Browns making sure to fix errors
CLEVELAND – There could be some extra hours in the film room this week for Browns linebackers Eric Martin and Barkevious Mingo.
The two were the culprits on a breakdown that led to a block of a Spencer Lanning punt against the Bengals. The ball was picked up by Tony Dye and returned 24 yards for a touchdown as part of a 31-point second quarter for the Bengals.
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski put it succinctly when asked about recent struggles by Martin.
“Those things have to improve,” Chudzinski said. “He’s played well at times and done some good things. On special teams it’s those kinds of mistakes that we have to eliminate.”
Mingo took responsibility for the breakdown on the punt coverage unit. There’s no secret to what must be done to avoid a repeat.
“Do my job,” Mingo said. “I didn’t do my job on that play. Do it the way it’s been taught and the way we run it.”
HIGH PRAISE: Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton speaks highly of Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. Horton played and coached for LeBeau and credits LeBeau as a mentor and friend.
“For me I would say it’s more of a personal than a professional relationship,” Horton said. “I carry some of the life lessons I learned from him in my life and have instilled in my children and in my coaching career. Probably everything I am, he’s a big reason why.”
Horton was understandably pleased when LeBeau was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
“For a man who contributed as much as he did as a player and coach, and to have as many players on his side was justice for him,” Horton said. “Most players you hear talk about him it was a father-son relationship. I’m sure those guys were just as proud as I was for him.”
WHAT IF?: It was thought the Browns might select quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the first round of the 2004 draft, but instead went with Miami (Fla.) tight end Kellen Winslow. Roethlisberger was selected five picks later by the Steelers.
You have to wonder how things might have turned out for Roethlisberger and the Browns if he had been their choice.
“I’m very happy here in Pittsburgh,” Roethlisberger said. “There were other teams that obviously had picks ahead of the Steelers. I don’t dwell too much on what could have been because I’m happy with where I’m at.”
CONFIDENT GUY: Linebacker Tank Carder believes he’s more than a special teams player. He might get a chance to prove that Sunday in place of the injured Craig Robertson.
“I’m the kind of guy that the role I’m given I’m going to take it and be the best at it,” Carder said. “If they ask me to be a starter, I’m going to be a starter.”
TOUGH GOING: No AFC North team has won a division game on the road this season. The Browns are 0-2; the Steelers are 0-1 and the Bengals are 0-2.
The Steelers have four division games remaining, including road games against the Browns and Ravens the next two weeks. The Browns finish in Pittsburgh Dec. 29.