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What to Watch For, Presented by Arby's

Posted Aug 27, 2013

The Cleveland Browns conclude the preseason against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field Thursday night.

The Cleveland Browns conclude the 2013 preseason against a familiar foe in the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field Thursday night.

Under coach Rob Chudzinski, the Browns have gone 2-0 against NFC competition, and 1-0 against NFC North Division teams this preseason. Overall, the Browns are 16-12 all-time against the Bears in the preseason, and 7-6 in road games. Chicago won the last meeting, 28-20, in Cleveland on Aug. 30, 2012.

This year’s game will mark the 10th straight year in which the Browns and Bears have finished the preseason against each other. Later in the year, the Browns will end the home portion of the 2013 regular season against the Bears at FirstEnergy Stadium on Dec. 15.

Last year, despite the Browns scoring 10 fourth-quarter points, a second half surge of defensive and special-teams scores paced the Bears to a 28-20 victory.

As this year’s game unfolds, here are several things to keep an eye on:

Browns safety Josh Aubrey. An undrafted free agent from Stephen F. Austin University, Aubrey made an immediate impact in the Browns’ secondary when he was pressed into service because of injuries to T.J. Ward and Tashaun Gipson.

Aubrey is among the Browns’ preseason leaders with 10 tackles, including six solo stops and four assists.

Tight end Jordan Cameron. Cameron has been on the receiving end of six passes for 79 yards with two touchdowns this preseason. In the Browns’ 24-6 win over the Detroit Lions in Week Two of the preseason, Cameron caught three passes for 42 yards and two touchdowns.

Quarterback Brandon Weeden. In three preseason games, Weeden has engineered six scoring drives, three of which have ended in touchdowns for the Browns. He has completed 30 of 50 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns against no interceptions.

Running back Trent Richardson. After missing the Browns’ preseason opener while working his way back from a leg injury, Richardson totaled 64 yards on 13 carries in the last two weeks.

In a win over the Lions, Richardson played in two series, and rushed for a game-high 33 yards, including a long run of 17 yards, on six carries. He followed up that performance with 31 yards on seven carries against the Indianapolis Colts.

Last year, Richardson was a catalyst for the Browns’ offense, as his 950 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns, 267 carries, 12 total touchdowns, 72 points scored, and 1,317 scrimmage yards eclipsed the franchise’s previous marks for rookies, while the three 100-yard rushing games equaled the record set by William Green in the 2002 season.

Running back Brandon Jackson. Because of a rash of injuries at running back throughout the preseason, Jackson’s opportunities to make plays have increased. He has rushed for 38 yards through three preseason games.

Wide receiver Josh Cooper. Cooper entered last week’s preseason game against the Colts with 35 yards receiving on four catches. He caught two passes in Indianapolis, both of which went for Browns first downs.

As a rookie in 2012, Cooper caught eight passes for 106 yards, and his first four receptions, all of which came in a loss at Indianapolis, resulted in Browns first downs.

Bears running back Michael Ford. Ford has been a duel-threat option for the Bears this preseason. In addition to his 43 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries -- all of which lead the team -- Ford has hauled in a preseason-best five receptions for 38 yards.

Ford has also been an impact player on special teams, returning four kickoffs for 185 yards, including a 100-yarder.

Nose tackle Nate Collins. Collins leads the Bears with seven total tackles, including six solo stops, and two sacks in three preseason games.

Linebacker Jon Bostic. The rookie inside linebacker out of the University of Florida registered four total tackles, including three solo stops during the preseason. He also returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in his first-ever NFL preseason game.

The Browns begin the 2013 regular season next Sunday, Sept. 8, against the Miami Dolphins at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Bears kickoff their regular-season schedule with a meeting against the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field.

CONNECTIONS

Browns special teams coordinator Chris Tabor was an assistant special teams coach for the Bears from 2008-10.

Browns quarterback Jason Campbell spent the 2012 season with the Bears, where he completed 32 of 51 attempts for 265 yards and two touchdowns against two interceptions. He appeared in six games and made one start.

Browns tight end Kellen Davis was selected by the Bears in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. In five years with the Bears, Davis caught 47 passes for 529 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Browns punter Spencer Lanning was signed by the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2011 and spent training camp with the team.

Browns defensive line coach Joe Cullen served as the University of Illinois’ defensive assistant in 2005.

Browns offensive line coach Mike Sullivan is a native of Chicago.

Bears coach Marc Trestman served as the Browns’ quarterbacks coach in 1988. He was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 1989, and mentored quarterback Bernie Kosar, whom he also coached at the University of Miami.

Chicago defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, an Ohio native, was the Browns’ defensive backs coach from 2005-07 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2008. During Tucker’s tenure in Cleveland, the Browns ranked fifth in the league with 73 interceptions. He also coached at The Ohio State University from 2001-04.

Chicago defensive backs coach Jon Hoke is from Kettering, Ohio, and coached Kent State’s defensive backs from 1989-93, while assistant offensive line coach Pat Meyer was a four-year starter at Girard High School in Eastern Ohio, and also participated in wrestling, basketball, baseball and track.

Bears linebacker/special teams contributor Blake Costanzo registered 21 total tackles and two forced fumbles in 26 games with the Browns from 2009-2010.

MEDIA

Fans can watch Thursday’s game at 8:00 p.m./ET on local NBC affiliate, WKYC-TV 3. Jim Donovan, former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar, and sideline reporter Dave Chudowsky will be on the call.

The game is also available along the Browns Radio Network with Michael Reghi, Doug Dieken, and Jamir Howerton on the call. All radio broadcasts will be streamed live at ClevelandBrowns.com.

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