BOSTON (CBS) – The Cleveland Browns may be 4-8 and without a starting quarterback, but the Patriots aren’t going to take their Week 14 opponent lightly.
The Patriots had to come back against the 2-10 Texans last week, so they know anything can happen against Cleveland come Sunday. Safety Steven Gregory joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak on Wednesday, and said despite the Browns record he and the rest of the New England second expect to be busy.
“They’re real explosive, especially on the outside,” said Gregory, likely thinking of the 497 yards Cleveland receiver Josh Gordon has amassed over the last two weeks. “All of their skill players have the ability to make big plays and stretch the field. They have an experienced offensive line that has been together for a long time, so they’re sound up front. They do a lot of things well, so we’re going to have to come up with a game plan to contain them and limit the things they do well, and try to eliminate the big plays.”
Tale of the Tape: Patriots vs. Browns
Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden suffered a concussion last Sunday in a loss to Jacksonville, so that position is once again in limbo for Cleveland. Backup Jason Campbell also suffered a concussion earlier in the season, and has not been cleared to practice. That mean’s there is a good chance the Patriots could face Alex Tanney, better known as the “Trick Shot Quarterback” for a youtube video he posted while at Monmouth.
“We’re getting ready for all those guys,” said Gregory. “We don’t know who is going to be the starter or who is playing, but they all bring something different to the table… Whoever is in there, we’ll have done enough studying on him and understand the type of player he is and how he can hurt you.”
The Patriots defense did not have a great game against the Texans, with numerous breakdowns in coverage and missed tackles. But Gregory is confident the team can work those issues out.
“The biggest thing is guys have to do their job. You have to beat the man across from you and take care of your responsibility, and obviously you have to tackle well. If we do those things we can eliminate a lot of plays,” said Gregory. “If we don’t, teams can hit you with things that shouldn’t happen. Guys just need to get back to work, continue to get better and continue to understand their job against each team we’re playing.”
Gregory also talked about his recovery from a broken thumb, and how the team practices tackling without actually being able to hit teammates: