In three years with the Cincinnati Bengals, fullback Chris Pressley always felt the Cleveland Browns were a tough test, despite what their record was at the time of the games.
And that was one of the many reasons Pressley signed a contract with the Browns on Monday morning, because when the team turns it around, he wants to be a part of it.
"Every time I played the Browns, I knew they were ready to play," Pressley said on a conference call Monday afternoon. "They're a good team. They had some close losses and all that stuff, but I think, with the right direction, the right coaches, and obviously, the right leadership, we're going to do some great things.
"That's kind of why I really wanted to come, just be part of it all, be part of this turnaround. I think we have the perfect pieces in place and we're going to do some great things."
Pressley comes to Cleveland after missing the entire 2013 season with a knee injury, but the 5-foot-10, 249-pounder is ready to show what he can do now that he is healthy again.
"(The Browns) said, 'Just come in here ready to compete,' and that's what I'm ready to do," Pressley said. "I'm ready to come in and show them my best football's ahead of me. I've been able to sit back and look at some of the things I've done on film and some of the things I can do better.
"Just looking at a lot of film, I've gotten an understanding of how I fit into concepts and how I fit into the designs of the play. In this zone scheme, and football in general, we can do some great things as long as you're tuned into what's going on because there's a lot of little things and nuances. You have to pay attention to them, play fast, very physical and bust holes open for your running back.
"I feel like my best days are ahead of me. It was just a small setback. I'm ready to come out here and do a lot of great things for the Cleveland Browns. I'm excited."
The self-described "smash-mouth, hard-nosed" native of New Jersey and product of the University of Wisconsin is ready to lead the way for running back Ben Tate, whom the Browns signed early in free agency.
"I'll do whatever he wants to do," Pressley said of Tate. "He's the guy I want to get into the end zone. It makes me look good. It makes the line look good. It's just a matter of communication and just practicing. You've got to have the repetitions, and day-in and day-out, just going in and watching film with each other.
"I think the fullback's kind of underrated, but it takes some intelligence, and also, being tough. It's all about having that heart and going in there and hitting guys. That's what I do. Week-in and week-out, I'm going to give it my all. It makes for some great film. Playing fullback, to me, the essence is being smart, protecting your quarterback, protecting your running back. You're a glorified lineman back there."