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Consistency is the name of the game as Browns prep for Steelers showdown

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BEREA, Ohio- The Cleveland Browns returned to practice on Wednesday as they get set for another AFC North showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Browns could be without some key defensive starters on Sunday. Phil Taylor underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Wednesday morning and will be re-evaluated in a few weeks; Ishmaa’ily Kitchen and John Hughes are expected to play in his place.

Cornerback Joe Haden was limited in practice as well with his hip injury. If he is unable to play on Sunday, Justin Gilbert and Robert Nelson will get the playing time.

Right now, the biggest challenge for the Browns remains on the defensive side of the ball.  The team is working on becoming consistent throughout the game, not just a half.

Head coach Mike Pettine says the defense is showing signs of being dominant while at other times struggling and while he is not ready to hit the panic button just yet he admits the defense is not a good group to be around right now.

“I think they are a little pissed off. I think they are getting a little tired of hearing it, but they know it’s on them,” said Pettine.  “They have to go out and play; they know as a unit they are better than we are statistically. We’re better than we put on tape and it’s a prideful group; it’s not a happy group.”

“We’re just trying to be consistent. That’s the name of our game. We’re just trying to be consistent on our end of the ball as a defense,” said linebacker Karlos Dansby. “If we become a consistent defense and play the way we know how to play, those strides that coach is saying, talking about, mentioning, they will happen.”

On Wednesday, Tank Carder was named Special Teams Player of the Week for his blocked punt against the Tennessee Titans.

Christian Kirksey was fined over $8,000 for his hit on Jake Locker. His agent says he will appeal the fine.

Also, quarterback Brian Hoyer and wide receiver Travis Benjamin have their jerseys from Sunday’s game on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.  The Browns set a franchise record with a 25-point come-from-behind victory over Tennessee.  It was the largest come-from-behind victory by a road team in NFL History.

The Browns face the Steelers Sunday at 1 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium. We will have complete coverage here on and on FOX 8 News.

Cleveland is 0-2 in the division and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 18-1 against the Browns.

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