The Browns defense hasn't allowed a touchdown in 19 days. And with their preseason finale set for Thursday, the group hopes it'll continue that momentum into Chicago and, perhaps more importantly, the regular season.
"We know that we're out there, we're running toward a goal and I think that we're taking a great step forward to get to that goal," linebacker Christian Kirksey said. "We'll just see how everything unfolds going against Pittsburgh, but I think this whole preseason has been going well.
Through three games, the Browns have allowed an average of 9.6 points, 274 yards and totaled seven takeaways and 12 sacks under new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who has had the group playing with an attitude since coming to Cleveland in January.
"We're battling," second-year defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah said. "We strive to be a great defense, we strive to be a great team."
"Coach Williams has done a really nice job in the way he is utilizing personnel and allowing guys to use their strengths," head coach Hue Jackson added.
Members of the Browns defense have echoed that sentiment over the past few months as Williams has re-energized a unit that finished 31st in total defense last season.
"Gregg's definitely putting us in the best position that we can possibly be to go out there and compete," Kirksey said.
In additions to veterans such as Kirksey, Joe Haden, Jamie Collins Sr., Jamar Taylor, Danny Shelton and newcomer Jason McCourty, the Browns added talent in rookie defensive end Myles Garrett and safety Jabrill Peppers.
The Browns have also seen young players such as Ogbah, Briean-Boddy-Calhoun Joe Schobert, Trevon Coley and Carl Nassib start to find their niches under Williams.
Now, the hope is that preseason production translates to the season opener against the Steelers on Sept. 10.
"I'm real anxious to just see everything out on the field Week 1 going against the Pittsburgh Steelers," Kirksey said. "I just feel like it's a great opportunity and a great challenge for us to really go and showcase our ability to win games."