Next Up: The Steelers Lurk
Troy Polamalu (Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

Posted Oct 13, 2009


After finally getting in the win column, the Browns have another challenge waiting on Sunday...

 

The Browns ended a 10-game losing streak when they squeaked past the Bills, 6-3. If they are going to make it two in a row Sunday they will have to do it in Pittsburgh against a team they have not beaten since 2003.

The Steelers might have Troy Polamalu back from a knee injury to play the Browns. Last year in Cleveland, when the Steelers narrowly beat the Browns 10-6, Polamalu saved a touchdown by intercepting a pass from Derek Anderson near the goal line.

Anderson and the Browns are still adjusting to playing without Braylon Edwards, who was traded to the Jets on Oct. 7. Against the Bills, Anderson completed just 2 of 17 passes. Part of the problem was wind, but the receivers are still getting used to Anderson's velocity. They remain confident the pass offense can succeed without Edwards.

"New England won without that superstar (Randy Moss) for a long time," slot receiver Mike Furrey said. "Guys do what they're supposed to do, keep their mouths shut, catch footballs, make plays and win games. It's great to have big names in the paper and big names in public, but it's about winning games."

Furrey and running back Jerome Harrison lead the Browns with 13 catches. Mohamed Massaquoi has 11. Josh Cribbs has nine catches and tight end Robert Royal has nine. Edwards caught 10 passes.

From the opener in 2005 when Edwards was a rookie through the 23-20 overtime loss to the Bengals on Oct. 4, the Browns were 24-44. They were last in the AFC North in 2006 when they were 4-12, last in 2008 when they were 4-12 and they're last this season.

Coach Eric Mangini is convinced he can win without a so-called No. 1 receiver. Massaquoi caught eight passes against the Bengals. It could be somebody else against the Steelers.

"I'm looking for receivers that get open and catch the ball, whether it's the one, the two or the three," Mangini said. "It's the same with the quarterback's reads. Tom Brady used to say 'The receiver I like best is the open one.' I want them to be able to run routes, have the spacing in the routes and derive the quarterback options. It isn't going to be necessarily one guy. I want them all to be able to do that."

Rookie Brian Robiskie is still looking for his first NFL catch. Chansi Stuckey, acquired from the Jets in the Edwards trade, is still getting adjusted.

If there is one issue it is that Furrey, Robiskie and Stuckey are too similar. They all have reliable hands and can move the chains, but they don't have blazing speed. Furrey said he is the slowest on the roster. Stuckey ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds before the Jets drafted him in the seventh round in 2007, and lack of speed is one reason Robiskie did not go in the first round of the 2009 draft.

LINEUP WATCH: Starting defensive end Kenyon Coleman left the Bills game with a groin injury that has bothered him for two weeks. C.J. Mosley replaced him and made seven tackles.

BY THE NUMBER: 128 -- The Browns have scored three touchdowns in their last 128 possessions.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

-- RB Jamal Lewis rushed for 117 yards after missing two games with a hamstring injury.

-- LB D'Qwell Jackson made 13 tackles after being listed as doubtful with a hamstring injury.

-- LB Kamerion Wimbley sacked Trent Edwards for his fourth sack of the season, matching his 2008 total.

-- P Dave Zastudil punted nine times and put three of them inside the 5.

-- CB Eric Wright saved a possible touchdown by intercepting a pass for Terrell Owens at the Browns 8.


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