View Full Version : Browns' heated rivalry is alive and well

09-14-2008, 03:47 AM
Browns' heated rivalry is alive and well
By John Harris
Sunday, September 14, 2008

CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns running back Jamal Lewis has a different take than his teammates regarding their lopsided rivalry with the Steelers. Most of the Browns have never won a game against their AFC North rivals whom they face tonight at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

To many, the Steelers nine-game winning streak against Cleveland is purely psychological: The Steelers believe they are better than the Browns; therefore they win.

To Lewis, who won seven games in 14 meetings against the Steelers as a member of the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland's inability to beat the Steelers is strictly physical.

"It's going to be a hard-nosed football game that's going to be won at the line of scrimmage," said Lewis, who was limited to 70 yards on 27 carries (2.6-yard average) in Cleveland's two losses against the Steelers in 2007. "When we had success in Baltimore playing these guys, it boiled down to being physical and executing and minimizing mistakes."

In Baltimore, Lewis said former coach Brian Billick told his players there was only one way to beat the Steelers.

"Billick used to tell us that if anybody in this locker room can't get up for a game like this, you're not meant to play this game," said Lewis, who joined the Browns last season. "I've taken that with me from Baltimore, from Billick. This is one you really want to get up for.

"This is my type of game. I know (James) Farrior, (Larry) Foote, (Casey) Hampton and (James) Harrison. I know all of them, played against all of them for years. They know me. We don't have any hard feelings against each other. We don't talk trash. We just know you've got to bring your hard hat. I play a physical game, and they play a physical game.

"The Cleveland Browns team as a whole, we just have to bring a physical approach to this game," Lewis said.

Given Cleveland's lack of success against the Steelers -- the Browns haven't beaten the Steelers since 2003, and they have won and only twice since returning to Cleveland in 1999 -- do the Browns want to beat the Steelers a little too much?

Does focusing so hard on changing their luck against the Steelers take away from the Browns' ability to win?

"I can't speak for before I was here, but since I've been here, they've been able to beat us and basically play better," said Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel, who is 0-6 in three seasons against the Steelers. "I have mentioned (the losing streak to the team), but I don't try to dwell on it. I don't want them to get that mind-set and be thinking about all that. I want them to be thinking about how we can win a game as opposed to how many we have lost."

There has been no set pattern for recent Steelers' wins over Cleveland.

Last year, the Steelers crushed Cleveland, 34-7, in the opener. Later in the season, the Steelers held on for a 31-28 victory at Heinz Field.

In 2006, the Steelers won big at home (27-7) and rallied for a fourth-quarter 24-20 victory at Cleveland.

Crennel pointed out that Cleveland led the Steelers 21-9 on the road last season but was outscored, 22-7, in the second half.

"We couldn't make a first down, and we couldn't get (quarterback Ben Roethlisberger) on the ground," Crennel said. "If we could have done either one of those things, we probably would have won the game."

Roethlisberger guided the Steelers on a pair of touchdown drives in the fourth quarter. He scrambled for a 30-yard score and later hit tight end Heath Miller for the winning touchdown pass with 3:13 left in the game. On the final drive, Roethlisberger was 5 for 5 for 68 yards and also scrambled for 10 yards on third-and-9.

Browns quarterback Derek Anderson blamed the offense for the loss.

"We didn't execute in the second half," Anderson said. "We had opportunities. When you go back and look at it, you missed a few throws, dropped a few balls and just stupid little things, if we convert a few third downs, use a little clock, and get our defense off the field, we probably end up winning it."

Lewis was more blunt about the Browns' deficiencies against the Steelers.

"We need to finish," Lewis said. "You can't start off one way and be up and then third and fourth quarter, you let it get away from you. You have to keep mashing the gas all game."

Cleveland receiver Braylon Edwards, who's 0-6 against the Steelers, said the Browns take the rivalry seriously.

Losing hurts, Edwards said.

"It's a good chance to be in history. That's the biggest thing for me. It's a historic battle," said Edwards, who was voted to his first Pro Bowl last season. "We've been going at it for a long time, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. You see the names that have been part of that rivalry, that battle, that tradition. To be a part of that, you definitely want some W's (wins) on your record. When you meet with the guys that have played in that rivalry, you want to be able to have something to say back. You don't want to just say, 'Yeah, we got beat every time I played them.' "

09-14-2008, 08:46 AM
:hatsoff: Nice read Lambert, It doesnt matter who the Browns players are today, tomorow or even in 10 years... I will always hate the Brownies!!!! Just a rivalry that will never stop in my opinion...
Today the Streak Climbs To 10 ladies and gents!!!!


09-14-2008, 09:13 AM
I don't hate the Browns, actually they're my 2nd favorite team. They give so many easy wins to my favorite team!

09-14-2008, 10:10 AM
Well I hope Jamal expects to get shut down again tonight just like every other time he plays us.

09-14-2008, 11:24 AM
I don't understand why so many people are hopping on Jamaal Lewis' bandwagon. He has never done anything against the Steelers, he won't get more than 60 yards unless we are up by 30.

Penn St Steelers
09-14-2008, 05:30 PM
the war is won before the battle even breaks out in this rivalry........the Browns players, Owners, fans already know this....they may once and awhile win a pushing contest against us (a game here and there), but when all the dust settles we win the fight (more head 2 head games).....

sometimes in life 1 thing always dominates another....thus us over the Brownies, it will never change, regardless of their players...i.e Jamal Lewis....(please let me know when he has had any success against us? I seem not to recall this :wink02:)

09-14-2008, 05:34 PM
We ALL hate Cleveland :tt03:

09-14-2008, 05:35 PM
It's not a rivalry when you've had your ass handed to you for 4 straight seasons by the same team. I think it's called a travesty. :laughing::toofunny::tt02::applaudit:

09-14-2008, 05:42 PM
Ok first off im back since May geez its been toooo long i miss you guys! and with Stallworth hopefully out i don't see them being a huge threat other than its a rivalry that is always a good game.