Cleveland has always proven to be a difficult place to play at. The Cleveland Browns might not be the best in the NFL but they have proven to be tough opponents on many occasions. Fighting against the Browns is never easy. The team might be down and under but they never fail to hand in a spirited performance. Moreover, their fans and the Gods of weather always seem to have their back.
This week the Browns (4-7) will be hosting the Baltimore Ravens (8-3) at the Cleveland Browns Stadium. Head coaches of both teams; Pat Shurmur (Browns) and Jim Harbaugh (Ravens) are expecting the encounter to turn into a fierce battle. The historic rivalry between the two teams will of course play its role in the battle too.
“Right. It's a tough place to play anyway,” Harbaugh said in his pre-match interview. “The stadium is huge; it's really right on top of you. It's a great stadium as far as that is concerned. They've got rabid fans. It's right on the lake [Lake Erie]. It's got great tradition. Obviously this rivalry, I think, has special meaning to both sides. It's a great rivalry to be a part of, and it's always a very intense game.”
Harbaugh further told reporters that the Browns were a team with a good fighting spirit. Their statistics might have led them down the table but they still posed as a threat to any team. The Browns can be defined under a true definition of an underdog squad, especially now that Shurmur has found emerging talents in his squad.
The Browns have made a change at long snapper this week, which means it would take time for the snapper to develop chemistry with his kicker and punter. Harbaugh agreed that chemistry has been an issue for the Browns recently.
“Well, it is,” Harbaugh commented. “It's challenging. It's not something that you can't do, because there are not a lot of mental things that he has to learn. But, just the timing is really hard. [I] would expect them to be very conscious of snapping it, catching it, getting it down, especially with the field conditions. It's not ideal, obviously. You wouldn't want to do that, but they felt like they had to make a move, and they feel like it will upgrade them.”
Harbaugh also answered critics who had been lambasting against him for letting go productive veterans for free agency moves. Harbaugh explained that tough decisions needed to be made and the performances by his new signings were proved that he was right.
“I haven't really given it much thought since [the summer], really,” Harbaugh confessed. “I think we have a lot of confidence. We have a lot of confidence in each other. Those are conversations that went all the way back to March, February, from the top down and throughout. They were made with a great deal of thought and care, and you hope they work out. I think, so far, we have done some good things, but that story still has to be written.”