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Browns Monday locker room report


Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell earn a new nickname

  • Terrance West is currently tied for fourth in the NFL in rushing yards. He's also the first running back since Matt Forte (2008) to post at least 90 total yards in his first two games as a pro. He's clipping off 4.8 yards per carry and he's tied for the league lead in 20-plus yard runs (two). West is used to putting up astronomical numbers in college at Towson and recognizes only one number truly counts.
  • "None of that matters to me," said West on Monday. "I'm just worried about winning. We can look at the [stats] at the end of the year. But right now it's all about getting 'W's.
  • Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins has given West and his fellow rookie running mate a nickname: Baby Backs. West seemed open to the name but chimed in that the 5-foot-8 Hawkins is, "A baby, too!"
  • Against the Saints, West took the majority of the carries (19), while Crowell toted the rock 11 times. The relationship between West and Crowell is the only thing growing faster than the pair of rookies are out on the field.
  • "We always motivate each other," West said on Monday. "We always play around, like man, who is going to bust the next long one? If he busts one, then I'm going to bust one. We just push each other, but in a good way. People will start to recognize us. I'm quite sure they will. But we just take one game at a time and everything else will take care of itself."
  • Sunday's upcoming game against the Ravens is a special one for West. The Baltimore native grew up cheering loudly for the purple and black
  • "Right now, I gave my heart and soul to the Cleveland Browns," West said. "I don't like the Ravens right now (laughs)."

Mike Pettine: Browns need to learn how to handle success

  • In some of his funniest Rex Ryan-esque commentary, Mike Pettine told the media he celebrated hard last night after toppling the New Orleans Saints for his first NFL win. The cigar he smoked was apparently the size of a mini baseball bat.
  • "I'm feeling it a little bit this morning (laughter), but I came to work," said Pettine. "I watched the tape – a lot of good things, but a lot of bad."
  • Pettine's point wasn't to brag that he's a hip, young coach who knows how to have a good time. The message to his players is simple: enjoy one win for one night. Because it is what it is – one win. Pettine, who has done a brilliant job of being direct and controlling the message to his players, addressed the entire team to make sure he's clear about winning becoming the expectation in Berea.
  • "Handling success is important," said Pettine. "They need to understand the praise. Just like I said last week, we don't want one loss to turn into two. We don't want a big win…we don't want to celebrate it for too long and have it turn into a loss… I think our guys, now that they've seen it, realize it. We have to be able to lock it away, take what we need to take from it, but then move onto the next one."
  • As of this posting before Monday Night Football, the Browns are currently fourth in the NFL in total points scored per game (26.5). Obviously, the score was helped tremendously by Tashaun Gipson's 62-yard interception return, but the days of not being able to get the football in the end zone seem to have concluded simultaneously with the preseason. Pettine credited the entire offensive staff with devising unique game plans to squeeze out every drop of juice in order for the Browns to score touchdowns.
  • "You can't win with players you don't have, and that's what we're tasked with as a coach," said Pettine. "We'll meet every week – here are the guys that are available or likely to be available – and we need to build a plan that maximizes our chances to win, to be successful. It's a full team thing."

Brian Hoyer: Extra practice with the two-minute drill paid off

*In May, June and July, normally near the end of practice, a whistle would convene the Browns to huddle as a team in the middle of the field and an equipment employee would put 1:30 on the clock. The offense and defense would square off in a two-minute situation, often times with the defense coming out on top. * Because the Browns paid more attention to these types of real-game situations in the spring months, Hoyer thinks his team was more mentally prepared when they needed to be. * "We practice it a lot, the two minute drill," Hoyer said talking to a horde of reporters outside his locker. "You just have to have a certain mindset going into the situation. Where do we need to get to kick the field goal? How much time is left? How many timeouts do you have? And you're really thinking about [circumstances]." * Two games in the books and all of the media members who predicted the Browns' wide receivers were going to plague the offense have quieted down. We live in a football era where people often get too caught up in fantasy football numbers and not the actual execution of the plays. Hoyer's been thrilled with his receivers' efforts through two weeks and only expects improvement. * "I will go with a group of guys that works their butt off, knows exactly what they are supposed to do, gives everything they have over a group of guys that are super-talented any day," said Hoyer. "Because I think guys like Hawk, Gabriel, Travis [Benjamin], like Miles [Austin] – we've all been overlooked. Myself included. And when you have that mentality, you put the extra effort in. You make sure you are on top of everything. Sometimes that overcomes talent." * Favorite Hoyer quote of the day: * "I think the best thing about this win is, after watching the tape, we can play a lot better," said Hoyer. "Yeah, we won. And it was close. But without a doubt, if you ask any [player] in this room could they have played better? Could they have less mistakes? I think they'd all agree."

News and notes

  • Game balls in the locker room following the win went to Hoyer, Gary Barnidge, Karlos Dansby, Paul Kruger and the entire coaching staff for their first win with the Cleveland Browns
  • Hoyer was told in a meeting last Wednesday that the Browns had plans to use quarterback Johnny Manziel against the Saints. Even though the competitive Hoyer expressed his displeasure, the Browns have been open in notifying their veteran quarterback of everything so he can better prepare.
  • There will be no injury updates on Jordan Cameron or Barkevious Mingo (both with shoulder injuries) until Wednesday. At this point, it looks like Ben Tate will be out against the Ravens.
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