Around the Browns

The win on Sunday wasn't decisive, nor was it pretty. In Cleveland, the win was another step toward becoming far less than the door-mat many perceive the team to be.

One way or another, the Cleveland defense is determined to increase the number of takeaways it produces over the last six games to give the offense the chance to play on a short field, starting with Sunday's game at Cincinnati.

The Browns are right in the middle of the pack in the all-important takeaway/giveaway statistic with 11 takeaways (six interceptions and five fumble recoveries). Colt McCoy has thrown seven interceptions and the Browns have lost five fumbles.

The defense isn't nearly doing enough as far as linebacker Scott Fujita is concerned.

"I didn't realize we only had 11," Fujita said. "That's way too few. We have to get more. I think if we can average two a game, we'll be on our way. We have to do a better job of ball disruption."

The Browns work on stripping the ball daily in practice, but teams are restricted to wearing pads only once a week, so there is less contact in practices throughout the league. At the current pace, there will be around 320 fumble recoveries this season, after teams recovered 349 in 2010.

"Some guys have a knack for forcing fumbles," Fujita said. "The most important (thing) is to get the guy on the ground. Generally, it's the second or third guy in who strips the ball. Some guys locate the ball and get it out with their helmet by themselves.

"You want to get the ball out, but you can't gamble too much. These backs have such good balance, you have to be responsible when you go for the strip."

Rookie end Jabaal Sheard leads the Browns with two forced fumbles. Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson leads with two fumble recoveries.

The Browns did not force a turnover in their game against the Jaguars last week, and they survived an interception thrown by McCoy at the Jacksonville 3. They beat the Jaguars 14-10 with a goal-line stand at the end of the game.

Cornerback Joe Haden almost had an interception, but he dropped it.

"When you watch us play, I think you see a good deal of stripping going on," coach Pat Shurmur said. "There have been teams that have done a good job of protecting the football, and then on the other side, when there's a ball in the air that we can intercept, we need to do that.

"We've got some guys in the back that'll challenge, so we'll just keep working at it. It's just like anything; hopefully they'll come in bunches."

The Bengals have 14 takeaways. They have a more proficient offense than the Browns and have outscored them 236-145. Cincinnati beat the Browns 27-17 during the season opener in Cleveland. The key play was a touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green when the Bengals used a quick snap while the Browns were still huddling. Ever since then, the cornerbacks haven't joined the huddle.


UNDER THE RADAR: Safety Usama Young, playing for injured T.J. Ward, led the Browns with a career-high 10 tackles in the win over the Jaguars.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 -- Career touchdown for running back Chris Ogbonnaya, who scored on a 1-yard run late in the second quarter. He also had his first 100-yard game as a pro, finishing with 115 yards on 21 carries.



--WR Josh Cribbs caught a three-yard TD pass from Colt McCoy. He has a team-high four touchdown catches.

--Rookie DT Phil Taylor had his best game with nine tackles.

--A field goal try by K Phil Dawson was ruled wide right. It was high and Dawson believes the kick was good.

--WR Jordan Norwood caught only one pass, but it was for 51 yards and set up a touchdown.

--QB Colt McCoy completed 17 of 24 passes (70.8 percent), his second straight game completing more than 70 percent of his passes.

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