Browns defense on dominating roll

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 30, 2012 at 3:49 am •  Published: November 30, 2012
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It's taken a while, but the Browns finally have the defense on the field they envisioned having to start the season.

It's all come together.

"We're just flying around playing as a solid group, a big-time unit and we've been trying to get a complete game out of us for a while," said Rucker, signed by Cleveland as a free agent in the offseason after six years with Cincinnati. "We've shown flashes here and there. Starting the year, we played some good ball. It got a little bit away from us, and now we're just right back to where we want to be. We're getting guys back and we just want to make something happen these last couple of games."

They made something happen last week.

The Browns seemed to be all over the field. They attacked Pittsburgh's running backs, causing four of them to fumble. It was rare when a Cleveland defender made a solo tackle. Usually, there were two or three orange helmets flying to the football, and more than one pair of hands ripping at the ball and trying to force a fumble.

The Steelers got stripped bare.

"They take the ball off people and people aren't readily wanting to have the ball taken off them," Childress said. "That's what I see. I see lots of guys in on the pile and it's like a feeding frenzy, which is the way you want your defense. You want all 11 guys to show up."

Along with creating turnovers, the Browns let the Steelers convert just one of nine third downs, the lowest total by a Cleveland opponent since 2006.

It's been two terrific weeks, but Haden, who was suspended four games and was injured for another, knows for the Browns defense to be regarded among the league's best, like Pittsburgh's or Baltimore's, they'll have to do it again, and again, and again.

"We're just going to keep coming in every week and keep hopefully building on those performances and then you have no choice but to look at us like a dominating defense," he said. "That's what we're going for. You have to earn it."

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NOTES: Browns KR Josh Cribbs did not practice with what is being called a "shoulder/chest" injury. Cribbs declined to talk about his injury. ... Browns QB Brandon Weeden was not limited in practice for the second day in a row after returning from a concussion sustained Sunday. ... Browns CB Dimitri Patterson has practiced the past two days and hopes to play after missing six games with a severe ankle injury.

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