BEREA - Middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson has been named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Browns' 20-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Jackson, a seven-year veteran, had nine tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He led a defensive effort that limited the Steelers to 242 yards, including just 49 on the ground. The rushing total is the fewest allowed by the Browns since 2003.
"Most important was getting a win against a rival and for the city of Cleveland," Jackson said. "They deserved it. It's been a rocky year for everybody. To get a win makes it a little better."
Jackson's play has improved since tackles Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin began playing together for the first time this season Nov. 18 against the Dallas Cowboys.
"When you have big guys in there taking on blockers, it allows you to be able to be more effective," coach Pat Shurmur said. "Every middle linebacker in the league wants to have two all-pro defensive tackles playing in front of him.
"When you have your two starting tackles back from a year ago, there's some synergy there that kind of radiates through the whole team. It helps everything, and of course the middle linebacker benefits some."
This is Jackson's first Player of the Week award. He's the first Brown to win AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors since linebacker David Bowens in week seven of the 2010 season.
Jackson was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month in September of 2011.
NOT RIGHT: Linebacker Tank Carder has apologized on Twitter for a recent homophobic remark he posted on his Twitter account. Carder was strongly condemned by injured Browns linebacker Scott Fujita.
"I've had a lot of people tweet me back from what I said," Carder said. "I've seen now what hurt it can cause. When I said it, it wasn't intended to hurt anybody. I promise you, it will never be used again."
Shurmur condemned Carder's original post. It reaffirmed to him the problems athletes can have with social media.
"It is a part of life," Shurmur said. "There was a time when no one wore hats in the building. Times change. What you have to do is be very professional if you choose to have those accounts and understand that when you hit send, if there's something inappropriate there or if it's not what you think, it's a serious deal. I appeal to their professionalism."
ROAD WOES: The Browns' 12-game road losing streak dates back to Oct. 16, 2011, when they lost to the Raiders, 24-17. Shurmur doesn't necessarily believe that the team plays worse on the road than at home.
"Every time you play on the road the venue is different," Shurmur said. "You try to make it a non-issue and then you go and play the game. Our most recent road game was in Dallas, and there was a lot of conversation about us playing in this great, new facility. I didn't see that having any affect on the game."
SEC CHATTER: Mohamed Massaquoi, who played at Georgia, was asking anyone within hearing distance in the locker room if they like Georgia or Alabama in the SEC title game Saturday. Immediately, Trent Richardson, an Alabama product, got in Massaquoi's face. Benjamin Watson, who played at Georgia, then put a bear hug on Richardson.
Richardson walked away with a smile on his face, saying, "Where's (Brad) Smelley?" Smelley, who's on the practice squad, played with Richardson at Alabama.
INJURY REPORT: Receiver Joshua Cribbs (shoulder/chest), defensive back Ray Ventrone (calf) and safety Usama Young (head) didn't practice. Cornerback Dimitri Patterson, who's been out since Oct. 7 with an ankle injury, was limited, along with quarterback Brandon Weeden (head) and tight end Alex Smith (chest/ribs).