Steelers Analyst: Browns Hype "Ridiculous"

Ron Cook says it's hard for anyone in Pittsburgh "to take the Browns seriously"

August 14, 2019 - 9:07 am
Steelers Ben Roethlisberger

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The Cleveland Browns enter the 2019 season with high expectations. Many NFL analysts expect them to, at the very least, win the AFC North. Some expect a deep playoff run, if not a Super Bowl title.

Pittsburgh’s 97.3 The Fan host Ron Cook finds all of this ludicrous.

“I think the hype around the Browns is ridiculous,” Cook said on Ferrall on the Bench. “It’s only going to be irritating if they live up to it. That’s the thing: they still got to show they can win. I think the feeling here is the Browns are still the Browns until they prove otherwise. Rookie head coach Freddie Kitchens, good luck dealing with that.”

Cook then put the Steelers’ dominance over the Browns in perspective. Since the Browns returned to Cleveland in 1999, the winningest quarterback in Cleveland Stadium is…Ben Roethlisberger.

“One of the most amazing stats in all of sports,” Cook said. “He’s won 11 games there since they came back in ’99. No quarterback has won more games in Cleveland Stadium than the Steelers’ quarterback. It’s hard for anybody here to take the Browns seriously.”

Still, it’ll be interesting to see how the Steelers fare without Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Cook acknowledged that he is still very much interested in the AB soap opera.

“He absolutely fascinates me,” Cook said. “Now he’s taking team turmoil from Pittsburgh to Oakland. I think the fans are past him. They may start to miss him once the games start for real because he’s a hell of a receiver. You know how good Swann and Stallworth were; Antonio Brown is better, in my opinion. But the headaches he causes – I’m glad he’s gone. I think the Steelers are glad he’s gone. But you can’t get past it. It’s news every day for what he does. He’s fascinating in a perverse sort of way. I’m glad he’s gone. They’re going to miss his production, but we’ll see how Jon Gruden ends up handling him all year long.”

Click below to listen to Cook’s interview in its entirety.