BEREA, Ohio -- It all starts tonight, and first-year Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski couldn't be happier.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to get here and get a chance to play against somebody else, which we’ve been waiting for,” Chudzinski said of the preseason-opener against the St. Louis Rams at FirstEnergy Stadium. “It’s a chance to really assess from a personnel standpoint, and from a scheme standpoint, of where we are.
“Overall, as a team, I’m looking to see guys out there competing to win, seeing what they carry over from the practice field -- their execution -- to the game, and ultimately, the kind of effort and establishing the kind of identity we want to establish.”
For third-year Browns receiver
“It’s an overall competition thing,” Little said. “Even though the game doesn’t count, it’s a chance for you to go against a different opponent, guys that don’t see your techniques every day, and a chance to run what you’re going to run against guys you’re going to compete against in a game.
“(We’re planning on) going out and competing, just running our things, working on different situations, two-minute, end-of-half, third downs, and just try to be the most efficient in those situations.”
Veteran slot receiver
“You get to line up against somebody else and cash in on what you’ve been doing the past four weeks,” Bess said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to move in the right direction and to make our first step as a team, and make our first step toward trying to win this division.
“You want to be effective; you want to be efficient; you want to be consistent. You don’t want any hiccups. You want to be smooth, in and out of the huddle, tempo and cut back on the mental errors. It’s a run to see if everything is nice and smooth and fluent.”
“(I want) to just string together consecutive good plays, string together a couple good drives and just get the feel of the game,” Weeden said. “It’s a little different than practice. There’s going to be some emotions. There’s going to be some adrenaline. (It’s) about putting together a couple good drives, completions and just manage the game and do the things I need to do to move the ball up the field.
“We’re making strides. We have a long ways to go. I don’t think we’re where we need to be. I still feel good about the guys we have. I’m excited about the potential we have offensively. Once you get in a game, and you get those live reps, you can get a better understanding because it’s tough for you to go against your defense all the time. We’ve got some work to do.”
During the previous two weeks of practice in training camp, the Browns’ coaches have not let their players tackle each other to the ground. Competing against another team will allow cornerback
“I just want to practice my technique and just make sure I’m getting all the calls, getting all the checks, moving around, making tackles,” Haden said. “We haven’t really hit too much, but making sure you get that first contact and make sure everything’s still all good.
“We just want to be able to hit somebody else besides our own teammates, see how this scheme works, see how it looks when you get to go all out, and if the quarterback is really going to release there or if the offensive line is going to pick up the block. It’s going to be really good to see, in a game-type situation, how the blitzes really work.”
The Browns-Rams game is sponsored by Cleveland Clinic.