By Bernie Kosar, Special Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com
Here are some highlights from my latest appearance on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”:
Maybe it’s human nature, but typically when the schedule comes out you have a tendency to look for unfair setups and rough situations. And I’ve got to say, going over the Browns’ schedule at first glance, this looks like a pretty nice, fair setup.
That’s not saying it’s easy, because every week an NFL game is hard to win and is going to be challenging. You would have never guessed that the St. Louis Rams were only going to win two games last year – and one of those wins was going to be against the New Orleans Saints. And you would have never guessed that the Green Bay Packers were going to start off last season 13-0, and then go to Kansas City and lose their first game to a bad Chiefs team.
So when you start thinking you have easy games or you start looking ahead and kind of checking off wins, I think that’s a dangerous scenario. The same goes for thinking that certain games are too hard or they’re not winnable.
Things change so much from year to year within the NFL, which gives each team the opportunity to make big strides and is one of the reasons it is so popular.
Last summer, I remember listening to the so-called experts saying that Cincinnati Bengals are the worst NFL team that they have ever seen. And here we are talking about four of our first six games being against 2011 playoff games, and two of them being against the Cincinnati Bengals.
There are always going to be some surprises.
The Browns have a very interesting situation with their third preseason game coming against the Philadelphia Eagles, who they will face a little more than two weeks later in the regular-season opener at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Traditionally, the third preseason game is treated as a live simulation of a regular-season game. The starters see more playing time than they do in any other game of the preseason and you tend to game plan for that game, putting in plays to go against that specific defense. And I know both sides will probably down play the importance of it, but there is no doubt that there will some gamesmanship going on between the two teams in that third preseason game as well as in the home-opener.
And then you add the fact that there is so much history between coaching staffs, with Pat Shurmur and Brad Childress having previously spent years together working for Andy Reid in Philadelphia. This will be as close to the equivalent of a mental chess match as I think you could get in the preseason.
Be sure to catch Bernie Kosar’s regular appearances with Vic Carucci on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” Monday through Friday, 6-7 p.m. ET, live on ESPN 850 WKNR and ClevelandBrowns.com
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