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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
PFW recently caught up with Browns WR Chansi Stuckey leading up to the Week Nine game vs. New England to get his thoughts on a variety of topics.
PFW: What are your thoughts on having the bye after seven games as opposed to earlier in the season?
Stuckey: I think it's great. Two things: You've played a lot of games, so you've gotten comfortable. You're body's taken a lot of beating for those first seven, eight weeks, so it gives you a chance to recharge, work on some of the little nicks and knacks that you have, and then again from a team standpoint, you kind of see what type of team you are. Those seven games — how many you've won — you kind of start to form an identity. I think in those games, you kind of look back on that bye week and see what you guys do really, really well and what you need to improve on. It gives you a head start for the second half of the season.
PFW: What do you think this team's identity is right now?
Stuckey: I think we're a tough team. We want to run the ball, first and foremost, and wear defenses down. And when people start putting guys in the box, we have enough playmakers on the outside and the interior to make you pay for it as much as we can, just trying to move the ball down, get a little here, get a little there and then take the big plays when they come. That's pretty much the identity we have as a team right now.
PFW: This is your second year in Brian Daboll's offense. How does it suit you?
Stuckey: We've been blessed with a mobile quarterback, so Brian does a great job of flowing the QBs out of the pocket and things like that. I think that's one of my strengths — running the return route, running an option route, corner routes and things (like that).
PFW: You've played for Eric Mangini throughout your professional career. What's the most helpful thing he's taught you?
Stuckey: I think the biggest thing is just knowing situations that you're in as a football team and individually. Knowing if it's third down, the distance, what you've got to get, what they like to do. Or if it's towards the end of the game, if it's a two-minute situation and you only have two timeouts, if you catch the ball, you know if you can run for it, you know if you need to get out of bounds, you know if you need to call a timeout. He just makes you very self-aware at what point in the game it is at all times.
PFW: What's the biggest difference between this team now and a season ago?
Stuckey: I think the biggest thing now is the confidence level. I kind of felt like last year, when things got bad, we really weren't expecting to win games. And I think this year, even though we've lost five games, we've really been in every game, and we've expected to win each game. I think that's the next step as a team, just learning how to win and learning how to finish games. Our record could be totally different from what it is now, but statistically, we're not that far off from some of the higher-end teams in the league right now.