Berea – The Browns and Steelers have been going at it for over 50 years and the team's will do battle this week on a primetime ESPN game Sunday Night. This will be the 105th regular season meeting of the two teams, with the Browns holding a 55-49 advantage over the Steelers.
However, there hasn't been much of a rivalry --in terms of the Browns being competitive-- since the team returned in 1999. In fact, the Steelers have won nine of the 12 meetings between the teams since the return.
In fact, the last time the Browns won was on Oct. 5, 2003 when the Browns won 33-13 at Pittsburgh when William Green rushed for 115 yards—also on prime time.
"I know it's a rivalry, but it's the next game that we have to play," Romeo Crennel said. "They are a very good football team. That's the thing that we have to understand. We're playing a very good football team in their place. If we don't play our best game, it'll be tough."
With the advent of free agency and the turnover of players, especially with 28 players who weren't here last year, some wonder if the players know about the rivalry.
"There are some new faces but probably not everyone understands the rivalry," Crennel said. "But, they know it's a big game. If they don't, they will understand it by the end of the week.
"It's Pittsburgh and Cleveland," Crennel said. "Other than the fact it is a big rivalry, I don't think any team can underestimate the other guy in a rivalry situation."
For the players who've been here, they said it won't take long for the new players to understand the intensity of the game.
"I think everyone knows the Browns/Steelers rivalry," Alvin McKinley said. "You don't have to be around here too long to figure it out."
Ryan Tucker is in his fourth season with the Browns.
"I'm from Cleveland, now," Tucker said. "I know how important this game is for the fans, as well as for the team."
Ben Taylor, who hails from southeastern Ohio in Steelers' country, knows how important this game is for the fans of the Cleveland. "There are a lot of Steeler fans from back where I grew up," Taylor said. "They always say they're rooting for me, but still want the Steelers to win."
Orpheus Roye played for the Steelers his first four seasons and still gets up to play the Steelers.
"I always look forward to playing Pittsburgh," Roye said. "There's a little extra energy and adrenaline flowing. I want to have a good game and play well."
The Steelers know the sense of history, as well, starting with coach Bill Cowher, who started his playing career and coaching career in Cleveland.
"The history is tied together with the proximity of the two cities and the history of the teams over the years," Cowher said.
This week's starting quarterback for the Steelers, Charlie Batch grew up in the Pittsburgh area.
"I think the guys have a sense of (the rivalry)," Batch said. "For me, growing up in Pittsburgh, this is nothing new to me because it's city to city. It's a rivalry game for the fans in both cities."
Richardson Player of Week: What a difference a week makes as P Kyle Richardson went from as close to the NFL unemployment line as a player could get to being named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
"The player of the week is by performance and he went out and performed," Crennel said. "Particularly, with the wind conditions, he did a great job."
After shanking three punts in the previous two weeks, Richardson was able to pin the Titans inside the 20-yard line three times despite the unpleasant kicking conditions. He had five punts for 203 yards (40.6 avg.), including a long punt of 54 yards. He also made a key tackle in the second quarter on Titans' PR Lamont Thompson to end a 31-yard return.
"It's quite an honor," Richardson said. "It's the first time I've received the award. I'm very happy for it."
Richardson is the second Browns player to be honored this year with the other being QB Trent Dilfer, who was AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 21.
Both players have had their rough spots this season.
"The Player of the Week goes to a player who performs," Crennel said. "Both of those guys have been around long enough to know how to work out of some problems.
"Hopefully, they can be Players of the Week the next week and continue to show more consistency."
Injury Update: OL Cosey Coleman is doubtful with a sprained knee, as is RB William Green (ankle).
"We'll take a look at (Coleman) later in the week," Crennel said. "It will come down to a game time decision unless they tell me otherwise. Green is making improvement, but is doubtful, right now."
Crennel also said CB Daylon McCutcheon (ankle) will not practice today, but anticipates he'll play.
Crennel said Mike Pucillo will start if Coleman can't go.
"Pucillo did a decent job stepping in last week," he said. "He played his butt off."
Crennel said RB Lee Suggs will practice this week.
"Lee will try to practice this week and we'll see if he can hang onto the ball with his thumb."
Browns Host HS Coaches: The Browns invited the four coaches of the participants of this Saturday's Division I Regional Semifinals that will be held at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
"It's a big weekend for high school football and we're glad to be a part of it," Crennel said as he introduced the coaches.
St. Edward will play Brush at 1 p.m. and followed by a 5 p.m. kickoff with Glenville taking on Solon.
"It's going to be exciting to play in the playoffs," Brush coach Jason Hall said.
It's the first time in school history that Brush has made it to the playoffs.
St. Edwards coach John Gibbons has been on the field before, albeit the old stadium.
"I had a chance to play in the old stadium," Gibbons said. "I was a season ticket holder and remember running around on the field when the Browns beat the Colts, 27-0 in 1964."
Glenville is one of the top teams, not only in Ohio, but in the nation.
"For the kids, I think it will be huge," Ted Ginn, Sr. said. "We're thankful the city and the community is behind our kids."
"We have a ton of Browns fans in our locker room," Solon coach Jim McQuaide said. "To have a chance to play a nationally ranked team like Glenville on their field, will really be fun."
Tickets are available at each school until Friday for $10 (adults) and $6 (students). On game day, tickets will be $12 at Cleveland Browns Stadium.