When Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski walked off the practice field Friday, he left the Casey Coleman Fieldhouse with a positive impression from what he saw during the week of practice.
Chudzinski was particularly impressed by the work quarterback
“I think he’s really responded, had a good week of preparation, but this game is not just all about Jason,” Chudzinski said. “He just needs to go and be himself, and do the things that he can do. We’ve stressed everybody around him playing at their best as well.
“I’m expecting him to do well. This has been good for him, these three days of practice and getting with the guys, ironing out all of the little things that you need to. I’m excited about seeing him with that opportunity.”
It was during the three days of on-field work that Chudzinski saw the team form a confidence in Campbell’s abilities to lead the team and execute the game play.
“They’ve responded well,” Chudzinski said. “They’re rallying behind him. They’ve rallied behind him like they have anytime that somebody else has been in. Regardless of position, it doesn’t matter. This group is excited to play, and they love playing football. That’s why I’m excited to get this opportunity to go play.
“The players and coaches worked awfully hard this week preparing for the Chiefs. We’ve demanded a lot of our guys and expected them to respond. We’re excited about the opportunity and the challenge this presents. Going to Kansas City, we need everybody to be at their best for the Chiefs in all three phases.”
According to Chudzinski, the Browns are looking to Campbell for “a lift” against the Chiefs, who lead the league with 35 sacks for 244 lost yards.
Outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali lead the team with 10 and nine sacks respectively, and Houston ranks second in both the AFC and NFL in quarterback takedowns.
“I think we’ve improved our pass-protection as the season’s gone on,” Chudzinski said. “We have to step up. It’s an outstanding group. They put you in situations where you’re one-on-one a lot of times, and you have to be able to step up and block those guys, and we’ll do everything from a scheme standpoint to help them.
“Jason has to get the ball out and we have to make plays. It’s really no different than any other game.”
In addition to preparing for the Chiefs’ defense, Chudzinski and Campbell have spent the last three days compensating for the noise that awaits them in the loudest outdoor stadium in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
“We’ve been inside for two of the three days, which is good,” Chudzinski said. “With crowd noise, it makes it louder and tougher to communicate, so it’s been a big emphasis for us with hand signals and stuff that we’re doing. I think that Jason’s responded well to that and is getting done what we need to get done in preparing for the game.”