Cleveland Browns players said Thursday that they're using Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill's critical comments as motivation going into Sunday's game. Hill blasted the Browns despite the fact Cleveland blew out Cincinnati in their first game this season.
Hill said after the teams' first matchup in November that the Browns are "worse than I thought" and that "they're not that good," despite the fact Cleveland beat Cincinnati 24-3.
"We'll definitely use those comments as fuel to the fire," Robertson said. "We've got to come out and play a big game against him."
"At the end of the day, we're not really getting the respect that we want," Browns cornerback Joe Haden said. "We just have to keep doing what we're doing every week so that we can earn everybody's respect."
Hill had 55 rushing yards in the first game against the Browns but will have a chance to better that total in the rematch Sunday. Fellow running back Giovani Bernard told ESPN.com Thursday that Hill will start against the Browns, marking his first start this season when Bernard has been healthy.
The two have mostly split carries this year except for when Bernard missed three games in November due to hip and shoulder injuries. Bernard has 557 rushing yards and is averaging 3.9 yards per carry this season, while Hill has 729 yards and is averaging 4.8 yards per carry.
The Bengals selected Hill in the second round of this year's NFL draft with the intention of mostly using a two-back system, but offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said Wednesday that he prefers a one-back system, meaning Hill will likely get the bulk of the carries Sunday.
The Browns rank 26th in the NFL in run defense, allowing 129.5 rushing yards per game.
The Bengals enter Sunday's game at 8-4-1 and in first place in the AFC North. The Browns are 7-6 and in last place.
- Ben Estes