Wright's Chance for Redemption
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Posted Oct 1, 2010


Coming off a week three performance in which Wright allowed Baltimore's Anquan Boldin burned him for three touchdowns, the Browns defensive back looks to rebound Sunday against the Bengals' boisterous duo.

 

If the Bengals want a piece of Eric Wright on Sunday in Cleveland Browns Stadium they won't have to search hard to find him.

Browns coach Eric Mangini is making it clear Wright will start at left cornerback against the Bengals despite giving up three touchdowns to Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin last week. Boldin scored on passes from Joe Flacco of 8, 12 and 27 yards. The last one was the game-winner.

"Eric did not have a good day," Mangini said. "When you don't have a good day against a really, really good player it ends up being a bad day.

"I can tell you this; Eric Wright has played a lot of good football for us. All last year he was matched up against the other team's best receiver and he did an outstanding job. He's disappointed. My expectation is he'll play a lot better next week."

Normally a player who performed as poorly as Wright did spends the next week ducking reporters, but Wright stood in front of his locker and once again took full responsibility for the Browns losing.

Using strong running by Peyton Hillis, the Browns overcame the first two touchdowns by Boldin and led 17-14 in the fourth quarter, but Flacco got Boldin isolated on Wright on a blitz with 9:20 left for the go-ahead touchdown from 27 yards out. The Browns offense did not respond.

Wright is looking forward to a chance at redemption.

"Everybody played well enough to win the game except for me," Wright said Monday. "It's not typically what I do.

"The measure of a man is how he responds to adversity. I'm going to take it in stride and move forward. Obviously it means a lot that the support is there from Coach and the rest of the coaches and my teammates. They know how I am.  It hurts and it's disappointing because I let my team down, but as far as moving forward personally, I'm confident and comfortable I can get the job done."

Starting right cornerback Sheldon Brown has jumped to Wright's aid and said he fully expects Wright to come out fighting against the Bengals instead of sulking.

Brown lives by the motto that says a cornerback has to have a short memory. He said he's had some clinkers over the years and learned to move on.

"He's going to continue to work and, trust me; that's what you want," said Brown, in his first season with the Browns after eight with the Eagles. "He works so hard. He does all the little things. You know he's prepared. He's probably the only guy on the football team with a computer that costs X thousands of dollars. He downloads all the films, goes home and watches them. He doesn't have to apologize for anything."

Whether Wright's opportunity to prove himself will come against Terrell Owens or Chad Ochocinco depends on how the Bengals line up play to play. The depth chart simply identifies Ochocinco as wide receiver #1 and Owens as wide receiver #2.

Ochocinco has 20 catches and no touchdowns through three games. Owens has 14 catches and one touchdown.

SERIES HISTORY: This is the 74th regular-season meeting. Bengals lead series, 38-35. After the first game of 2008 the Battle of Ohio was dead even at 35-35. Since then the Bengals have won three straight. The Browns haven't beaten the Bengals in Cleveland since 2007.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Chad Ochocinco caught three passes for 24 yards on Oct. 4 last year in Cleveland. Unfortunately for the Browns, one was a five-yard touchdown pass and one a two-yard TD from Carson Palmer.

In the rematch on Nov. 29 in Cincinnati he caught three passes for 38 yards. The Browns kept Ochocinco out of the end zone but still lost, 16-7. Ochocinco has 11 touchdown catches against the Browns.

--The Browns have experience defending Terrell Owens as well. Owens caught four passes for 44 yards and no touchdowns as a member of the Bills last season in a game the Browns won, 6-3, in Buffalo. The victory made their record 1-4. They lost their next seven games before winning four in a row.

--Jerome Harrison carried 29 times for 121 yards in the 23-20 overtime loss to the Bengals last year. Harrison is battling through a thigh injury and is not expected to start on Sunday.

--This statistic reflects the way things have gone for the Browns since the franchise was restored in 1999: Phil Dawson set a personal record of six PATs in a game against the Bengals on Nov. 28, 2004. The Browns still lost, 58-48.

That notorious loss in Cincinnati was the last game coached by Butch Davis in the NFL. He resigned the next day claiming he had panic attacks. Terry Robiskie took over as interim head coach. The Browns lost their next three and then won the final game of the season.

--More than playing in the same state connects the Browns and Bengals. The Bengals home of Paul Brown Stadium is named after their founder and first coach. On Sept. 19 the Browns unveiled their Ring of Honor. Featured prominently between the names Otto Graham and Jim Brown is Paul Brown, the original coach of the Browns who took his team to 10 straight championship games from 1946-55.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0-6 -- Eric Mangini's coaching record in September after two seasons with the Browns.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'd be disappointed if we'd been going out there and bomb it every week and dropped balls and didn't play well, but that isn't what's happening. We just have to find a way to win." -- Browns versatile player Josh Cribbs.

QB PRESSURE: Getting to the quarterback has been a problem going back to the preseason. In August the excuse was the defense was holding back so opponents wouldn't know what defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was cooking up. That doesn't work anymore.

The Browns have four sacks through three games. That projects to 21 for the season. They had 40 sacks last year, but their sack leader, Kamerion Wimbley (6.5) was traded to the Raiders in April.

Matt Roth, who had four sacks in five games last season, has no sacks in 2010. His job this year seems to deal more with bumping tight ends or running backs on pass plays to knock them off their patterns.

Marcus Benard missed the game in Baltimore last week with an ankle injury. He leads the Browns with 2.5 sacks. He is determined to play against the Bengals and was not on the injury report Wednesday.

"I definitely will be out there," Benard said. "Marcus Benard will not be sitting on the bench anymore."

Nose tackle Shaun Rogers missed the Ravens game with hip and ankle injuries. That also hurt the pass rush. Rogers did not practice Wednesday.


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