Eight months of evaluation, preparation, film study, on-field work and meetings have come and gone for Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski, and every moment, he had the mission to improve the team.
On Sunday, Chudzinski will lead the Browns out of the home-team tunnel at FirstEnergy Stadium for the regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins, and leading up to the game, he said “there’s a lot” of different emotions.
“The biggest one is excitement and anticipation,” Chudzinski said following Friday’s practice. “It’s been a long wait. You look back to the first day I came here as head coach, and all of the things that have happened, it seems like a long time ago.
“It’s finally here. This game is finally here. This is why we do all these things. This is why we work so hard and this team is prepared. I can’t ask anymore from them for what they’ve done. It’s going to be an exciting day for us, and I’m looking forward to it.”
“I thought we had a good week of preparation,” Chudzinski said. “We’re all excited to get to the game, finally. I feel our guys are ready for this game, ready for the challenge that Miami presents. We’re excited about this game, being at home, and getting a chance to get out there with the fans in FirstEnergy Stadium. It’ll be an exciting time.”
Part of that “good week of preparation” involved the elimination of outside distractions.
“You have to weed out the things that are important,” Chudzinski said. “I think the approach that we’ve instilled with the players in focusing on this week and the things that are important to this game, and preparing to put ourselves in the best position to win this game, that’s what you focus on, and all the other things become secondary.”
The Browns ruled out linebacker
“We’ve been evaluating and testing him on a daily basis,” Chudzinski said of Mingo. “The doctors have been constantly doing that, and we’ll rule him out. He’s not ready to go, yet, for this week. We’ll see next week.
“He’s made progress every day. He’s running more and doing more things. It’s a matter of him not having practiced this week at full speed.”