Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam knows that to get into the postseason, it starts with winning games within the AFC North Division and he watched as his team won, 20-14, over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday.
The win was the first over the Steelers since a 13-6 victory at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Dec. 10, 2009 on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football.
“The biggest thrill was seeing (Steelers fans) leaving early,” Haslam said. “I was here that cold night, that Thursday night when the Browns won. It was great to see our crowd. We had a tremendous crowd today, not just in number, but in noise. To see everybody cheering, that’s great. I’ve said it all along, we’ve got the best fans in the country.
“It was a great win for our team, a great win for our fans.”
Wide receiver/special teams standout
“It meant a lot for this organization, the team and the city when we beat Pittsburgh and the rookies, I feel like they’re finally getting to see, ‘We won the game before and it wasn’t like this. When we beat Cincinnati, it wasn’t this exciting,’” Cribbs said. “They’re finally starting to get the gist of the rivalry.
“I want to beat them when all their guys are healthy, when all the guys on their team are healthy. It will mean more to me because we always play them tight. We were never able to finish, but our defense wasn’t having it this game. They answered the call.”
In addition to crediting the defense, Cribbs was happy to win the game for the fans.
“Our fans deserved that win and deserved the bragging rights,” Cribbs said. “We deserved that win right there and we got it. That win was awesome for us, more for our fans. It’s like, ‘We’re sorry, but we beat the Steelers.’ I personally know how important it is to beat the Steelers for our fans.
“It felt good to have our fans stay in there, stick in there with us all the way to the end. I’m just ecstatic right now, happy for our fans to be able to enjoy it. I’m bruised up, but it doesn’t hurt as badly.”
Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said some of the Steelers did not shake hands with Browns players, something he was okay with because he will “take that W any day.”
“I love to beat those guys,” Jackson said. “I don’t like them. They don’t like us. It’s great to beat up on them. They don’t respect us. Why would they? They’ve beat up on us in the past and you try to tell guys that haven’t been involved in this rivalry that they don’t like us and we don’t like them. We got one today and half their team walked off. I didn’t expect anything different.”
The win over the Steelers was the first for defensive backs
“This is the biggest win, by far, since I’ve been here,” Haden said. “Playing against the Steelers and us not being able to get a real win streak going, being able to come in here, it’s big for our fans. It’s big for the coaches; it’s big for the town. This is one of the best feelings I’ve had winning a game. I know it hasn’t been the best of years at all, in any way, shape or form, but just to be here, come out and beat the Steelers, it’s big for me.”Ward added, “If you look back at the history, the Steelers have been trouble for us. We wanted to come in, give something to the fans and give something to ourselves, the coaching staff and everyone here. We played really well this week, came out and had a good game. It means a lot. I haven’t beaten them since I’ve been here. It’s my first time and it feels good. It’s something we can take into the future, knowing that we are very capable in this division. We’ve just got to go out there and do what we’re taught, stay on our keys and do our job.”