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Excitement reigns for Cleveland teams

Posted Oct 1, 2013

With the recent success of sports teams in Cleveland, there is an excitement in the city, and within the Browns’ locker room.

The Cleveland Browns are on a two-game winning streak after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals, 17-6, last Sunday, and Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians are in the postseason for the first time since 2007.

These are exciting times for the Cleveland sports fans, and the Browns’ players want to keep that momentum rolling with this week’s game against the Buffalo Bills in front of a nationally-televised audience on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football.

“We want to keep that feeling we have every week after the game, and we know that if we come in, practice hard and study the film, we want to keep this feeling,” defensive back Joe Haden said. “We want to make every game be important. Every game is always important, but if you could be first in your division and you’re striving for stuff like that, it makes it more special.

“This is the first time ever being a part of something like this for the Browns. It’s just energy. Everybody’s excited, and we believe that we have a good team. That’s the thing. You go out there and know you’re supposed to win. Now, it’s, ‘Who’s going to make this play so we can win?’ It’s, ‘Who’s going to make these plays so we can come out on top?’”

Haden says the excitement within the city and the Browns’ locker room has helped on the practice field, which he attributes to the team’s performance in back-to-back wins over the Minnesota Vikings and Bengals.

“We have to, and I do remember bad times too,” Haden said. “We just want keep it going, keep winning, and that’s making our practices (better). When we’re out there, we’re just going harder because we just want to keep this feeling.”

Having grown up in North Olmsted and graduated from Cleveland St. Ignatius, quarterback Brian Hoyer knows well what winning means to Cleveland. He looks forward to playing in front of the hometown fans because he appreciates the atmosphere that awaits the team on game day.

“This is such a great football atmosphere, not only in Northeast Ohio, but the whole state of Ohio,” Hoyer said. “Throughout my career, wherever I’ve been, there’s always been a sense of pride in guys who were from Ohio. It’s one of the top five football states in the country.

“To be back here, and be in that football atmosphere where people live and breathe -- ‘Friday night, it’s the high school game. Saturday, there’s Ohio State and the colleges around here, and then, Sunday, it’s the Browns or the Bengals’ -- it’s definitely exciting. You don’t get that anywhere else.”

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