflection of Coach Chud, our assistant coaches. Every day, we preach, ‘It’s not going to be pretty all the time. It’s not going to be how you want it, but at the end of the day, if you get it done, you get it done.’ And that’s what we did. We came together as a team and got it done.”