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Browns vs. Redskins: Pat Shurmur says defense at its best, preparing for RGIII

The Browns' defense is healthy and preparing for the Redskins.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur addressed the media at a press conference on Thursday, expressing confidence in his defense as they prepare to play the Washington Redskins.

"I think we're as good as we've been to this point in the season. I think that's fair to say," Shurmur said, as he detailed the return of defensive back Dimitri Patterson and both starting defensive tackles. "We're dealing with all the bumps and bruises that everybody deals with, but that gives us the best opportunity I think to go out and have a successful game on defense."

The Browns' defense will likely need to be on its game, as the Redskins offense ranks fifth in the NFL by averaging 387 yards per game. On the other side of the ball, Cleveland ranks 23rd in the league, giving up an average of 363 yards per game.

Up in the air is the status of Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, who suffered a knee injury on Sunday. Shurmur said he hasn't been influenced by reports that Griffin practiced on Wednesday, indicating the Browns' preparation will remain the same.

Shurmur said there's no special secret to stopping Griffin, given the Redskins' offensive success thus far:

It's about playing team defense and everybody's got to be aggressive, they've got to address their gaps, defeat their blocks and then go chase the football ... It sounds cliché but that's the way it works. Of course, now you add to it the element of the play action, which they do extremely well. Then we've got to be able to, in our preparation, read our keys and get where we need to be.

The game kicks at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.