Chudzinski: Browns 'ready' for challenge

Posted Nov 1, 2013

Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski is happy with the progress the team has made through the first eight weeks of the season.

Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski has seen improvement from his team at various points this season, and views Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens as a good measuring stick for just how much progress has been made.

The Browns and Ravens play the second game of their home-and-home series at FirstEnergy Stadium. In Week Two, the Browns held a 6-0 halftime lead before allowing 14 unanswered points in a 14-6 loss at M&T Bank Stadium.

“This is a division game, which magnifies the importance of it,” Chudzinski said. “We’ll be ready for it, and we’re excited for it. I feel like we’re progressing. We’ve gotten better as the season’s gone on. This is a great team that we’re playing, and it’ll be a great test and challenge for us.

“We’ve had a great week of preparation, very focused and high-energy for this. We know that we have a tremendous challenge in Baltimore coming into our house and coming off a bye week. Guys are excited to play this game, and we’re ready to roll. We know the fans will be excited as well, and we’ll need them to be there.”

Through the last three games, the Browns have committed 30 penalties for a combined 263 yards. Reducing penalties is one of the things Chudzinski and the Browns have been working toward throughout practice this week.

“You look at them individually, and what type of penalty that they are,” Chudzinski said. “There’s playing penalties; there’s dead-ball penalties, where those are very correctable and things we need to correct.

“Some are related to being on the road. There’s things where some of them are being young, some of just a lack of execution. Those are things that we’ve addressed with the guys, really coached them hard on. We expect improvement in those areas.”

Pass protection is another area in which Chudzinski wants to see continued growth and progress.

After giving up 27 sacks for 194 lost yards in the first seven games of the season, the Browns allowed only one on quarterback Jason Campbell against the league’s top pass-rushing defense, the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Browns, particularly tackles Joe Thomas and Mitchell Schwartz, will be tested by a Baltimore defense that has effective pass-rushing outside linebackers in Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw.

“I think Joe’s having a great year,” Chudzinski said of Thomas. “From the start, he’s played well. Obviously, this is a big test and challenge for him. Those guys have seen each other through the course of the years, and it’s something that I’d love to watch. I’ve got a few other things going on. I’ll catch up after the game’s over. It’ll be important that Joe plays well against a great player.

“(Schwartz) has improved a lot as the season’s gone on. The offensive line has played better and better each week, particularly, in these last few weeks, and with Shawn Lauvao back, I think some of the chemistry has really helped everybody.”

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