Under new management, Browns brace for Chiefs

When Cleveland was sitting .500 through five games, many thought the moribund Browns were beginning to look different.After the firing on Monday of head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley, no thought is required. The Browns (2-5-1) are definitely different as they prepare to host the team with the best record in the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs (7-1), on Sunday.”We’re a lot closer than what a lot of people think, especially this year. We’ve got to find ways to make a few plays to get over the hump,” said Gregg Williams, the defensive coordinator who was promoted to interim coach.”The players, they’re getting closer. I like their response to all the confusion, all the dysfunction.”Williams, who was suspended in 2012 for his role in the “Bountygate” scandal while coordinating the New Orleans Saints’ defense, was 17-31 as the Buffalo Bills’ head coach from 2001-03.He is not likely the long-term answer for the Browns, who hope quarterback Baker Mayfield can at least fulfill that role on the field.”We’ve got to use this as something to come together,” said Mayfield, adding, “It’s my welcome-to-the-business moment.”Maybe the coaching moves will provide the spark intended to lift a team that has scored six touchdowns in the past four games while Mayfield was sacked 17 times.From the Chiefs’ perspective, there is little reason to anticipate the Browns will immediately overhaul their approach.”I’m sure it is going to be similar as far as schemes go at this point in the year,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.Kansas City happens to present a stiff challenge behind quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who has passed for 26 touchdowns, with seven consecutive 300-yard performances.His matchup with Mayfield is a renewal of college ties. The quarterbacks were teammates at Texas Tech and later Big 12 rivals after Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma.