The Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens renew their bitter rivalry Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium. There are plenty of match ups to watch. One stands out above the rest. It’s not Baker Mayfield against the Ravens defense.
The key match up to keep your eyes on involves an undrafted rookie facing a future hall of famer. Left tackle Desmond Harrison faces his toughest test to date in week five. Harrison has to protect Mayfield’s blindside and try to contain Terrell Suggs at the same time.
— Joel W. Cade (@TheLeftGuard) October 3, 2018
“He has gotten better every game,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley said. “What he has done from a communications standpoint, showing discipline, eliminating some of the penalties – knock on wood – demeanor on the sideline. I have told all of these young guys, we are four games in, you are not young guys anymore. That is part of the old problems. This will be a big, big test for them. We have to do everything we can to help them when we can without disrupting everything we are trying to get done. I have confidence in the kid. He has been an exciting young player to watch.”
“It isn’t going to be a step back, it is a step up (laughter). It won’t be taking a step back to see it,” head coach Hue Jackson said. “I will be seeing it firsthand. I know he has a tall assignment ahead of him.”
Suggs and the rest of the Ravens defense will come after the rookie Harrison. It’s a tough test but a good measuring stick in Harrison’s development.
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“We are trying to get him a crash course,” Joel Bitonio said. “I try to get in touch with (former Browns OL) Joe (Thomas) this week and try to get some tips if you can. Suggs is such a good player. He is a Hall of Famer. He has done a lot of stuff from his leader of the defense, leader of their team and it is going to be a big test. I think his biggest test of the year. I think Desmond has slowly improved this year and he keeps getting better. It is a big test for him, so have to see some and get a lot of film for him, get a lot of practice for him, but he is ready for the challenge and he is going to try to be his best this weekend.”
“They have good rushers,” Jackson said. “They have good, athletic long guys who know how to rush the passer. Obviously, the No. 1 guy is Terrell Suggs. One thing I like about Desmond, he is not going to blink. He is going to go out and compete, and I am sure he is going to learn something as he goes through the game about these guys he is playing against and we have to do everything we can to help him and put him in the best position. It is the way this league is. You play, and you have to play against the best. He has to be up to the challenge.”
Undrafted rookie tackle Desmond Harrison will get a full dose of Terrell Suggs on Sunday. "I'm just going to play my game, not do anything different," Harrison said. "Stick to the script." https://t.co/fdEAurS6H0 pic.twitter.com/ZCYLpwit51
— PatMcManamon (@PatMcManamon) October 4, 2018
If Harrison is not up for the challenge, the chances of the Browns ending their home losing streak to Baltimore decrease significantly.
Scott Piker is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Browns. So follow him on twitter @ScottPikerSport