The Browns have gone 7-34-1 against their AFC North rival since 1999 and haven’t swept them since 1988. On top of that, Cleveland hasn’t won on the Steelers home turf since 2003 — something they’ll be looking to change on Sunday.
Browns veteran defensive tackle, who signed with Cleveland this offseason, is ready to lead the charge.
“It’s ok. Times are changing, that’s about it,” he said. “Just seen a stat (that the Steelers have) been owning the division or beating the Browns for the past  years or something like that. (The Browns) haven’t won like 2003 in Pittsburgh, so that’s kinda crazy. Kudos to them for what they’ve been doing. It’s time for a new captain.”
After falling to a disappointing 2-6, the Browns have been utilizing a 1-0 mentality every week. As Richardson points out, this week is no different.
“It’s playoff time for us. It’s just that simple,” Richardson said. “There ain’t no more cushion. It’s just one week at a time, but it’s definitely an urgency, a gut check for us to go out there and get these dubs. Anything else is, we’re done. That’s how we look at it.”
Browns Rare Road Favorites in Pittsburgh
The Browns are a two-point road favorite for Sunday’s game, marking the first time since 1989 that Cleveland is favored in Pittsburgh. The Browns 21-7 win the first time around could have something to do with that.
“You can say it. We beat the stuffing out of them last game,” Richardson said. “But you know, like I said, this last game, it’s a new week up and I’m pretty sure they’re going to come in revved up and ready to play and beat us the way we beat them. So we’ve got to make sure we don’t allow that.”
Richardson said he expects the matchup to be one of the most physical of his career, with emotions at an all-time high considering what happened last time the team’s met up. That matchup ended with Browns defensive end Myles Garrett bashing Steeler quarterback Mason Rudolph with a helmet — an incident that led to Garrett’s indefinite suspension and nearly $750,000 in total fines.
“Nostalgic, old school, division, downhill in your face, trying to run the ball most of the game, pass-when-needed type of division,” Richardson said of his expectations for the game. “That’s what I’m used to playing in or used to seeing growing up as a kid. It’s kind of the same thing, even though the game has changed a lot.”
Rudolph will be riding the pine for the matchup, with the Steelers opting to start undrafted rookie Devlin “Duck” Hodges.
Steve Wilks Heaps Praise on Browns LB Joe Schobert
Veteran linebacker Joe Schobert is in the midst of the best stretch of his career, collecting four interceptions in the last two games. According to the Browns official site, it’s the first time a linebacker has done that in 14 years.
“Joe is playing at a high level. Probably one of the best linebackers in the league right now in how he is performing,” Wilks said. “He is a leader for us. He commands the defense out there, getting everybody aligned and things that we ask of him. I am excited about his performance thus far this year, and hopefully, he can keep it going.”
Schobert has 98 tackles, good for sixth in the NFL and are more than double any other Browns player. But the Wisconsin-product is humble in his success.
“I think I am just going to do my job and like I said, if I do the right things, if I do what I am told to do and full confidence in my abilities, I am going to end up where I want to be at the end of the year,” Schobert said. “I think it is definitely going to be a good season and we will see where that leads.”