Sports

‘I’m glad they did it’

After being traded from Dallas to Cleveland in the off-season, Amari Cooper has found his first success with his new team, teaming up with Jacoby Brissett to lead the Browns to a 29-17 win over the Steelers on Thursday night.

“I’m glad they did it,” Brissett told NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero after the game. “I mean, he’s been incredible, he’s one of the smartest, hardest-working players I’ve ever worked with, coming here every week, working hard every day, doing the job and it’s just a pleasure to play with him. I knows he just wants to keep this up.”

Brissett and Cooper tied for seven receptions and 101 yards into the night, connecting on two touchdown passes that propelled Cleveland over its AFC North rival. After a quiet first few runs from both teams, the Browns woke up to a 60-yard run, capped off with an 11-meter TD pass to Cooper. And then in a third-and-1 situation late in the game, Brissett again found his man for a 32-yard win to set up an eventual quick landing from Nick Chubb.

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When the Cowboys traded Cooper for the Browns in March after he struggled in 2021, there were questions about how he would perform in Cleveland. But so far, the 28-year-old has done well in his new city, with a total of 219 yards receiving and back-to-back games by over 100 yards to date. Although Cooper had a slower start in the season opener, posting just three catches, his quarterback said the temporary lull was simply because “he was just getting PI all the time.”

And head coach Kevin Stefanski echoed Cooper’s praise, telling reporters he was running out of adjectives to describe the dynamic receiver.

“I’m trying to find new ways to tell you how impressed I am with number 2,” Stefanski said. “I mean, he’s really smart, he’s a great teammate, runs every route imaginable…he’s so versatile, he’s such a great, physical receiver, he’s reliable. I really enjoy number 2.”

Despite Cooper and Brissett’s offensive production, Cleveland found itself nearly on the wrong end of a fourth-quarter comeback for the second week in a row after Pittsburgh had a chance to recuperate an onside kick for a game attempt. -winning motive. But unlike the Jets on Sunday, the Steelers couldn’t make the onside kick and the Browns held out for the win. Stefanski said it was impressive to put the memory of New York’s loss in the rear view and be able to come back with a win, and said a lot about the squad’s attitude.

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“I’m just proud of them because that’s not easy to come back to,” Stefanski said. “What I’m proud of with those guys is that you can’t let a loss hang. And we won’t let this win hang, but I’m proud of how they responded. You have to be resilient.”

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After a tough win over a division rival during a short week of rest, the Browns have an extended hiatus before taking on the Falcons in Week 4, seeing if they can keep the thriving offensive chemistry going.

“It just shows you the strength of this team, the mental toughness of this team, the physical strength,” Brissett said. “After a short week, we knew it was going to be a 60-minute game, and we prepared for that, and it cost us everything. So, happy with what we did today, and we’ll just keep building.”

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