- Browns’ Sione Takitaki knew exactly how to reach Bengals’ Joe Burrow (Beacon Journal) - Sione Takitaki stood near his locker in FirstEnergy Stadium and posed as if he were Joe Burrow awaiting a shotgun snap.
- What about Kevin Stefanski as the future coach of the Cleveland Browns? (Terry Pluto) - Kevin Stefanski was not going to be fired during the bye week, even if the Browns had lost to Cincinnati. So this is not a story about votes of confidences for the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
- Where Nick Chubb stands in the rushing title race after Week 8 (cleveland.com) - The Cleveland Browns’ run game was a force during Monday’s 32-13 win over Cincinnati, as the Bengals run defense allowed over 100 rushing yards for the fourth consecutive game. Nick Chubb is trying to win his first rushing title and join Marion Motley, Jim Brown and Leroy Kelly as the fourth Browns running back to win the title, and the first since Kelly did it in 1968 with 1,239 yards in 14 games. Here’s a breakdown of how Chubb stacks up against the other rushing title challengers this season.
- Sione Takitaki takes advantage of larger role, makes big impact (Browns Zone) - Sione Takitaki had earned a starting job as the muscle. The strongside linebacker could set an edge, fill a hole, take on a blocker and rush the passer. But when it came time to run, cover and play in space in the nickel package, Takitaki found himself on the sideline.
- Dave Butz, who helped anchor Washington’s 1980s defenses, dies at 72 (Washington Post) - Dave Butz, the massive lineman who helped anchor the defense for Washington’s NFL team in the 1970s and ’80s and was part of two Super Bowl-winning teams, has died, the team announced Friday. He was 72. The cause of death was not disclosed.
- What makes the Rams’ Cooper Kupp so hard to stop? (ESPN) - If you’re looking for wide receiver Cooper Kupp after practice, he can often be found in the ear of a defensive back. On the field after practice, right after a play or in the locker room, he’s asking the Los Angeles Rams defensive backs what they’re seeing from him, and asking for tips and tells they see or feel against him during practice. And it’s not only All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey he’s asking, but rookies Cobie Durant and Russ Yeast.
- Eddie Jackson miffed by Bears’ defensive trades after 3-5 start: ‘What are we playing for?’ (NFL.com) - The Chicago Bears sold off two veteran defensive stars ahead of the NFL trade deadline, shipping Robert Quinn to Philadelphia last week and sending Roquan Smith to Baltimore on Monday. Stripping the defense of captains, leaders and playmakers left questions in the Bears’ locker room.
- The Bears need to help Justin Fields like Dolphins bolstered Tua Tagovailoa (Chicago Sun-Times) - The Chicago Bears finally helped quarterback Justin Fields at the trade deadline. The Miami Dolphins, though, have been building around quarterback Tua Tagovailoa since they drafted him— even when they weren’t sure that he was the answer.