Game Preview: Browns-Colts

Posted Aug 23, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Cleveland Browns continue the 2013 preseason with Saturday night's game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Cleveland Browns’ focus entering their first road game of the 2013 preseason, Saturday night against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, is accomplishing a mission.

“Whether it’s the preseason or the regular season, you want to be in every one of them and you want to win,” veteran linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said. “It’s a business trip. The first two weeks were a pretty good outing on our part. We’ve got to continue to get better. We’re going down there to beat a good football team, and put what we’ve learned from practice onto the playing field. Hopefully, we come out on top.”

Coach Rob Chudzinski added, “I’m excited about getting a chance to play Indianapolis this week, a playoff team from last year that went 11-5 in the regular season. It will give us a chance to play a road game, which we haven’t done yet this preseason, go through that process of doing that, as well as playing in a dome, which also brings some unique challenges.”

The Browns plan to play most of their starters into the second half in order for them to learn about making adjustments from the first half, and getting their bodies and minds in a rhythm for the regular season.

“You always want to get ready for the season,” linebacker Quentin Groves said. “You’ve got this one, then, next week and then, the season’s right there. You always want to get ready for the season.

“They always make a big deal about the third preseason game because you game plan for it. You put a little more detail into it. You see what it’s like to be in a regular game week, but at the same time, you get ready for the season.”

The Browns are 2-0 after victories over the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium over the past two weeks, outscoring them, 51-25. The first-team offense has accounted for 27 points, and the defense has allowed only three points in a little more than three quarters of work.

The Browns have averaged 27.2 yards per kickoff return and 20.6 yards per punt return, including a 91-yard touchdown return by wide receiver Travis Benjamin against the Rams.

“Those last two games we’ve played, in all three phases of the game, we’ve gotten better, and that’s what we intend to do against Indy, get better,” Jackson said.

“We have a lot to prove, defensively, offensively, on special teams. I think it’s going to be a good test for us. The Colts were a playoff-caliber team, and we want to make sure we put a good brand of football out there on the field. This game is important. This game will give us that confidence going into Week Four and Miami Week One. It’s a game rehearsal, and we’re going down there to win.”

The Browns and Colts are no strangers to each other, as the teams have played in each of the last two regular seasons at Lucas Oil Stadium.

When the Browns played at Indianapolis in the regular season last fall, quarterback Brandon Weeden completed 25 of 41 attempts for 264 yards with two touchdowns against no interceptions in a losing effort. Thus far in the preseason, Weeden has completed 18 of 25 attempts for 229 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.

“In Indy, I played fairly well, did some good things, but we weren’t able to win that game,” Weeden recalled. “When I think about that game, I think about losing. That was a tough loss for us, but I think I’ve taken the steps that I’ve needed to take to better myself. I have to keep continuing to work, keep continuing to do the things I’ve done all along to become that player I want to be. I’m not satisfied. I feel like I’ve got a lot of work to do, and that’s the mindset moving forward.”

Saturday’s game will be the third in which Weeden will execute the plays called by offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Through two preseason games, Weeden has enjoyed being challenged and tested by the veteran coach.

“Norv’s been outstanding,” Weeden said. “He’s been around so many good quarterbacks and made tremendous careers for guys out of this league. I had a lot of respect, even when we played against him last year, before he was here with us. When he came on board, I was excited.

“He’s coached me hard every, single day. Every, single throw, whether I hit a guy in the numbers or I miss a guy, he coaches me the same. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He’s just a great football coach, and I need to be a sponge around him, soak as much information as I can.”

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