View Full Version : Cleveland Browns need to be thinking Pittsburgh Steelers,

09-10-2008, 12:58 AM
Cleveland Browns need to be thinking Pittsburgh Steelers, not Dallas Cowboys
Division game . . . Pittsburgh . . . enough said
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Mary Kay Cabot
Plain Dealer Reporter
http://www.cleveland.com/browns/plainde ... xml&coll=2 (http://www.cleveland.com/browns/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/sports/1220949154108840.xml&coll=2)

The Browns have no time to dwell on dropped passes, dropped interceptions, no sacks and other missed opportunities from Sunday's 28-10 loss to Dallas. The Steelers -- fresh off a whuppin' of the Houston Texans -- roll into town for a nationally televised Sunday night showdown.

"This isn't just any week, it's Steelers week," said kicker Phil Dawson. "I think that's a good thing. I think it's going to help us move forward. If we had a bye week, we'd sit around and think about how horrible we played [Sunday]. But it doesn't take much to get your focus on the Steelers."

Coach Romeo Crennel turned his thoughts to the Steelers in the locker room right after the Dallas rout.

"He talked to us and he let us know we've got a conference game coming up -- Pittsburgh," said Browns receiver / returner Josh Cribbs. "They're coming to our house, so we've got to represent, so we're up for this game and we're professionals, and we're going to let [the loss] go and let it be."

Cribbs said he was on the sidelines listening to fans saying "you've got seven days to get it together." "Even they know what it means," he said.

The Steelers served notice to the Browns and the NFL. En route to a 38-17 blowout, Ben Roethlisberger completed 13 of 14 passes before being yanked after three quarters.

Willie Parker rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns, receiver Hines Ward grabbed two touchdown passes, and safety Troy Polamalu picked off a pass.

Crennel was so impressed, he warned Monday that the Steelers' offense might pack even more of a wallop than the Cowboys', which put a 487-yard hurtin' on the Browns.

"They will present that and more," Crennel said. "Because they have a four wide-receiver package that they'll throw out there. That poses another problem we didn't even see [against Dallas]."

And you can bet they'll use plenty of it based on the fact the Browns couldn't stop wide receivers Terrell Owens and Patrick Crayton or tight end Jason Witten all afternoon. Those are the guys we knew they were going to go to and we still couldn't stop them," Crennel said.

If the Steelers' opener - their sixth straight win on kickoff weekend - wasn't enough to get the Browns' attention, a quick rundown of the Steelers' recent dominance in the series should:

The Browns have lost nine straight and 15 of 16.

The Browns are 3-22 against Pittsburgh since 1994.

The Browns are 1-8 against the Steelers at home since 1999.

"We've got to win," said defensive lineman Shaun Smith. "It's a division game, so of course it's going to be bigger [than the Cowboys]. If we win our division, you know what that means. Everyone wants to win the division."

As disheartening as Sunday's loss was, it hasn't changed the Browns' high hopes for the season.

"I feel like we have talent on this team," Crennel said. "If this talent will play to their ability, then this could be a good team. That's what I told them, they have enough ability to be a good team. But everyone has to play together and play to that ability."

Dawson called the loss a reality check.

"It's not time to panic, but it's time to figure out how to improve," he said. "It's a 16-chapter book and [Sunday] was the first chapter. It wasn't a good one, but we still have a lot of the book to read."

He said the game could be a good measuring stick only if the Browns learn from their mistakes. Among other things, they had a blown coverage in the secondary that led to a 35-yard touchdown pass to Owens; receiver Braylon Edwards dropped a long pass; and linebacker Andra Davis dropped an interception.

"If we continue to make the same mistakes, it really doesn't serve us any points," Dawson said. "If guys will be honest with themselves and listen to the coaching and be humble and be corrected, we've got a chance. If we don't make those changes, there's probably going to be more of the same from [Sunday]."

Tight end Steve Heiden took no solace from the fact the Browns bounced back from last year's 34-7 opening-week loss to the Steelers to win 10 of the next 15.

"This is a different year," he said. "I don't think that means really anything. Last year has nothing to do with this year. We've got to come out next week and play well. [The Steelers are] definitely a good team, but I think our team is just as good as that. We play a lot of them this year."

With another one up on Sunday.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter:

mcabot@plaind.com, 216-999-4670

09-10-2008, 06:25 AM
Isn't it all together possible they should have been thinking about the Cowboys and not looking ahead to teh Steelers last week?