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Rashard Higgins has 'all motivation' necessary to help Browns reach goals

Higgins has stirred plenty of motivation for 2021 by watching the Browns’ season-ending game versus the Chiefs from last season

Rashard Higgins has rewatched the Browns' final game of the 2020 season over and over again.

The pain from the 22-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Round has subsided for Higgins, who was at the center of a pivotal moment in the game when he fumbled the ball on a goal-line dive to the end zone. NFL rules declare a fumble through the end zone as a touchback, so Higgins was robbed of a potential touchdown, one that might've altered the final result.

That's all in the past, but it hasn't stopped Higgins from watching the game, and then watching it again.

"I re-watch it all the time," he said. "It's no pain for me. It's all motivation. I don't see it as pain. It's 'how can I get better from that?'"

Check out photos from the sixth day of Browns Camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus

That's been one of Higgins' main motivations for 2021 training camp, where he's in the middle of a thick competition for the third and fourth roles on the receiving depth chart.

Higgins has been in such competitions his whole career. Ever since the Browns drafted him in the fifth round in 2016, Higgins has had to fight for a role on the roster every training camp. That's no different in 2021, even though Higgins was one of the most valuable Browns receivers when Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 7.

Higgins finished the year with 37 receptions for a career-high 599 yards and four touchdowns. But with Beckham back and Jarvis Landry slotted behind him, Higgins is once again fighting for the same role he thrived in last season.

"I feel like we're all in competition," he said. "We all feed off each other, but at the end of the day, we are all out here to get better. There is no competition. I'm going to root on for the next man, just like how he is going to root on for me."

Higgins is reliable. He's recorded just one drop in the last two seasons and didn't record a single drop in 2020. He's a favorite teammate of quarterback Baker Mayfield and a favorite player among Browns fans. Head coach Kevin Stefanski has always spoken highly of Higgins and admired how he continued to give full effort despite being targeted just six times in the first six games last season.

When the Browns needed a receiver to step up, Higgins was always there.

"He is a guy that has done everything that has been asked of him," Stefanski said. "I think it is a great example to some of those young players – not just young receivers, just the young players – you need to push through and grind when you get into training camp."

Oh, and about that chemistry with Mayfield? It's been growing ever since the duo became teammates in 2018, Mayfield's rookie season. Higgins was one of his top targets when both players took second-team reps together, and both have benefited greatly from the partnership, which Higgins believes stemmed more from a helpful figure from above rather than their hours of time on a field together.

"You've got to ask God, bro," he said with a chuckle. "It's just smooth, you know?"

The Browns love Higgins, and Higgins loves the Browns.

That admiration is why the Chiefs game has become so important to him. His goal-line shortfall stung at first, yes, but it didn't take long for him to begin thinking about his next shot to make a game-changing play — and he wanted to do it in a Browns uniform.

So he turned down offers elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent this offseason and came back to the Browns, vowing to give them everything he could to return to the playoffs.

"We have everything I need here," he said in March. "I'm here because this is the best situation, and this is where I want to be. I have my quarterback, I have everything in line like I want it to be and I'm just glad to be a Cleveland Brown."

Now, as Higgins prepares to carve another role on the receivers roster, he has one thing on his mind: a Super Bowl.

He hopes he has another big moment or two to help the Browns get there, and when it comes, he's confident he'll pull through.

"If we're not going to the Super Bowl, we should not be talking," he said. "That's the goal, and that's the expectation."

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