Thu, 28 Jan 2021

Jim Wyatt

NASHVILLE - The Titans face the Browns on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

Here's a quick look at the Browns:

Record: 8-3.

Last game: Browns 27, Jaguars 25.

Points for/against: 24.1/26.0 ppg.

NFL RANKINGS

Offense: 18th overall, 355.7 ypg (1st rushing, 30th passing).

Defense: 17th overall, 354.9 (9th rushing, 20th passing).

TEAM LEADERS

Head coach: Kevin Stefanski.

Offense:

QB: Baker Mayfield (180-of-294, 2,108 yards, 17 TDs, 7 INTs, 92.3 rating).

Top RBs: Nick Chubb (115 carries, 719 yards, 6 TD), Kareem Hunt (157 carries, 706 yards, 4 TDs).

Top WR: Jarvis Landry (46 catches, 614 yards, 1 TD).

Top TE: Austin Hooper (28 catches, 262 yards, 2 TDs).

Defense:

Sacks: DE Myles Garrett (9.5).

Leading tackler: LB B.J Goodson (75).

Interceptions: BJ Goodson (2), Denzel Ward (2).

Take/Give: +5 (17/12).

Kicker: Cody Parkey (15-of-17 FGs, 28-of-29 PATs).

Punter: Jamie Gillan 44.7 (38.4).

Last meeting: September 18, 2019: Titans 43, Browns 13.

Of note:

-Browns running backs Nick Chubb (719 rushing yards) and Kareem Hunt (706 yards) are ranked sixth and ninth in the NFL, respectively, in rushing yards. The Cleveland duo is on pace to become the first pair of Browns players to each top 1,000 rushing yards in the same season since Earnest Byner (1,002) and Kevin Mack (1,104) in 1985.

-Browns assistant special teams coach Doug Colman played linebacker for the Titans during the organization's Super Bowl season in 1999. Colman was one of the players on the field for the Music City Miracle.

-Browns tackle Jack Conklin was originally drafted by the Titans in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.

-Browns receiver Taywan Taylor was originally picked by the Titans in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Taylor played collegiately at Western Kentucky.

-Browns kicker Cody Parkey played in three games for the Titans during the 2019 season.

-Browns QB Baker Mayfield has two touchdown passes and a 100-plus rating in three of his past four on the road.

Injury Report

Tackle Jack Conklin (knee)

DT Jordan Elliott (knee)

C Nick Harris (ankle)

RB Kareem Hunt (thigh)

WR Jarvis Landry (hip)

S Sheldrick Redwine (knee)

DT Vincent Taylor (knee)

G Wyatt Teller (calf)

C JC Tretter (knee)

CB Denzel Ward (calf)

Browns Coach Kevin Stefanski on ...

(on what allows Browns running back Nick Chubb to be successful in his scheme)

Between Nick (Chubb) and Kareem (Hunt), their skillsets really would match any scheme. I think we've gotten them in a position where they're comfortable with what we're doing. I think both Nick (Chubb) and Kareem (Hunt) have also made some dirty runs, so maybe when it's not blocked perfectly or the scheme wasn't so good they're able to make yards, so I think that two of them, and I know you mentioned Nick (Chubb), but I think just between the two of them, I think they have really unique skillsets in that regard.

(on having success in the rushing attack late in the game similar to running back Derrick Henry) When you have a back like Derrick Henry, when you're able to have the lead and then lean on people in the fourth quarter, that's the ideal for a team that believes in its running game. We've been fortunate to have a lead in the fourth quarter a few games this year, and Nick (Chubb) in particular has ripped off some big ones, so if you're in that opportunity to get into a four-minute offense, I think you have a team like Tennessee, our team that can play that physical brand of football.

(on Nick Chubb's ability to break for long runs)

Throughout his entire career he's shown that he has that homerun threat, and I think sometimes we get wrapped up in that 40 time from Indianapolis, and really that's not football speed. When you have a guy like Nick (Chubb), when you have a guy like Derrick Henry, they play very fast, faster than I'm sure whatever their times are, which I don't even know what they are, but when you play in the fourth quarter and teams have been tackling those guy the whole game, it obviously takes its toll on the defenders as well.

(on Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield's success in play action)

I think one of Baker (Mayfield)'s strengths is the ability to throw it on the move, and I think you've seen this season that we've been able to do that, get him on the perimeter, make some throws from the pocket, but it's his unique ability.

(on the challenge of defending running back Derrick Henry)

A big challenge. That whole rush attack is really the challenge, and then he's such a special talent. I think it's going to take all 11 defenders to make sure that we're gap sound, play physical football, and then you have to gang tackle versus this player. He's a great runner, so the ability to get 11 guys around the ball is very important.

(on if defenses can focus solely on Derrick Henry or if they have to respect other offensive weapons like wide receivers Corey Davis and A.J. Brown)

That's what makes this a big challenge because this is a very, very good offense, and it's not a one-man show. They have the ability to throw it to the guys you mentioned. They have a really good trigger man. I don't think you can key in on one guy because they can hurt you in multiple ways.

(on using the game against the Titans as a gauge for where the Browns are at)

We really think about it as one game seasons. So, this is a big game because it's our next one is. It's obviously two good football teams, I understand that. But we're really looking forward to the challenge of playing the Titans. I think they're very well-coached. They play physical. They protect the ball. They take it away. So, it's going to be a big challenge. I think our guys understand that there's a lot of work that has to go in this week to get ready for a game like this.

Titans Coach Mike Vrabel on ...

(on Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield's growth since facing him in Week 1 of 2019)

It was such a long time ago. He settled into this scheme and what they're asking him to do. He's doing a lot of good things at the line of scrimmage, getting them into good plays that they want to run. You can see his operation. I think he's just a lot more comfortable there. He has taken care of the football, which has allowed them to be at the top of the turnover margin in the league.

(on Browns defensive end Myles Garrett's skillset and success)

His skillset, his natural God given ability of length, athleticism, speed, power, body control, body lean. He's forced four fumbles. He has got a great skillset, and I think as you watch him, he's continued to have an understanding of his improved instincts, when to come under, when to be able to corner. I think some of the times you struggle as a pass rusher, we always hear, 'Hey, don't be behind the quarterback, don't be behind the quarterback.' I think with him, he has an ability to take that edge and be able to corner and turn and reach for the football. Very similar to a player like Simeon Rice. I remember always watching him corner and be able to get the football out but never be too far behind a quarterback.

(on growing up as a Browns fan and having that rivalry with family and friends)

Growing up a Browns fan, that was probably somewhat a different situation traveling to Cleveland last year in the opening game and seeing a lot of familiar places and buildings and people. Now, we're into this thing and they've found their identity, which is a testament to Kevin (Stefanski) and his staff about how they want to play games. They've won three games in a row, close games, doesn't seem to bother them. They're able to finish it off in a four-minute situation. I've always said that it's been an honor and a privilege to play and be able to coach in this league, going all the way back to the Kardiac Kids back in Cleveland.

(on the difficulty of establishing a team identity with a new coaching staff in a pandemic as Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has)

That was one of the things that we've talked about in the offseason, was when the meetings were virtual and there was so much that stuff that had to be put in, in the offseason, that we weren't going to have to go through that as much. That is something that's been impressive to see them put their program in the offseason and do it virtually.

(on running back Nick Chubb's effectiveness late in games)

I think he's pretty effective early in games. I think he's really good. I think both of those guys are excellent, very good players. Vision, strength, lower body strength, they break tackles, they stretch, cut the ability to get to the edge. Sitting there watching them it's like you forget sometimes that you got to find ways to stop them because you like the way they play and they way that these guys are blocking for them in front.

(on what stands out about Browns offensive tackle Jack Conklin)

Jack (Conklin) did a lot of good stuff here. Now we'll have to go against him, like a lot of other players that move on to other places. Jack (Conklin)'s continued to work and develop. He missed a few games, but he functions well in that scheme. It's similar to some of the stuff that we asked him to do, and Wyatt Teller is a young player that plays aggressive, and finishes, and he's got really good play demeanor for an offensive lineman.

(on the Browns winning games but being collectively outscored by their opponents)

Our job is to win games and Kevin (Stefanski)'s obviously instilled a level of confidence in those guys by playing, and finishing, and understanding that they have a certain style and that they're playing to it. It's always easier to get your message across when those things actually happen on Sunday. 'Hey, let's take care of the football, let's get turnovers and have a short field for offense, run the ball.' They're really good in the red zone and are winning. That makes it easy to coach too.

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