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Horton believes Browns defensive backs can shut down Bengals wideouts

Gipson Getty Images

In Week Four, the Browns shocked the Bengals, thanks to a defense that limited receiver A.J. Green to 51 yards on seven receptions.

With the rematch coming this weekend in Cincinnati, Cleveland defensive coordinator Ray Horton thinks his defensive backs can do it again.

“Joe [Haden] has done a fantastic job of being pressured to cover the rarest of athletes in the NFL — that can run and jump and catch — without hitting the guy past 5 yards,” Horton said Thursday, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.  “So he’s having a fantastic year. I think [cornerback] Buster Skrine is having a fantastic year. I think [strong safety] T.J. Ward is having a fantastic year. And I think my biggest surprise and probably the MVP for me is [free safety] Tashaun Gipson. He has done a remarkable job for us.”

Whoa.  Gipson (pictured) is the MVP?  Why?

“Because he was a former corner that played limited snaps last year going to a position that requires a ton of smarts and you can never be wrong at the position, and he’s a much better tackler than I ever envisioned,” Horton said.  “He’s got fantastic hands, and he’s tough and he makes very few mistakes. He’s protected some guys that may have been out of position.

“I use the word ‘unremarkable,’ meaning on a piece of paper when you’re watching practice and grading you don’t remark anything about him because he’s always in the right place doing the right thing. . . .  He has very few mental mistakes, and he’s just been a fantastic player. It’s really for me a comfort because I know he’s going to be in the right place at the right time and do his job well.”

Still, the Browns primarily will be counting on Haden to handle Green, again.

“Joe is one of the best corners in the league and just a guy who can literally shut somebody down,” linebacker Paul Kruger said, via Ulrich. “We have all the confidence in the world in him, in his abilities.  We definitely respect Green, and we know he’s an effective player.  Obviously his play speaks for itself. We’re going to be doing what we can to make sure we minimize his productivity, and I think Joe’s obviously a big part of that.”

Haden and Gipson and the rest of the defense will be a big part of the effort to get a win on Sunday, against an increasingly desperate Bengals team that doesn’t lose at home.  If the Browns can pull off the sweep, a previously unthinkable home playoff game could be in their not-too-distant future.

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21 Responses to “Horton believes Browns defensive backs can shut down Bengals wideouts”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 15, 2013 1:00 PM

    Well if they wanted to feel like they are in the playoffs, then now is their chance. This is essentially a road playoff game.

  2. thegreatgabbert says: Nov 15, 2013 1:01 PM

    He believes it in his heart.

  3. drfeelyouup says: Nov 15, 2013 1:17 PM

    Browns are going to whip the Bungalows. Stillers are next.

  4. audient says: Nov 15, 2013 1:32 PM

    If the Browns play their best game, they’ll win this. The Bengals are good, and understandably favored, but the Browns can do this. This should be a great game to watch. GO BROWNS!

  5. brownoholic says: Nov 15, 2013 1:35 PM

    Horton believes Browns defensive backs can shut down Bengals wideouts AGAIN.

    Fixed the headline for you . . . .

  6. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 15, 2013 1:35 PM

    Horton is right.

    Triple A.J. and put any low drafted rookie on Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu a watch them not get separation all day.

    Jones and Sanu are #-#4 level wide receivers.

  7. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 15, 2013 1:36 PM

    EDIT: Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu are #3-#4 level wide receivers

  8. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 15, 2013 1:41 PM

    Fortunately…. Cleveland’s wide receivers and ground game are extremely crappy.

    That said…. Gordon will still get over 100 yards.

    It will be a close one.

  9. johnnyuwho says: Nov 15, 2013 1:44 PM

    You would think the Browns were undefeated listening to all of this garbage. The Turds are 4-5 for God’s sake. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton “Hears a Who” is going to hear a big who come Sunday! Who Dey All Day Baby!

  10. jmattharrison says: Nov 15, 2013 1:53 PM

    Browns fans sure do get excited when their team wins the last 1 of 4 games.

    Bengals are 4-0 at home coming off 2 road OT losses.

    Browns are 1-3 at home coming off a good win.

    I’m putting my money on the Bengals.

  11. jmattharrison says: Nov 15, 2013 1:57 PM

    Another stat to consider:

    All AFCN teams are undefeated at home.

    Browns 2-0
    Ravens 2-0
    Bengals 1-0
    Steelers 1-0

    Home field is huge. The Browns know this especially. Some of the Browns fans are thinking that the last week or 2 is automatically going to translate into this week. This is the NFL. Winning is hard. Winning on the road is harder.

  12. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 15, 2013 2:16 PM

    Bengals at home after a terrible performance.

    A week of focused practice and silence.

    It might be a blowout by the Bengals (Jones and Sanu might show up w/ a healthy undependable, non-explosive Gresham starting this week).

    I expect Giovani Bernard being the catalyst.

    Back to the receiving corps…. I am shocked by how blind most Bengals fans are to the fact that Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu are #3 to #4 level wide receivers.

    If you name the NFL’s best #1-#2 wide receiver combinations…. A.J. Green-Marvin Jones fall into the 15-20 slot.

    I love them both as teammates… but… they are not NFL #1′s or #2′s.

  13. rgwhodey says: Nov 15, 2013 2:42 PM

    Did you just say AJ is not a #1 receiver? when was the last game a browns #1 #2 or #3 receiver had 4tds in one game? weird…

  14. godofwine330 says: Nov 15, 2013 3:00 PM

    Horton’s MVP is a who?

    I can’t wait. The only thing bad about this Sunday is that it is next to Monday which means that I have to go back to work the next day. Otherwise, I hope to see my Browns kick the living stew out of the Bungles. That home record is tough, so I am a little scared, but we have nothing to lose. I do wish that Indy would stop would stop winning and messing up our draft pick from being lower.

  15. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 15, 2013 3:00 PM

    Yeah… I said the guy who leads the NFL in receiving yards is not a #1 receiver.

    Gimme A Break!!!

    WAKE UP and READ ! ! !

    I said the Bengals DO NOT have a great #1-#2 wide receiver COMBINATION when compared to with great #1-#2 wr combinations.

    A.J. Green is GREAT… but… one receiver doesn’t make a team ESPECIALLY in the modern pass happy NFL (this ain’t the 1970′s).

  16. schmitty2 says: Nov 15, 2013 3:15 PM

    I don’t have a dog in the fight but remember just last week when the lowly Ram’s walked right into Indy and whipped the Colts? Point being is ANYTHING can happen on a given Sunday.

  17. pascalswager42 says: Nov 15, 2013 3:49 PM

    As I Browns fan, the press and all the fan hope gives me great pause….

    You are what your record says you are, and the Browns are under .500 at 4-5….dont give me this ifs’ and buts’ about Weeden and Bess’s KC fumble. They lost those games, that’s it.

    Until the Browns can play 2 halves of relatively mistake-free football on the road, and learn to RUN the ball, I cant logically expect them to win in a tough AFCN game on the road, let alone compete for a playoff spot.

    Sure, anything can happen and I hope it does in the Browns’ favor…

    But lets pause a second and catch our breath, Brownies. I want to win as badly as anyone but lets do so with a touch if realistic expectation!

  18. seanpbeck says: Nov 15, 2013 4:11 PM

    Everyone in the Cleve is excited about this game and some of it is warranted: they’re a dangerous team when they get competent QB play. What scares me is that management has done nothing to shore up the QB position behind Campbell. If he gets knocked out, the season is over. Literally any washed up NFL QB off the street would be better than Brandon Weeden right now. The poor guy isn’t just bad, he’s historically bad. We’ve seen so many bad QBs play for the Browns but he might be the hardest to watch bc the other guys didn’t have nearly as much talent around them. Guys like Couch & Quinn were playing on terrible teams with no help (I still think Couch would have been a pretty good QB if a team that knew what it was doing drafted him). This Browns team is actually pretty solid: they have one of the better O lines in the NFL, a dangerous deep threat in Gordon, an emerging star TE in Cameron and an aggressive, intimidating Defense. They definitely need a young RB and I’d prefer a real FB to clear the way for him, but otherwise they’re competent QB play away from being able to beat anybody.

  19. billiamsofdollars says: Nov 15, 2013 4:32 PM

    People on this thread seem to like numbers so here are some more for you:

    Browns record when Weeden starts a game: 0-4

    Browns record when anyone but Weeden starts a game: 4-1 with the only loss being a very close one to the undefeated Chiefs.

    Brandon Weeden is not starting in this game.

  20. wiseone50 says: Nov 15, 2013 6:48 PM

    Seanpbeck and billiamsofdollars (last two posts) are absolutley right and nailed it on the head. That is why anyone that knows these things can almost EXPECT the Browns to win. Anything can happen though- this is the NFL. Injuries, bad calls, the way the ball bounces, etc. Still, I expect the Browns to win, unless Campbell goes down of course. Lol.

  21. mikebrownfeedsondreams says: Nov 15, 2013 7:42 PM

    I guess we forgot that the game before last, Green torched Haden and the Clownies for 135 yards and 2 td’s.

    We had a bad overall game last go around.

    We just lost back to back road games in OT and these talking heads would have everyone believe the Bengals are all of a sudden a bad team. What’s the Browns road record again?

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