At some point before each game, Emmanuel Ogbah gathers with Carl Nassib to discuss his goals for that particular afternoon or evening.
No matter the opponent or situation, Ogbah's plans remain the same.
"I tell him before every game he gets a play, I got to get a play, too," Ogbah said after Thursday's preseason loss to the Bears. "We like to compete with each other. If he makes a play, I've got to make one, too."
On Thursday, it was Ogbah who set the pace and Nassib who followed with a big moment of his own.
Ogbah came out firing on the first series of the game and dropped Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer on a third down to force a punt. Nassib was nipping at Hoyer's heels on the sack and followed with a drive-stopping play on the ensuing series, batting a ball down at the line on a third down to force a field goal attempt.
These were the kind of plays Hue Jackson wants and needs to see on loop starting next week when the Browns kick off the season at Philadelphia.
"Those are the young guys. Those guys made some plays early," Jackson said. "Our defense early did a nice job. Everybody is looking for the consistency. Obviously, when you get to the second and third teams, it is a little different. I think we all get that.
"I'm so excited about next week. That is where my mind is and that is where this football team's mind is. That is what I just told them is that preseason is over. Whatever it is, it is. Now, it is time to get ready to play some real football."
The Browns take on the Bears in the last game of the preseason.
Rookies Joe Schobert, Derrick Kindred and more will need to be ready for that same challenge if Thursday's distribution of playing time was any indication.
Schobert, a fourth-round pick out of Wisconsin, saw the field early and often against the Bears and collected his first sack in the second quarter. With the departure of veterans Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo, Schobert has an opportunity to maintain that kind of major role as an outside linebacker starting as soon as the season opener.
"I think whether it be defense or special teams or anything, I've been confident since I've been here that I can help the team," Schobert said. "Mostly for me, especially coming into camp, I just wanted to limit mental errors, technique errors on the field. Once I can get that stuff out of the way, you can just start playing faster and recognizing what the offense is trying to do to you."
Kindred, a fourth-round safety, also saw some early playing time against the Bears and has steadily seen his responsibilities at the position increase throughout the preseason. When Jackson talks about his main players at safety, Kindred, who is also widely used on special teams, is included along with Jordan Poyer and Ibraheim Campbell as the guys he expects to count on in a big way in 2016.
"I don't think it really matters who walks out there first. I know quote-unquote people want to know who the starter is, but I think as much nickel as we see – I'm talking about three wide receivers in the National Football League, two tight ends, all that – all of those guys can play at any time," Jackson said. "What is really important is that we are beginning to feel comfortable with three guys that can go in there and play. We will determine who the starters are here pretty soon."