After a bye week and a 41-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on the road last week, the Cleveland Browns return home for the first time in three weeks when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday.
They enter Sunday’s game against the Steelers with a 4-6 record, and three of those victories have come in front of more than 71,000 fans at home.
“We have a young football team,” Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said. “I think that team feeds off of our fans and the energy that our fans give them and bring. I think the fans have been great in providing that and giving us a real home-field advantage.”
Overall, the Browns are 3-2 in home games this year, and Chudzinski attributes the success at FirstEnergy Stadium to the passionate Cleveland fans. Following Friday’s practice, the last before Sunday’s game against the Steelers, Chudzinski called upon those fans to bring their support to the stadium this weekend.
“Our players can’t wait to play this game,” Chudzinski said. “I can’t wait for this game as well. It’ll be great to be back home in front of our fans, and we’ll need that Dawg Pound to be barking on Sunday.”
In addition to the support of the fans, Chudzinski is calling on his team to carry the same attitude they have throughout the week of preparation into the game against the Steelers.
“I’m pleased with our guys’ response this week,” Chudzinski said. “Practices and preparations have been very focused, and it was an outstanding week of preparation for us.
“It’s something we talk about a lot, the intensity of the game and being able to control your emotions as well. It’s a fine line that you want to play on that edge, and we want our guys to play on that edge. This game is an AFC North game, and the type of rivalry that we have with them, it will be important that we keep our composure that way.”
PREPARING FOR EVERYTHING
While the Browns have spent the week preparing for the Steelers, it may be a different opponent who has the biggest impact on the plan for Sunday’s game.
Early weather forecasts have called for a high temperature of 27 degrees with a 40-percent chance of snow and strong winds coming out of the West/Northwest at 23 miles per hour.
“We go into every game with those types of contingencies,” Chudzinski said. “You never know how things are going to play out. We’re going to prepare for whatever the weather brings. It’s an AFC North game, so I expect it to be cold, and who knows (with) snow and all those types of things. Whatever it takes, we’ll do.”
During last week’s loss to the Bengals, the Browns lost wide receiver
Because of the injury, Robertson was unable to practice this week.
“Robertson is improving, but he’s doubtful for this game,” Chudzinski said. “
INFORMATION FOR FANS
Fans should dress warmly in anticipation of cold conditions. Under the NFL bag policy, fans are allowed to bring blankets to the game by draping them over their shoulders while entering the stadium. This will help expedite ingress and lessen lines at stadium gates.
Fans are encouraged to approach stadium gates by 12:15 p.m. to help ensure entry by kickoff. Proper screening processes may take additional time due to the climate. In the event lines build at the south gates, fans should consider using the north gates, which may allow for quicker entry.