BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – It appears the bear has been poked.
Between criticism from the media and a few Jaguars running their mouths this week, the Browns are not a happy bunch and they may be ready to take it out on Jacksonville Sunday afternoon.
After former Browns and current Jaguars safety talked about hanging 40 on the Browns and pitching a shutout early in the week, Jaguars receiver Dede Westbrook didn’t get Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone’s memo regarding trash talk.
Westbrook, who makes his debut Sunday, was asked Thursday during an appearance on Sports Radio 930 about his expectations for Sunday’s game.
“My expectations are high, I always set the standard high for myself. For me – and this has nothing to do with the #Browns at all – but my expectations is 200 yard receiving game,” Westbrook said. “However I got to get that, or course that’s going to come with me and Blake [Bortles] being on the same page most of the game but at the end of the day that’s the expectation that I have for myself this weekend.”
Cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun didn’t take offense to Westbrook’s comments, because there’s a game to play.
“Confident young rookie. I can say I want to go out here and have as many picks as I can,” Boddy-Calhoun said. “We don’t pay attention to what people say. We pay attention to what people do. We will see what happens on Sunday, but whether he gets 200 yards or not, we control that. We just have to control that.”
No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett might see and hear what’s said or written but his motivation comes from within.
“I see it, but I have enough motivation to play as it is,” Garrett said. “They don’t need to add anything to the fire for me to be ready to play. Talk is cheap. You have to go out there and prove it on Sunday what you are going to do, whether it is 200 yards or drop 40 on us. We will see.”
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams laughed off the ‘trash talk’ this week from Jacksonville because, well, he has a Ph.D in talking trash.
“You guys have been around me. You think that we don’t talk,” Williams said. “We practice and then that – nothing, zero [effect]; inside the white lines, inside the game we play and nothing. As competitors, at all walks of levels and sports, that is everywhere. If you are afraid of that, get out. It is no big deal.”
Return Time – As the weather begins to turn in mid-November special teams coordinator Chris Tabor hopes as the temperatures cool, his returners warm up.
“I’m excited about the weather changing,” Tabor said Friday. “We called it the other day in the first day of meetings. I said, ‘It is November 15. Does anyone know what that means?’ They said, ‘Coach, we do not.’ I go, ‘It is the first official day of return season.’ I think things are changing.”
The Browns are averaging 6.0 yards per punt return between Jabrill Peppers and Bryce Treggs and 24.5 yards per kickoff return between Peppers and Matt Dayes. Their longest returns so far this season are a 25-yard punt return by Peppers in Week 1 against the Steelers and a 71-yard kick return by Dayes against Minnesota in London.
Temperatures are expected to be in the 30’s with high winds and a 50 percent chance of snow.
Full Strength – Right tackle Shon Coleman and center J.C. Tretter are both questionable Sunday but it appears 1, if not both will be available.
Tretter has been dealing with shoulder, knee and quadriceps injuries this week but he doesn’t expect to take the game off.
Coleman has not been cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol after suffering one last week in Detroit but there’s a chance he’ll be on the field Sunday. Head coach Hue Jackson said Coleman has to pass the independent neurologist which he hopes “will happen here soon.”
Rookie Zach Banner will be called in to handle the workload in Coleman’s absence if needed. A Sept. 4 waiver claim, Banner was originally drafted in he fourth round – No. 137 overall – by Indianapolis and waived by the Colts on cut-down weekend.
Kessler Still No. 2 – Cody Kessler remains the backup quarterback this week.
Jackson said that Kevin Hogan is healthy after suffering a rib injury Oct. 15 at Houston but he’s choosing to keep Kessler No. 2 for now.
“I have gone this direction. As I have said before, it may switch back again before the season is over,” Jackson said.
Injury Report – QUESTIONABLE: RT Shon Coleman (concussion), C JC Tretter (shoulder/knee/quad), CB Jamar Taylor (ankle); EXPECTED TO PLAY: WR Kenny Britt (knee), RB Isaiah Crowell (shoulder), QB DeShone Kizer (ribs), RB Duke Johnson (shoulder), DL Larry Ogungobi (groin), TE Randall Telfer (knee/eye).