On Sunday the Steelers and Browns will meet in what will be a huge game for the black and gold with playoff implications on the line.
The Browns were asked at every opportunity if they look at it as an opportunity to play spoiler, trying to keep the Steelers out of the playoffs, but they said that isn't what is on their mind.
"It is not our focus," said Coach Kevin Stefanski. "We understand those type of things, but this is a division game, and it is a rivalry game. We have a ton of respect for that organization, those coaches and those players. We get to lace them up Sunday. We get to compete for 60 minutes, and we are excited about that."
Like every other NFL team this week, the Browns talked a lot about Bills safety Damar Hamlin, but they also weighed in on the Steelers, including talking about Kenny Pickett, T.J. Watt and the spoiler role.
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Head Coach Kevin Stefanski on Kenny Pickett's game winning drive against the Ravens and preparing for the atmosphere at Acrisure Stadium:
"I did watch the tape on both sides. A talented player who we have to be ready to go against and get to know the young player. He can make plays off schedule, as you saw in that last drive. Made some impressive throws throughout the day. It is going to be a challenge as it always is when it is Browns versus Steelers. We are excited about that."
Stefanski on Pickett:
"A very good young player. Athletic. Can make all of the throws. Has played well in big moments. They are a little bit different than the last time we played them because he is just a little bit different. A really, really good young player."
Running back Nick Chubb on how much the Steelers defense changes with linebacker T.J. Watt in the lineup:
"It is a new defense for sure. He makes that defense go, and it has shown since he has been back. It will be a great challenge for us for sure."
Chubb on if Watt takes chances against the run in an effort to get a tackle for a loss:
"He plays his game, so it works for him. I can't really knock anything he does. He is a great player."
Stefanski on the Steelers resiliency to now be in position to make the playoffs:
"They have done a nice job. They play good complementary football. Just looking at them across the board, offensively I think they are playing really well. I think the young quarterback is doing a nice job. They have playmakers on the perimeter, tight ends, running backs and you name it. Defensively, Watt is back, and he looks the same to me. He is affecting games. I have a ton of respect for what they do from a schematic standpoint. Good football players. It is going to take a complete game to try and win this one."
Wide Receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones on trying to keep the Steelers out of the playoffs:
"These last two games for us have been very important to us. Like we do every week, we focus on us, how we can improve and how we can execute our plan. It is definitely important that this game there is technically meaning behind this game, even though there is meaning behind all of the games, but it is important."
Defensive End Chase Winovich on playing the season finale in Pittsburgh:
"First of all, I am from Pittsburgh the suburbs – shoutout to Thomas Jefferson (High School) – so this is a really cool game for me. I never made it to the district championship which is played at Heinz Field so this is my first time actually playing at the field so this is really exciting for a couple of different reasons. On the Browns notes as a Browns player – I don't want to say I am contractually obligated – I definitely feel some sort of obligation as a Browns player to try to win this game with everything that is on the line. I really look forward to that opportunity."
Tight end David Njoku on what it would mean to knock the Steelers out of the playoffs:
"It is a big rivalry game, Browns-Steelers. It is tough because I am still thinking about Damar [Hamlin]. Obviously, it is a big rivalry game, so we intend to put our best foot forward."
Njoku on if he has talked to younger Browns players about the Steelers-Browns rivalry:
"Of course. Of course. I am sure once they get drafted, they are well aware that this is a big rivalry game all of the time. Browns, Steelers, Ravens and Bengals, it is always personal. Yeah, they are going to be ready."
Stefanski on the game overall:
"Our job this week is playing on the road at a good football team. Well coached. Bunch of good players. A team we know well, a division opponent and all of that. We know we have our work cut out for us so that is what this week is about having our best work week, and that is where our focus is."