Head coach Pat Shurmur with Quarterback Brandon Weeden #3 during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 9, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Eagles defeated the Browns 17-16.
Photographer: (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Coming out of the shadows of a tragic weekend in Kansas City, having some old fashion "smack-talk" might be refreshing for the Chiefs this week.
The Browns host the Chiefs Sunday at 1 pm.
Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas called former teammate Peyton Hillis "a terrible distraction" last season, and said the running back put his contract situation ahead of the team.
Thomas unloaded Wednesday on Hillis, saying he didn't always play hard and called his time with the Browns "toxic." Hillis signed on with Kansas City in the off season as a free agent.
Thomas said Hillis "wasn't real popular around here the way he went about his business" and that "he just wouldn't listen to anybody.
Hillis sat out a game with strep throat last season on the advice of his agent. He also missed several games with a hamstring injury and his quest for a new contract with the Browns was always an issue.
On Thursday, Hillis fired back.
The Chiefs running back called Thomas out, likening him to a "crazy ex-girlfriend" who won't move on.
Hillis responded Thursday by saying, "Joe Thomas, he can have his opinions all he wants. It's kind of like a crazy ex-girlfriend, you know? It's been over a year. Get on with it."
Hillis said it's easy for Thomas to rip others for seeking a new contract when "you get paid $100 million by one team."
On Friday, Thomas ended the war of words by not talking about it when asked by the media.
The Browns are trying to get their third win in a row. The last time they won three games in a row, was to closeout the 2009 season. In fact, they finished the season with a four game win streak. Ironically, the first three games of the win streak were played against the Steelers, the Chiefs and then the Raiders.
Aside from Hillis, the Browns defense will be trying to stop another familiar face. Brady Quinn, a 2007 first round draft pick of the Browns, will start at quarterback for Kansas City. Quinn was awarded the AFC Offensive Player the Week after he led the Chiefs in a Week 13 victory of the Carolina Panthers. Quinn went 19-23 for 201 yards and threw two touchdown passes. Kansas City features one of the best running backs in the game in Jamal Charles. Charles is 6th in the NFL in total rushing yards with 1,055 yards.
Hillis and Quinn are not the only former Browns coming into Cleveland for a reunion. Former Browns head coach Romeo Crennel is now at the helm of the Chiefs. Crennel is in his first full season as head coach of Kansas City. He also brings former offensive coordinator Brian Dabol with him.
The Browns rookies are all over the depth chart. Cleveland continues to rely on youth to power their offense. Rookie wide receiver Josh Gordon is their most dangerous deep threat this season, but Gordon is more involved. Over the last three games, Gordon caught 15 balls for 229 yards and one touchdown reception over the last three weeks.
The Browns are back and home and trying to improve to 5-8 with a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Browns are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. They would need a miracle to make the playoffs and a loss would make it official.
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Browns second week of organized team activities, or OTAs, came to an end with a two-hour practice for head coach Rob Chudzinski.
Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden is fighting for the number one job in Berea. But his thoughts and prayers this week have been for his friends and family fighting through the wreckage left by the deadly tornadoes that hit Oklahoma this week.