Q: Do you see similarities with you guys and the Browns, the way you've both had high expectations followed by injuries and lots of gloom? RF:
Yeah. I think it's been disappointing for both of us. Certainly I can speak better for us than them. But it's hard, because it has been such a rough season. Getting a win last week and hopefully ending the season off on a high note and a couple more victories, it will do a lot sending the team into the offseason, just in terms of some renewed optimism. That's the goal, to go out there and get a win versus the Browns.
Q: Would finishing ahead of the Browns mean something to you, or is that irrelevant?RF:
I don't know that that's much of a deal. It's been a disappointing year. You go out and try to win every game, so our goal is to win the next two games and that's what we look at it as, a disappointing season that ended with a little momentum.
Q: Your first start was the game against the Browns earlier this year (Sept. 28). Does that seem like years ago?RF:
Yeah, it was a long time ago, even just watching the film. There was some stuff I didn't remember until I saw it, and it was like, Oh, OK, I remember that play. But it happened a long time ago, and I think I'm a much different player just in terms of the stuff that I've seen and been able to experience, and timing and all that stuff. I think I've made some strides since that start.
Q: Anything stand out to you about the stadium and atmosphere in Cleveland?RF:
It's similar to a lot of other places. It's tough to play on the road in the NFL. Their fans are pretty vicious. And it's a fun place to play because of the atmosphere and how into it their fans are. But we've struggled on the road this year. In general we've struggled, obviously, but on the road especially. We're looking for a road victory.
Q: Its not going to be warm this weekend in Cleveland:RF:
No, it's not. It's good. We've been practicing outside to get ready for something like this, so we'll do well in the cold just because we practice in it so much.
Q: Are the Browns much different from the first time you faced them?RF:
No, they're similar. They're a 3-4 team. They like to bring secondary pressures, whether it's the safeties or corners or whatever it is. It's a team you've got to be able to block up. We'll get some man coverage. They like to challenge you and challenge you on the outside. It's just a great opportunity to go out there and play again and have some fun on the field.
Q: Do teams do things differently from their usual when they face you?RF:
This year, I feel every team has their own set identity. Maybe in years past -- when teams have really tried to change things up in order to double our receivers -- they have just stayed this year with what they've done. So I don't know if we've seen any more or less special attention to our guys. I don't think much has changed in terms of the game-planning from the other opponents.
Q: Chris Henry had his best performance of the season against Washington. Why hasnt he been a bigger part of the offense this year?RF:
It's tough to say. Obviously we've struggled in the passing game a little bit, just in terms of getting the top two guys going. We've had some problems with that. So when you become the third option, then a lot of time that's going to hurt you, too. I think it took him a little bit to get up to speed, and that was probably part of it. But I think more of it's just based on the struggles we've had throwing the ball. It's been nice to see that he practices hard every week and he's stuck with it and hasn't been frustrated. It was good to see him get in the end zone last week.
Q: You've had success against 4-3 teams outside the division and struggled with 3-4 teams in the division: RF:
I think if you look at the teams that we play that are the 3-4 teams, it just so happens that those are the dominant defenses. That's definitely got to be part of it. But we haven't run the ball great versus 3-4 teams this year, and that's something we'll be looking to come out and do this week.
Q: How much more comfortable you are now than the first time you played the Browns?RF:
A lot more comfortable. It's almost night and day, just kind of watching back and watching that game. Just the progression at least personally that I've made throughout the year.
Q: How do you think you've progressed?RF: I think the experience, just being out there every week, that in itself helps. The comfort level out there, the comfort level with the guys I'm playing with, knowing where T.J. (Houshmandzadeh) or Chad (Ocho Cinco) is going to be, what depths they're running their routes at, seeing different coverages pre- and post-snap, there's just a lot of stuff that comes with being out there and playing in the games.