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Cleveland Browns

Bengals week: From the locker room

By Marla Ridenour Published: December 20, 2007

If Cleveland wins Sunday at Cincinnati, it clinches a playoff berth for the first time since 2002. Here's what some of the Browns starters had to say this week.


(on the weather) ''Hopefully we'll have a little bit of a normal surface underneath us.''

(another shootout?) ''Who knows what will exactly happen. I think our defense is playing a little bit better than we were in that second week. And their defense has changed since the beginning of the season as well.''

''We talked about trying to pretend like that didn't happen and we hadn't seen them before and go in like it was a team we hadn't played.''

(have you progressed since first meeting) ''It's been all right. I've had some ups and downs. But overall I'm happy with where we are right now. We're in a good position to finish the season strong.''

(you more confident than in second game) ''We've been through a lot more experiences. The more you're in there, the more confident you become. We've grown a lot since that first or second week.''

(pro bowl selections) ''I'm happy for the guys who are going. It's a good deal. It says a lot about what we've done as a whole.''

(are the Bengals a dangerous spoiler) ''We're going to prepare like it's every single week. Nobody's taking it any lighter. Every game is important right now and that's how we've been attacking for I don't know how many weeks.''

(did your performance in week 2 settle you down) ''No. Then you've got to keep repeating it and keep moving the ball and winning games. I've done that for the most part.''

(how big was that first win) ''It was huge. We knew what we could do. We went out there and were successful on offense and did some good things. Really picked up when we needed to and scored, kind of got guys' confidence in things we had been doing and got us rolling a little bit.''

(will you buy gifts for your offensive linemen) ''I have a few ideas.''

(any you can share) ''Nope. But I've decided.''


(disappointed not a Pro Bowl alternate) ''It doesn't matter, really. It's individual efforts and I kinda knew I wasn't going to be in there, anyway. The guys who went earned it, they had the numbers to put up for it. Congratulations to them.''

(what's at stake Sunday) ''They're in our division and it's going to be a fight pretty much every time we play them. We have to control the things we can control and execute the plays we put in this week in practice and roll on. Every game is important and this is the next one and we want to come out with a win.

''It's just another team that we have to face that's on the road the way we're trying to go that's in our way. That's how we have to take this game, this team is in our way and we have to go out there and play one of our better games.''

(are you still putting in plays now) ''We still have things we adjust.''

(can the Bengals make it hard for you to run) ''This past week it was hard for us to pass and we still made the plays we needed to make. We put in plays if it's raining, if it's wet, we can throw the short passes. There are things you can do, eight- or nine-man fronts that we know we're going to have to face.''


(on Bengals) ''They have a potent offense, hopefully it's not a shootout and hopefully we
just come out with a win.''

(nice to know one win and you're in) ''We don't know about all that. All we know is we have to win out and we're in so we don't count on other people losing. We just take care of our business and we'll be in there.''

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