The Cleveland Browns’ 37-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium Thursday was a true team victory, according to first-year coach Rob Chudzinski.
The Browns got touchdowns in all three phases of the game, first on offense, then, a punt return, and finally, a defensive score in the final minutes of play. With the win, the Browns improved to 3-2 overall and will remain in first place in the AFC North Division depending on the outcomes of games for the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals this weekend.
“I can’t say enough about the guys and what they’ve been able to do, how focused they’ve been,” Chudzinski said Friday. “You’re really seeing an identity develop with this team. It’s a lot of guys going out to do their jobs and playing together. They’re relentless. They don’t flinch.
“I’m really excited for our coaches, players and fans about that game. It was a total team effort. Defense, offense, special teams all really provided a spark in the game. I give a lot of credit and hats off to Buffalo. It was a great game, back and forth, and an exciting one for our fans. Our fans were a real factor in the outcome and I can’t say enough about them and what they did to support us and help us in that game.”
Chudzinski was particularly pleased with the way the players and coaches handled the swings of momentum, which started in favor of the Bills, and finished with the Browns scoring the final 20 points of the game.
“It was an interesting game from the standpoint of how it was a game of runs,” Chudzinski said. “They came out and scored 10 right away. Then, we scored 17. Then, they scored 14, and then, we scored 20. We want to try to be more consistent throughout the course of the game, but one thing we definitely did do was we kept fighting and we kept playing. It was a great game.”
One of the things Chudzinski has been presently surprised by during his first five games as an NFL head coach has been the way the players respond to each other. Chudzinski has seen support from one side of the ball to the other.
And he credits the team leaders for helping the players stay together despite losing the first two games of the regular season and seeing starting running back Trent Richardson three days prior to a road game at Minnesota, which the Browns won, 31-27, at Mall of America Field.
“You see it, and what you’re getting at is the support that they have for each other,” Chudzinski said. “They have each others’ backs, and it’s great from the standpoint that you don’t see an offense vs. a defense where you have those divisions by position or side of the ball.
“Everybody is just real positive. You see guys supporting each other from opposite sides of the ball and they rally around each other. It’s a good thing to have when you’re in a team sport. They’re a lot of young guys that are learning to play and getting better as we go.”
PREPPING FOR DETROIT
Following the short week ahead of the game against the Bills, Chudzinski and the Browns will have 10 days to rest and recuperate before ending a three-game home-stand with next Sunday’s game against Detroit Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“We’re focused on consistency,” Chudzinski said. “There’s a lot of things we need to work on to be more consistent, and we’re back coaching them today, meeting and improving things that we can correct off the film. There’s definitely opportunities to improve.”
STEPPING IT UP
When the Browns lost veteran defensive end
The younger Bryant, no relation, registered his first NFL sack in the second half.
“We had some injuries or fatigue or were just rolling some guys, so there were a number of guys that stepped up, whether it was special teams or defense, and Armonty was one of them,” Chudzinski said. “He did a great job. He was able to put pressure on the quarterback. He got a sack and had a chance for a couple other ones. He gave our guys some valuable snaps in rush situations.
BACK IN ACTION
After missing the first four regular-season games, right guard
“That was part of the plan,” Chudzinski said. “Shawn’s gotten some work, not a lot of work, so we wanted to be able to substitute him a little bit. I think Shawn got back into it. That defensive front is really, really good for Buffalo, so it was a good test for him to get back into it.”
In addition to informing the media Friday that quarterback
“Des Bryant is fine, back to normal,” Chudzinski said. “There are no problems going forward. He just had some shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat. We took him to the hospital. He stayed overnight as a precaution. We’re not expecting any issues going forward.
“Chris Ogbonnaya had a concussion, so he’s going to be going through the concussion protocol during the course of the next few days, and we’ll see where he’s at, and we’ll take it from there.”