The mission is twofold for the Browns tonight when they host the Detroit Lions.
The plan is to improve upon last week's performance against the Green Bay Packers. The other goal is to keep defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh from seriously hurting someone.
Accomplishing the first goal would please Browns coach Pat Shurmur. He couldn't have been more pleased with the showing in a 27-17 win over the Packers, which included a 9-of-10 performance for 135 yards and one touchdown by quarterback Colt McCoy.
The second goal might not be so easy. Suh had one of the most vicious hits all of last season when he horse-collared Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme by the head and swung him violently to the ground in a preseason game.
Browns center Alex Mack was asked his opinion of Suh, who's one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the NFL.
"We're more worried about the Browns right now," Mack said. "What we're going to do. We've yet to game plan."
It would take an outstanding effort to play better than the Browns did last Saturday against the defending Super Bowl champion. The offense showed more cohesion than at any time on the practice field. The defense was spotty but for the first time out in a new-look 4-3 base, the unit performed well.
"I was pleased with the way (the defense) played," Shurmur said. "We were physical. We played a lot of man coverage. You didn't see guys running wide open. The coverage was tight. The receivers were challenged, and we did create some pressure and disrupted the quarterback."
The starters are expected to get the bulk of time in the first half before play is turned over to the second and third units in the second half. It will be another chance for McCoy to build off a quality showing against the Packers.
"We were a little rusty in the (intrasquad) scrimmage, but we came out and played well against Green Bay," McCoy said. "Detroit is going to be a challenge for us. They play real wide techniques. They come at you.
"Week to week we've had to continue to make progress and continue to get better. I thought for the first time out on the field we did a good job. We're adding some things. We have to keep the ball rolling. We have to keep getting better each time we get back on the field."
That's exactly what Shurmur said when detailing what he wants to see from the offense tonight.
"We're looking generally for efficiency, guys to perform well, eliminate the mistakes and then move forward in terms of the details of the plays that we're running," Shurmur said. "You're looking for some consistency and efficiency, and you want to see the guys perform well. When the situations dictate it, you'd like to see guys step up and make plays."
There will be two more preseason games before roster cuts are made. The first cut will be after the third game and will reduce the size to 60 players.
The final cut will set the roster at the 53-player limit for the regular season.
Shurmur hasn't pinpointed a particular position area he wants to scrutinize, but as the offensive coordinator he'll undoubtedly keep a closer watch on that side of the ball.
"I think in all the position groups there is something that we take away each preseason game," Shurmur said. "We're in a situation right now where we have a couple linebackers (Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita) that are dealing with some minor injuries. Those guys that step up and play, naturally, we'll get to see them more than we would if they weren't. You're always looking at the skill positions. Then what you want to do is see how your draft picks are developing."
There will be no shortage of areas to analyze.