As former Browns defensive lineman Kenyon Coleman said earlier in the week, Cleveland’s upset of New England last year wasn’t just surprising to NFL fans around the country.
The Patriots didn’t see it coming, either. Using a number of crazy looks on defense, the Browns surprise-attacked New England.
“The bottom line is when we played them last year, it wasn’t like we were rolling,” Coleman said Wednesday. “However they perceived us in Cleveland, I don’t know, but we’ve just got to realize that we’re going to get their A effort this year.”
Rob Ryan, the Browns’ defensive coordinator who now holds the same position for the Cowboys, doesn’t think Cleveland snuck up on the Pats, and knows good and well the Cowboys won’t be able to do so.
“There’s no chance of that,” Ryan said. “I don’t know what it was. I don’t think Bill Belichick has many bad weeks of preparation. I’m sure they prepared hard. I think our guys played hard, and we were fortunate enough to get the ball bouncing our way in that game, and we won the game, so that’s what’s great. But this week, it’s going to be even better.”
This week’s gameplan, characterized as “the kitchen sink” and “a head-scratcher” by Ryan’s own players on the Cowboys defense, is a credit to two defensive assistants, Ben Bloom and Dave Borgonzi, doing extensive research on the Pats.
“Both of them coached at Harvard,” Ryan said. “So they’re going home. They’ve prepared and they’re ready to go, so we’re going to be at our best.”