- After watching from the sidelines in Houston, DeShone Kizer was re-named the Browns' starting quarterback last week as Cleveland searches for its first win of the season. Kizer, a rookie and second-round pick from Notre Dame, appeared re-energized and refocused after five starts filled with highs and lows.
"It definitely sparked my competitive juices. It definitely motivated me throughout the week to make sure that I'm doing extra," Kizer said of sitting Sunday's loss to the Texans. "I think the most important thing that I got to see from my perspective last week is what my process is and what our process is as a unit and how, in this league, you have to talk less and do more."
Kizer, who has showed promise but struggled with turnovers, said he learned a lot during a brief respite. "You have to have a better attitude. You have to do more. That's what this game is. It's doing more. For me, my personal process I think has been good, I am going to stick to it and I'm going to stay on the path that I'm on," he said. "Now, it's just attacking it with a new energy, a new mindset and allowing myself to get out there and perform better."
- Can the Browns address their red zone blues? Through six games, Cleveland ranks last in red zone efficiency with nine scores (eight touchdowns, one field goal) on 16 trips. The Browns, who lead the league with 16 turnovers, have committed six giveaways inside the 20-yard line, most of which have been interceptions.
"I've told our quarterbacks I won't throw it down there if I don't have to. If I can't trust you, if you're going to throw the ball to the other team, I won't throw it. If we end up kicking field goals, we end up kicking field goals. At least we have a chance to kick a field goal," Jackson said.
"We have to do what we have to do to score points, but we also have to do what we have to do to be team protecting as much as we can. I think our quarterbacks get that now. We have to because we have not done a great job in the scoring zone with the ball, so we have to improve in that way."
- The Browns could be without , who leads the team with three interceptions, after he suffered an ankle injury in Thursday's practice. As such, McCourty was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report.
"We'll cross that bridge when we know for sure," Jackson said when asked about potential replacements. "We want McCourty to be there. He's one of our best players."
McCourty, who joined Cleveland this past spring in free agency after eight seasons with the Titans, leads the team with five total takeaways.
- Something has to give this Sunday when one of the NFL's best run games meets one of the top run defenses. The Browns enter with the league's sixth-best run defense (84 yards per game) while the Titans feature the fifth-best rushing offense (132 yards) behind DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry.
"I think our coaches summed it up good this week, you have one former Heisman Trophy winner and one guy who led the NFL in rushing in a season, so you have two elite backs in that sense," linebacker Joe Schobert said Friday. ""I think DeMarco Murray is a bit of a more downhill, one cut kind of runner. He hits the hole and goes. Henry kind of has that big play ability where he is not necessarily looking to hit it straight between the tackles and run people over, but he is trying to get out in space, kind of like a smaller back. At his size, when he gets out in space he is a load to bring down."