1. Browns exercising caution with Griffin [
Browns head coach Hue Jackson had no more of an update than the team provided earlier Wednesday about the status quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Griffin, who has been on injured reserve since Week 1 because of a shoulder injury, has been cleared for non-contact activity but likely won't practice with the team this week, Jackson said.
"I think it is more of making sure that everything is healed up properly so that when he goes out, obviously, we will not be able to tackle him or do those things, but when you start exerting energy and practicing at a high level, that all of the sudden there is not a setback," Jackson said. "We are just being very cautious and making sure that everything is done correctly so when he does go out there that he can stay out there."
Griffin remains on injured reserve as Cleveland prepares for Pittsburgh. The Browns are permitted to designate one member of its injured reserve to return to the field within the same season.
2. Kessler 'motivated'
As soon as the next day, Jackson said he liked what he'd seen and heard from Cody Kessler after last week's loss to the Ravens, and that feeling only grew Wednesday after an impressive practice.
Kessler, in his seventh NFL start, was removed from the game in favor of veteran Josh McCown early in the third quarter. He did not return but remained the starter for Sunday's game against the Steelers. Wednesday served as his second practice since the removal.
"He is out there working, ready to go, bright eyed, excited about the opportunity to play. He is playing the Pittsburgh Steelers. You better be ready," Jackson said. "I think it motivated him. He is preparing himself to go play, and he will walk out there and go play well this week. That is what he has to do."
Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor said Kessler was "awesome" at Wednesday's practice..
3. 'My fault'
Asked about Isaiah Crowell's drop in production since the first quarter of the season, Jackson promptly said it was his fault and heaped praise on the third-year running back.
"I take responsibility for that when it comes to Crowell," Jackson said. "This guy is a really, really good player, and we have not rushed the ball as well over several weeks now, and that is disappointing. I have to do a better job. I have to put him in better situations because he is a very, very talented player."
Through the first four weeks of the season, Crowell had 394 yards on 61 carries. In the past six games, he's run 60 times for 157 yards. During that period, Cleveland has dealt with numerous injuries and changes along the offensive line.
"Everybody in the league is going through some of those things so I don't not look at it and go, 'Woe is me,'" Jackson said. "We just have to find a way, and we have. We have plugged guys here and there, and it is a credit to our players and a credit to the coaches to keep trying to find ways to get it done."
Fixing what's gone wrong in second halves throughout the season remains a theme in Berea, and players were greeted with a reminder Wednesday when they hit the practice field.
The word "finish" was spelled out in one of the end zones.
"We have been up at halftime on about six of these opportunities. Normally, that is where you want to be. For some reason, we have not been able to finish it," Jackson said. "To make winning a reality, that is what you have to do. You have to finish games, and we are going to count this thing down. There are six of them left, and I told these guys that and that is what it is there for. We are going to try to finish this season the right way because we need to."
5. Pryor feeling healthy
Pryor's name was nowhere to be found on the Browns' injury report Wednesday, and the wide receiver said he was "feeling healthy" and "ready to go all out" for Jackson.
Pryor had been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury since the Browns' Week 6 loss at Tennessee.
"Hopefully we can bring home a win for him, because he deserves it and this coaching staff deserves it," Pryor said. "We had a lot of energy today – offensively, defensively, special teams, and I thought it was one of our best practices of the season, so it is a positive. That is all I am going to take out of it is it's a positive and we can't look back on the past. Let's try to make some big time plays so we can talk about that next week and say how awesome we did, and we can do that Sunday, so I am looking forward to it and we all are."