5 things: Browns welcome Chauncey Billups to practice


  1.  **The Browns welcomed a guest Tuesday in former NBA star Chauncey Billups, who addressed the team with their bye week approaching.

"I thought he was outstanding. Boy, what a message," head coach Hue Jackson said. "Just hearing his story and what he has been through in his career. Seventeen years playing in the National Basketball Association, wow, that is kind of amazing."

Billups, a five-time All Star and NBA Finals MVP who helped the Pistons win a championship in 2004, spoke to the team before practice. [



"His message was basically he was really taking our guys back through his career and the ups and downs and how to stick to it and how to work, how to grow, how to learn in this process," Jackson said.

"Even when things are not going great, how to still find some good in it all because there is good in this."

2. With Robert Griffin III cleared to play, Jackson said the Browns aren't going to automatically hand the starting job back to the Browns quarterback.

"Just because he is cleared does not mean things are just going to walk back out there and play," Jackson said. "There is still practice, there are still things we need to do and see before I decide to stick him back out there."

Griffin was given the green light by the team's medical staff late Monday after having been designated for return from injured reserve last week. The Browns have a bye this weekend and host Cincinnati on Dec. 11.

"(I'm) beyond blessed to have an opportunity to get back on the field with my brothers," Griffin said. "I promise my teammates and coaches to give them everything I have as we work to finish the season strong."

3.With John Greco placed on injured reserve, offensive line coach Hal Hunter said Jonathan Cooper is currently taking reps at right guard with the first-team offense.

"He was a good player coming out of college and I know he has had some injury issues both at Arizona and had some injury issues up at New England, and now we have him. We have had a chance to work with him, and I am excited. He is athletic, he is tough, he is smart. Like I talked to him today about what a great opportunity (it was)," Hunter said. "You get a four-week window to really build your resume and really prove that this is where you belong to be, so I am excited for him because one man's misfortune creates another man's opportunity."

Cooper, who was taken seventh overall in 2013 by the Cardinals, joined the Browns off waivers earlier this season.

  1. Jamar Taylor has been a key player in a Browns secondary hampered by injuries this season. On Tuesday, defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi heaped praise on the fourth-year cornerback and former Miami Dolphin.

"I think he's been an unbelievable acquisition for this organization. You talk about a pro, a guy that's played both positions for us, corner and nickel, and played them well," he said. "He's actually having one of his best years in the league. I look for him to grow the same way. I really expect big things from him next year and the next four games."

Taylor, who was acquired via trade this past spring, has 33 tackles, two interceptions and eight pass breakups. Last week against the Giants, he locked down Sterling Shepard for zero catches on zero targets in 51 snaps.  

  1.  Asked about a culture change in Berea, Jackson said "the ultimate change of the culture will be wins and losses" but he's pleased with the work ethic of the team amid an otherwise hard season.

"They come to work every day. They understand our process. Our guys work extremely hard in the classroom and on the practice field. That is all I know. When people say that the culture has changed, I am glad to know that," he said.

"Those things are outstanding. Those things are extremely good. That is beneficial as we move forward. At the same time, the culture that I want to get changed as fast as I can is really the wins and losses."

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