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Shurmur looks forward to preparation

Posted Oct 10, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur is "looking forward" to starting the preparations for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

On Monday, the Cleveland Browns went through their corrections from Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants. On Wednesday, the players and coaches returned to the field to start preparations for Sunday’s matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Coach Pat Shurmur and the Browns will face the Bengals for the second time in the last five weeks.

“We’re looking forward to getting the preparation going for the Bengals,” Shurmur said. “Our first walk-through was good and their attention was good. I’m looking forward to getting them on the practice field.

“As you move through the process of correcting mistakes from losses and wins, now, we get to actually go on the field and get ready for the next team. I think all 32 teams do that, unless you’re involved with a bye. We’re excited to get the preparation going and get after the Bengals.”

The Browns and Bengals will complete the 2012 regular-season series between the teams. Earlier this year, they met in the Battle of Ohio at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati and the host team won, 34-27.

With rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden throwing for 322 yards and two touchdowns and first-year running back Trent Richardson rushing for 109 yards and catching another four passes for 36 yards, the Browns held a 439 to 375 edge in yards of total offense, including a 130 to 80 advantage on the ground and 322 to 295 through the air.

“That’s a great combination,” Shurmur said of Weeden and Richardson. “(Weeden) learned in that game to take some checkdowns. He checked the ball down to Trent and he ran it in one time. I think (Brandon) was better than he was in the Philly game, so it all ties together.”

The Browns are working for their first victory of the 2012 season and the first win against an AFC North Division team since they defeated the Bengals, 23-20, on Oct. 3, 2010 at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

“You want to win every game, certainly, and you’d like it to happen at home so you create that home field advantage, which is tough for the opponent,” Shurmur said. “This is a division game, so it’s kind of a double whammy. To win a division game at home would be great for our young team.”

EXPECTATIONS FOR HADEN

Third-year defensive back Joe Haden came back to Berea on Monday after serving a league-mandated four-game suspension. Despite missing four games and a month of training with the team, Shurmur expects Haden to play at a high level.

“I think he’ll be extremely sharp,” Shurmur said. “In talking with him about how he spent his time away and knowing the kind of shape he keeps himself in, I’d anticipate, physically, he’ll be sharp and now, it’s a matter of going out and practicing, getting his sea legs back this week so that he’s ready to go on Sunday.”

ROOKIES UP FRONT

When second-year Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor suffered a torn pectoral muscle in offseason workouts earlier this year, the void he left was filled by rookie tackles Billy Winn and John Hughes.

Winn started the first five games at right defensive tackle between end Frostee Rucker and left tackle Ahtyba Rubin. Rubin suffered an injury near the end of the Giants game last week and Hughes split time with fellow first-year professional Ishmaa’ily Kitchen in his place.

Shurmur said Hughes and Winn have been “pretty good” against the run this season.

“I think they can get better,” Shurmur said. “There’s a lot going on there: getting lined up properly, defeat your block, address your gap, separate and make a play. They can continue to improve, just like everybody on defense. I’m confident they’ll answer the bell.”

ON THE FIELD

Linebacker Scott Fujita had his suspension reduced from three games down to one by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, but was able to practice with the team on Wednesday in preparation for Cincinnati.

“He’s out there,” Shurmur said. “This is a league issue between him and league and I haven’t been informed of anything more than what the official report was yesterday. We’re proceeding as though he’ll be ready to play this week.”

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