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Browns expect raucous welcome in B-More

Posted Sep 14, 2013

The Cleveland Browns are expecting a fever pitch from the Ravens’ faithful on Sunday afternoon.

Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo is used to loud crowds, and that is a good thing because that is exactly what he will face when the team enters M&T Bank Stadium, where a wall of 71,008 purple-and-black clad fans will be ready to welcome home the reigning Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens.

Mingo played football at Louisiana State University, where, on a weekly basis, the Tigers played in front of crowds nearing the 100,000 mark, both at home, where Tiger Stadium has a seating capacity of 92,542, and on the road in the Southeastern Conference.

“It’s going to be fun,” Mingo said. “You like to play in those kinds of games. You like to play when the crowd’s rolling, at least from a defensive standpoint. I like it. They’re welcoming back the Super Bowl champs. They’re going to have a little extra emotion for that game. The fans are going to be extra rowdy.”

Since Ravens coach John Harbaugh arrived in Baltimore in 2008, the team is 33-7 at M&T Bank Stadium, which is tied for the second-best home record in the NFL during that time. Only the New England Patriots have won more games at home (34)  than the Ravens and Atlanta Falcons since 2008.

Overall, the Ravens have won 94 games and lost just 41 at home since entering the league in 1996.

“It’ll be electric,” said Browns kicker Billy Cundiff, a former Raven. “It’ll be exciting for us. I think it’s a great situation for us. We have a very young team, so guys will be able to feed off that energy if they use it properly. I think it could work to our advantage.

“We have to prepare for their best shot because they’re going to be playing at home. From my time in Baltimore, and last year, the team is no different. They play really well at home, so we’re going to get a really big challenge out of them.”

Now in his seventh season with the Browns, six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas is a veteran of 12 games against the Ravens. Having won on the road at Baltimore, Thomas knows that although they will have it Sunday, the Ravens and their fans do not need much motivation to come ready to play.

“It’s one of the toughest places to play because their defense has been so good historically,” Thomas said. “They do so many different things on defense, and when it’s loud, it’s hard to communicate. It’s hard to get off on the snap count, and they use all those things to their advantage. Now that their offense is really clicking, they’re rolling. It really is a tough double-whammy.”

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