Rashard Higgins is playing the best football of his career, and the Browns have needed it.
The veteran wide receiver has stepped up in a big way since Odell Beckham Jr. was lost for the season. Since Week 7, Higgins has caught 30 passes for 491 yards and two touchdowns. His chemistry with Baker Mayfield has only gotten stronger, and Higgins just keeps finding openings in the opposing defense.
ClevelandBrowns.com caught up with Higgins as he prepared for the Browns' Week 16 matchup with the Jets.
CB.com: Playoff talk is in the air as you guys head into a Week 16 matchup with the Jets. What are you most focused on?
Higgins: Our focus is just get the job done. They're coming off a win against a very good team and they're hungry. I remember when we were 0-13 one year and we wanted to win. We were doing whatever it took to win. The Jets are going to bring all they've got. We've got to be ready for a fight. We've got to do what we've got to do. We've got to execute and click on all cylinders. It's going to be a hungry team we're going against, but we've got to get the job done.
CB.com: You've got experience on the other side of the field with this. How dangerous can a team like that be?
Higgins: Absolutely. We can't take this team lightly. We've got to approach it like we approach every other game and do our job.
CB.com: What's been the key to the success of the passing game of late?
Higgins: I feel like we're very honed in on details, doing the little things. (Wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea) is doing a hell of a job of coaching us up, making sure we see the importance of the details. Today, he brought up a story about Kobe Bryant when he came in and did a speech with the Patriots. One of the first things he talked about was the details. If the best to ever do it can say how much the details are important, then we need to know them. We're just trying to implement it into our game and I think it's the biggest difference of what we've done so far.
CB.com: How much pride has the group taken in filling the void left by Odell?
Higgins: We've got playmakers all over the field. We're sad our brother went down, but the coaches do a hell of a job making sure we know all of the positions. When that time comes, it's presented itself and we've just got to be ready. Be in the moment and never not be ready. Stay ready so you don't have to get ready.
CB.com: What have you liked from how Donovan Peoples-Jones has handled added responsibilities?
Higgins: I feel like he's learning from us, especially from guys like me and Jarvis (Landry). We're showing the way. Two veterans like me and Juice, the way we approach practice, the way we go about ourselves, he's focused and I feel like he's doing a hell of a job so far.
CB.com: When you look at the stat sheet and see six players with three or more touchdowns, how does that help the offense?
Higgins: Whoever can contribute to us winning, I'm all for it. It's an unselfish team. We all want the ball but we all know our time is going to come. There's no need to be down on yourself if you don't get a touchdown this game or if you don't get a pass this game. You know what, we're winning, and that's all that matters.
CB.com: The team bounced back so nicely from the Ravens loss. What is it about this team that makes it so focused on the next game?
Higgins: We've got a much bigger picture in mind. We all know what we want to accomplish. We all know where we want to go. Of course losing hurts. It makes us not want to go there anymore. It makes us look at what we did wrong. Going into this stretch with these last couple of games left, it's just really important.
CB.com: As one of the longest-tenured players on the team, how much do you cherish this season?
Higgins: I cherish all of it. All of the ups, all of the downs we've been through. For us to finally see the fruits of our labor, it's been a hell of a journey. To be a 10-win season so far, it feels unbelievable. We've got more, though. That's all I can say. We've got more, and we're looking forward to it.
Check out exclusive photos of the Browns preparing for their game against the New York Jets