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Focus on Browns during bye week

Posted Nov 5, 2013

Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski wants the team to focus on improving first, and then, the upcoming game against the Cincinnati Bengals during the bye week.

The Cleveland Browns are on their annual bye week, and although they don’t have a game to play on Sunday, there is plenty of work to be done, according to head coach Rob Chudzinski.

And for Chudzinski and the Browns started that work by analyzing the team’s performance through the first nine weeks of the season, as well as focusing less on the remaining seven games and more upon honing their fundamentals.

“Our focus on the bye week is going to be a combination of us and Cincinnati,” Chudzinski said after practice. “This portion, especially with our players here in the next day or two, we’re primarily focused on us and the ways we can improve. We’re looking at cut-ups, we’re going through scheme things to try to fix some things, look at what we’re doing well, what we’re doing not so well, so that we can progress for these next seven games.

“We’re looking a lot at technique evaluation, as well as personnel, seeing what we’re doing. There’s some things we can modify. We’re working to get better, have our players getting some rest and rejuvenate, both mentally and physically. More later in the week, especially with the coaches, we’ll get started on Cincinnati and preparing for them.”

Chudzinski said there were “a lot of things” that the team needs to work on during the bye week and that the 2013 Browns are “still a work-in-progress.”

“I expect us to keep improving like we need to,” Chudzinski said. “As you look at it from each side of the ball, we’ve started talking about it as a staff, from offensive standpoint of getting better in the run game and getting better on third downs. Defensively, it’s the same thing, third-down situations, looking at some red zone.

“Those are some things we’re very focused on right now to get better at. This bye week gives us a chance to look at our personnel, take a good look. ‘Are we doing the right things with them?’ ‘Is there something we can do better and put them in a better position?’ As a coach, I believe that we always want to put our guys in the best position for them to succeed, which will give us the best chance to succeed.”

In addition to Tuesday’s practice, the Browns will be on the field again Wednesday before the players begin their collectively bargained four straight days off Thursday.

Following the respite, the players will get back to work on Monday.

“I want them to come back stronger and hungrier, and be ready to go for the next seven games,” Chudzinski said. “Obviously, our approach is to start with the first game, which is Cincinnati. We all have goals. Our goal is just like every other NFL team, to win. I want us to be improving every week, having the right approach and taking the approach to improve and get better. I expect that from these guys, and that’s what they’ve shown to this point. I expect us to keep improving.”

IMPROVING THE RUN

The running game is one of the things Chudzinski and the Browns will look to improve for the final seven games of the season, as they have rushed for 734 yards in nine games, an average of 3.7 yards over their 199 attempts.

“That’s something we’re taking a good look at this week, the running game in general and getting Obie (Chris Ogbonnaya) some carries (is what) we want to do. We’re working to find the things that those guys do, and during the course of the game, them being in there at different times, the right times, and having opportunities. We’ll do a better job of getting them in when they need to and rolling it a little bit more.”

INJURY UPDATES

In the Browns’ 24-18 win over the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday, quarterback Jason Campbell suffered bruised ribs while scrambling out of the pocket and having Ravens defensive lineman Haloti Ngata land on him. Wide receiver Greg Little sprained his shoulder while being tackled along the home sideline after a long catch-and-run.

Both players were able to get work in during the practice.

“Jason went out and did a little bit out there, not a lot, but he’s fine,” Chudzinski said. “It’s the same with Greg, some individual stuff.

“Overall, from a practice standpoint, we rested a number of guys today. We’re just 48 hours out from the game. Normally, this would be a day off, so it gave us a chance to give a lot of our younger guys, or more inexperienced guys some reps today. We rested some of our more senior citizens, and some guys who had a lot of reps in the game.”