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  • 06 Aug
    Williams showed the Browns what he

    could do as their coach for a half-season.On
    Tuesday Joel Bitonio
    Color Rush Jersey
    , he shared his plans for a full one — and maybe
    more.Williams, who led Cleveland to a 5-3 record as an interim coach, became the
    first candidate to interview with general manager John Dorsey, who is looking
    for a “man of character” to lead one of the NFL’s rising teams.Williams had an
    impressive run after he replaced a fired Hue Jackson on Oct. 29. The Browns
    remained focused and played as well as they have in several years under the
    60-year-old Williams, who has served for the past two seasons as the team’s
    defensive coordinator.Dorsey said Monday he was interested in hearing Williams’
    long-term vision with the Browns. Williams didn’t publicly campaign for the job
    during the closing weeks of the season, but several players said they would be
    fine if he returned.“He had a clear message,” left guard Joel Bitonio said as
    the Browns cleared out their lockers following the biggest turnaround season in
    club history. “He was concise, clear message, but we were all on the same page.
    We knew what he wanted, we knew what we were going to get from him and that’s
    all you can really ask for in a coach.”Williams took over from Jackson, finally
    dismissed after winning just three of 40 games in two-plus seasons.Even if he
    doesn’t get hired by the Browns, Williams could draw interest by one of the
    other teams seeking a coach. Williams coached in Buffalo from
    2001-03 ,
    going 17-31 in three seasons. He won a Super Bowl as a defensive coordinator in
    New Orleans.Dorsey is casting a wide net as the Browns look for their ninth
    coach since 1999.He intends to interview offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens
    for the head-coaching position. Kitchens helped develop quarterback Baker
    Mayfield, who set a league rookie record with 27 touchdown passes — 19 in the
    final nine games.Dorsey has also asked for permission to interview New Orleans
    assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell, Minnesota offensive
    coordinator Kevin Stefanski, New England linebackers coach Brian Flores,
    Indianapolis offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni and Colts defensive coordinator
    Matt Eberflus.It’s also probable that Dorsey will meet with former Green Bay
    coach Mike McCarthy. The pair spent seven years together with the Packers.Dorsey
    said he is committed to a “thorough” and “deliberate” search.One coach to cross
    off Dorsey’s list is Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley. He has agreed to a contract
    extension with the school, ending speculation he might rejoin Mayfield in the
    pros. CINCINNATI (AP) — A jogging Hue Jackson didn't break stride as he left the
    practice field. The recently fired Browns head coach was trying to outrun
    questions about what it's like being on the opposite sideline this week.Jackson
    left Cincinnati after the 2015 season and spent two-plus seasons trying —
    futilely — to get the Browns to win. Now he's back in town , trying to beat them
    in a pivotal game.He's hoping his insights give the Bengals (5-5) an edge Sunday
    in the intrastate rivalry. The stakes are high for Cincinnati, which has
    dominated the series lately and wants to keep it that way. "Everybody wants to
    count us out right now," center Billy Price said. "Everybody wants to put us in
    the dumpster and light us on fire, but we still have a lot to accomplish. We
    have a lot of things going on. We have a lot of winnable games coming up here."
    The Browns (3-6-1) merely would like a victory away from the shore of Lake
    Erie.Cleveland has lost 25 consecutive road games, one shy of the NFL mark held
    by the Detroit Lions from 2007-10. The Browns' last win on the road came at
    Baltimore, where Josh McCown led them to a 33-30 overtime victory on Oct.
    11 Jarvis Landry
    , 2015 — back when Jackson was the Bengals' offensive
    coordinator.Whether the streak endures or ends will come down to whether the
    Bengals figure out a way to stop Cleveland's rookie duo on offense.Last week,
    Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and running back Gus Edwards became the first
    rookie QB/RB duo to run for at least 100 yards in the same game, leading
    Baltimore to a 24-21 victory over Cincinnati. The Bengals have given up more
    than 200 yards rushing in each of the last two games.By contrast, Cleveland beat
    Kansas City 28-16 before heading into its bye week. Rookie Baker Mayfield tied a
    club rookie record with three touchdown passes, and rookie Nick Chubb ran for a
    career-high 176 yards, including a 92-yard touchdown that was the second-longest
    by a rookie in NFL history."I think it is our guys believing in it, knowing that
    we do not need anything else besides what we have in this locker room, blocking
    out the distractions and coming together," Mayfield said. "Things happen, and
    you can use it for good. We did."Can they do it again against their former head
    coach?Some things to watch at Paul Brown Stadium:HUE KNOWSHow much can Hue
    Jackson tip the outcome? Sure, he knows the Browns' systems intimately and the
    players personally, but having the bye week allowed Cleveland to change some
    things."In all
    honesty Genard Avery
    Color Rush Jersey
    , there are no secrets anymore in the league with how
    all the film is out there to show everybody exactly what you're doing," Brown
    interim coach Gregg Williams said.OH THAT DEFENSEThe Bengals fired defensive
    coordinator Teryl Austin after becoming the first team in the Super Bowl era to
    allow 500 yards in three straight games. Coach Marvin Lewis assumed the job of
    defensive coordinator as well as hiring Jackson as a special assistant on
    defense. The change didn't make enough of a difference as the Bengals got run
    over in Baltimore. Their main focus this week is stopping Chubb."We know that's
    their emphasis right now and that's what they're going to try to attack us with
    because that's our perceived weakness right now," defensive end Carlos Dunlap
    said.SERIES-LY ONE-SIDEDThe Bengals have won seven in a row against the Browns,
    the longest winning streak by either team in the intrastate series. The Bengals
    have won the last seven by 30, 21, 34, 14, 13, 24 and 24 points. The Bengals are
    7-1 against Browns rookie quarterbacks under Lewis, who is in his 16th season.
    The only loss was 34-24 at Cleveland in 2012 behind Brandon Weeden.ONE, TWONot
    only are the Browns hoping to avoid infamy with their 26th straight road loss,
    they're trying to start a winning "streak."Cleveland hasn't won two straight
    games since
    2014 ,
    when the Browns reeled off three in a row while improving to 6-3 under
    then-coach Mike Pettine. That seems like an eternity ago for the Browns, who
    have gone 8-56-1 since that modest run."Any time a team (starts) to win a couple
    in a row, it builds momentum, it builds belief and that can have a positive
    impact on your team," right guard Kevin Zeitler said. "It'd be real nice if we
    can get that going."PLAYOFFS?While the game has significance for Cincinnati's
    playoff hopes, the Browns aren't yet finished ruminating about the postseason.
    They'd likely have to win their last six games to end a playoff drought dating
    to 2002."If you can't and don't believe that we can make a playoff run, then
    you're on the wrong team," cornerback T.J. Carrie said. "And I feel like from
    that standpoint we all have that feeling and that emotion about we can
    definitely do something very special and we're capable of doing it."