Several members of the Cleveland Browns and their significant others gathered at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank on Tuesday to load up trucks full of food for those in need of a Thanksgiving meal.
There was a delightful mood in the air. Not only are the Browns 7-4, but more than two dozen members of the team showed up on their off day to volunteer their time. This goes back to what we wrote on Monday: this truly is one cohesive unit.
Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, we thought we'd ask the players what they are most thankful for.
Andrew Hawkins: "I'm most thankful for my family. They are my rock. I'm thankful for being where I'm at now in my career and my life. There have been so many blessings. There's so much to be thankful for."
Joel Bitonio: "Just being here in Cleveland and the warm welcome I've gotten. The Cleveland people and the community are amazing. Through social media you are so connected to the fans now. And every time I have a good game, there's always someone who will say something to you on social media that'll make your day a little brighter. I'm thankful to be on the Browns. I'm thankful for being healthy and being able to play the game I love."
Spencer Lanning: "I'm most thankful for the team. It's not often you get a bunch of gentlemen who share the same ideals and passion for the game. If I can't spend Thanksgiving with my own family, I'd much rather be here in Cleveland spending it with my city and my teammates."
Travis Benjamin: "I'm just thankful for everything that has happened to me. I'm thankful for being able to give back to the community. I'm thankful to be alive."
Craig Robertson: "For one, just being alive. I've been around Cleveland for a while now. Just to be able to volunteer and help people have a good Thanksgiving means everything. We are so blessed with what we have. Why not give back?"
Final thoughts on the Falcons win
- Joel Bitonio said something yesterday that caught my attention: Nick McDonald had by far his best game as a Brown. The center was thrown into the mix on Oct. 26 against the Raiders and will be the first to admit he's had some struggles in run blocking. Those struggles did not exist against the Falcons. If McDonald can keep this up, it'll be bad news for opposing defenses.
- Coach Mike Pettine singled out Craig Robertson as having a fantastic game against the Falcons. His nine tackles speak for themselves.
- "Our defensive line played incredible," said Robertson. "Coach can single out whoever, but I told those guys during the game and after the game: they had one of their best games of the season."
- So even if the box score didn't accurately represent it: the Browns got back to their formula – they controlled the line of scrimmage on both ends.
*Thanksgiving Day NFL Predictions *
Bears 31, Lions 22
Eagles 27, Cowboys 19
49ers 17, Seahawks 14