BEREA — As the Browns prepare for a surging Chargers offense, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has reminded a young but promising group they're going up against one of the best, most-experienced players they've faced all season.
Williams described quarterback Philip Rivers as that and more, saying the veteran will be ready for anything and everything Cleveland throws at him in Los Angeles this weekend.
"He's amazing," Williams said Friday on a teleconference. "He's what makes them go."
Rivers, who's in his 14th NFL season, has played a pivotal role in turning the Chargers' season around. He has completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,948 yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions. In the process, Los Angeles has won five of its past seven games following an 0-4 start.
As always, Rivers will be a focal point for the Browns as they continue searching for their first win. And in order to accomplish that goal, they'll have to slow down an offense that has outscored its past two opponents (Buffalo and Dallas) by a combined score of 82-30.
Rivers, of course, has been a big part of that. Aside from Rivers' arm talent, Williams remains impressed with how the quarterback is more or less another coach on the field.
"I smile and I respect every time I watch him on film of all of the things that he does on changing protection, changing plays, changing routes, changing cadence. That's how it should be," he said. "Coaches, we're outside the white line guessing. Inside the white lines are the players, and the real players should have say. He does and I respect that in him."
The Browns' defense, filled with rookies and other young players, will have to be equally as quick to adapt Sunday. Charged with molding the young unit, Williams has relayed to his players that Rivers will know them like a book, be it tendencies, personnel or schemes.
"I have spoken to our team this week about this every day in preparation. Philip is going to read every article that you all publish. He's going to watch every website video on every interview," he said.
"He's going to watch every TV copy of a game that we have played in this year to listen to code words, to watch for hand signals, to get every single advantage he has. He's one of those rare quarterbacks in our league that's smarter than most coaches that he has ever had a chance to be around."