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News » Browns not doing their part

Browns not doing their part

Browns not doing their part
It was once one of the most-heated rivalries in the NFL between two, blue-collar, Football-obsessed cities separated by a two-hour drive on the turnpike.

But even if the series has tilted toward the Steelers recently, and the game Sunday is meaningless as far as the standings and playoff seeds go, nothing less than a traditional brawl is expected.

"Those guys are coming to play. They're going to play their best game. They're going to come in here and try to smash us in the mouth," said defensive lineman Nick Eason, who played for the Cleveland Browns for a little more than two seasons.

"This game could be a whole new beginning for them. It's a rivalry game. It's a big game for the players, a big game for the ownership, a big game for the city. They'll be ready to play," he added. "We're going to treat this game as if they're undefeated because that's the way they're going to play."

The Steelers have won the past 10 meetings, including an earlier meeting in Cleveland, and have beaten the Browns 16 of the past 17 times they've played. Overall, including playoff games, the Steelers have a 58-55 edge in the series, remarkable in that the Browns won the first eight meetings when the rivalry began in 1950. Before the merger in 1970, the Browns were 15-5 in Pittsburgh. Since then, they are 6-31.

Romeo Crennel, whose future is uncertain in Cleveland because of a disappointing season, acknowledged that some of the luster has gone off the rivalry because of the Steelers' recent dominance.

"The Browns haven't won enough recently to make it a true rivalry. We have to get to the point where we can be more competitive to get it back to being the rivalry it used to be," Crennel said.

But he also added, "The two towns are still close enough that there's a competitive air anytime the two towns play each other."

Santa, Steelers work today

The work schedule was tweaked for Christmas so players could spend time in the morning opening gifts with their families and also be home in time for dinner. But today is a full workday nonetheless.

"To get where we want to go, it would be stupid on our part to take a day off," Hines Ward said. "Two full days of practice is not going to do. We have to have three full days of practice to get our mojo back."

Clark out Sunday

Safety Ryan Clark is definitely out of the game Sunday, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger participated in a full practice despite an ankle injury.

Linebacker James Harrison did not practice because of a hip injury but is expected to play against the Browns. Four other players were excused from practice, but not because they were hurt -- running back Willie Parker, defensive end Aaron Smith, cornerback Deshea Townsend and Ward.

Quick hits

An official scoring change from the loss Sunday at Tennessee took away a pass from Roethlisberger.

A 2-yard pass from Roethlisberger to Parker was changed to a 2-yard rush. The play was considered a pitchout, not a forward pass.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 25, 2008

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Shaun Rogers Name: Shaun Rogers
Position: DT
Age: 29
Experience: 8 years
College: Texas
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