Browns focus on eliminating distractions

Posted Nov 17, 2012

The Browns players will be focused on the game, not the venue, when they play at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday.

When the buses carrying the Cleveland Browns’ players and coaches pull down Legends Way on Sunday morning and arrive at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, they will enter an 80,000-seat facility with a retractable roof that opened before the 2009 NFL season and cost more than $1 billion to construct.

Upon entering the field, they will look up and see a 72-foot tall by 160-foot wide high-definition television that contains 30 million light bulbs and extends from one 20-yard line to the other.

The Browns, several of whom played in Cowboys Stadium during their college careers, want to eliminate the distractions of the stadium and focus in on playing the Dallas Cowboys.

“The stadium is cool, but you don’t let the stadium get to,” said defensive tackle Phil Taylor, who played at Cowboys Stadium as a junior at Baylor. “Just remember, you’re going there to play a game. (The TV’s) big, but it’s just like a jumbotron. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. They’re big, but I don’t care.”

Weeden was a sophomore at Oklahoma State University when the team qualified for the Cotton Bowl and played against the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) at Cowboys Stadium. He envisions the TV screen being a distraction for fans, but insists that players do not notice it as much on the field level.

“Just wait till you see this thing, it’s unbelievable,” Weeden said. “If you’re sitting in what I would say are the 200s, right in the middle of the stadium, there’s no way you could watch the game. This thing takes up too much space. It’s huge. It’s overwhelming if you’re sitting in the stands because you can’t help but look at it.

“(We) don’t really notice it because it’s so skinny. I bet it’s only in the hashes, so you can’t really notice. You have to look straight up to see it.”

In addition to playing underneath the giant television screens, the Browns will be running on a Sportfield Softtop surface, something that running back Trent Richardson insists will not distract him from carrying the ball to the best of his ability.

“I’m from a place where running is running,” Richardson said. “How I grew up, I used to take off my shoes and run on the street and tell you, you weren’t faster than me. For me, I don’t see anything different. I’m going to run the same way. I’m still going to try to be fast. I think it’s actually faster for me, running on surfaces and stuff like that.”

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