Prisuta's 4th & Goal:

The "any-given-Sunday" rhetoric isn't resonating this week. Not when the Steelers ...

... have beaten the Browns 11 consecutive times and in 18 of 21 meetings since Cleveland's franchise resurrection in 1999.

Not when the Browns kicked as many field goals (2-for-2) as they completed passes (2-for-17) in last Sunday's 6-3 "victory" over Buffalo.

That explains this week's venture into "kicker corner."

That's the spot in the locker room where Dan Sepulveda, Jeff Reed and Greg Warren congregate. They're affable guys, all, but they're the kickers. You go there and you risk ridicule when you go there.

Still, an angle is an angle. And there aren't many if any that suggest the Browns can actually win on Sunday that don't involve return man Josh Cribbs doing something spectacular.

Remember Cribbs running through the entire Steelers' coverage team on a 100-yard kickoff return in 2007?

Remember the 120 yards in punt returns Cribbs registered on Oct. 4 against Cincinnati?

Potential reoccurrences and their ramifications were deemed worth a trip to "kicker's corner" to investigate.

"He's a guy that's got an incredible talent but we're not going to bow down to it," Sepulveda said. "I think we have a pretty talented punt team over here, too.

"We're not going to be on our heels by any means."

Sepulveda said Cribbs can be neutralized with direction, distance and hang time. His objectives for Cleveland will be 46 yards and 5.2 seconds (40 yards if it's cold and rainy, as it was Wednesday).

He'll also punt directionally, but if he hits it high enough and far enough that won't matter as much.

"You can put the ball anywhere if you have enough hang time," Sepulveda said. "If I kick the ball like I did that first preseason game against Arizona it won't be a problem."

I'm assuming the approach will be similar on kickoffs, but I didn't get to Jeff Reed. It's best to get in and out when you visit "kicker's corner."


-- When Detroit scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Northcutt late in the fourth quarter, Keiwan Ratliff was one of the five DBs being employed by the Steelers.

When the Steelers sacked Dante Culpepper three consecutive times to stave off the Lions, Ryan Mundy was one of five DBs on the field. Mundy was covering William Gay's backside while Gay was blitzing off the corner.


"The coaches wanted me in there," Mundy said. "I'm not going to speculate or anything like that but I feel like the coaches have confidence in me. They know I know the calls and they know I'm capable, so if my number's called I'll be ready."

-- The play that backfired on OC Bruce Arians was the home-run swing on first-and-10 from the Steelers' 49-yard line with 9:57 remaining and the Steelers up, 28-13. Roethlisberger wound up getting sacked for a loss of 9.

"We felt like there was another home run to get," Arians said. "We got sacked and don't make that first down. We lost sync."

A shorter route, a more high-percentage, potentially drive-sustaining play, might have been better on first down, in retrospect. But, according to Arians, the Steelers aren't taking their foot off the gas.

"I'd rather be called greedy than conservative," he said. "I hate that word."

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