Safety Mike Logan effortlessly rattled off the last names of the Browns’ four main wide receivers Wednesday afternoon.
Logan and his fellow Steelers defenders hate to admit it, but they were given ample opportunity to memorize the nameplates on the back of Browns jerseys in last season’s AFC wild-card game.
“It seems like all we were doing was chasing down their receivers,” Logan said.
Kelly Holcomb threw for 429 yards and three touchdowns in the memorable 36-33 loss to the Steelers. It was the third-most prolific passing performance in NFL postseason history.
The Browns will start a different quarterback in Sunday night’s game at Heinz Field, but the Steelers expect them to take the same wide-open approach.
And while the Steelers claim to have similar respect for Tim Couch and the injured Holcomb, it’s the Browns squadron of receivers—Kevin Johnson, Dennis Northcutt, Quincy Morgan and Andre Davis—who earn the most praise.
“I think those four are as good as any quartet of receivers in the league,” Steelers Coach Bill Cowher said.
—Tom Reed, The Akron Beacon Journal ”Steelers’ secondary could be in a bind against Browns’ receivers”
Johnson was drafted by the Browns in 1999 and released during the 2003 season, with coach Butch Davis citing imprecise route-running and playbook knowledge. He was claimed by the Jaguars, traded to the Ravens and then signed with the Lions.
Northcutt was drafted by the Browns in 2000 and remained with the team until signing with the Jaguars after the 2006 season; he was traded to the Lions before the 2009 season and was waived after the 2010 preseason.
Morgan was drafted by the Browns in 2001 and was traded to Cowboys for Antonio Bryant in 2004. He spent 2005 with the Steelers and 2006 with the Broncos.
Davis was drafted by the Browns in 2002 and remained with the team until joining the Patriots in 2005. He spent 2006 with the Bills and 2007-2010 with the Texans.