BEREA - The Browns have talked about it for a long time.
That is having a good running game that can control the clock at the end of games.
On Sunday, they were able to do just that. The Browns took over with 3:12 to play and ran out the clock as they ran six-straight running plays, picking up the necessary first down to take the remainder of the time off of the clock.
"It was good we could run the way we did," Romeo Crennel said. "We were able to move the ball on the ground and to eat up the clock because we could run the ball. It was a good feeling."
Jamal Lewis led the Browns attack on the ground as they amassed 148 yards rushing and a 4.5 average. Lewis had 134 yards rushing on 29 carries, including a touchdown.
The Browns are averaging a little over 107 yards per game on the ground.
"Jamal Lewis and being able to run the ball was impressive," Crennel said.
Crennel knows the value of being able to run the ball when you need to.
"It hurts the opponent, both physically and mentally," he said. "As soon as they start ganging up on the run, it allows you to throw the ball down the field, if you need to.
"I know, I'm speaking from experience."
Much has been said about having to be able to run the ball in a cold weather climate like Cleveland. Crennel says the football is kept pretty dry now, but when precipitation falls, it's very important.
"If it's a snow or rain game, it becomes more critical," he said. "Wind does play a factor, as well."
Lewis has 741 yards on 181 carries for a 4.1 average. He also has eight rushing touchdowns. The offensive linemen know if they give Lewis a little seam he will hit it as hard as he can.
"That's a good thing," Crennel said. "They block harder for a guy like that because they know if they can get him to the next level, he has a chance to keep going.
"I think (Lewis) runs really hard," he said. "He runs with a sense of purpose. The line knows he runs hard on every play."
Crennel also admitted the rushing game is good for the defense.
"It keeps them rested but it impacts their mentality," Crennel said. "They're able to rest on the sidelines and then get excited to go out and make a play."
Attention Please: Crennel has had to try and continually instill the players the attitude of "just one game at a time". After a 4-12 season in 2006, the Browns are the feel good story of the season and are being guests more and more frequently on national radio and television shows.
Crennel admitted he has to remind the players all of the national attention wasn't there long ago.
"I just try to keep them grounded," he said. "I remind them that last year no one wanted to talk to you and you haven't gotten any better looking."
Brady's Progress: Crennel was asked for an update on rookie QB Brady Quinn. He is the No. 2 quarterback, but has yet to take a snap in the regular season.
"He's preparing every day," Crennel said. "He knows he's only one play away. I think he has a better understanding of what we're doing."
Gameballs: Besides mentioning the running game led by RB Jamal Lewis, Crennel singled out the play of TE Kellen Winslow on offense and rookie CB Brandon McDonald on defense for gameballs. McDonald also picked up a game ball for his play on special teams.
"Kellen Winslow with his 10 catches was impressive," Crennel said. "Defensively, you look at the young kid, Brandon McDonald. He made a couple of plays on the ball and made the interception which basically sealed the victory. That gives us more depth because Eric didn't play."
Winslow accounted for 107 yards and a touchdown, while McDonald had four passes broken up, a tackle, an interception and two special teams tackles.
On the Sacks: The Browns seem to be enjoying a better pass rush in the last several weeks. The Browns had just eight sacks through the first nine games and have had eight in the last two.
"That's a good thing for us," Crennel said. "I can't put a finger on it, but the guys are working very hard. Kamerion Wimbley rushes very hard and he's been very close many times."
Wimbley and LB Antwan Peek had sacks against Houston.
Injury Update: Crennel said the Browns came out of Sunday's game in pretty good shape. DL Simon Fraser (knee) and RB Jason Wright (stinger) left the game with injuries, but both went back into the game and should be alright. OL Kevin Shaffer and DL Shaun Smith played without any further problems. DB Eric Wright and DL Ethan Kelley were held out and will be evaluated on Wednesday for this week's game.