Confidence growing, but will the wins follow for the Cleveland Browns?
The Cleveland Browns have shown improvement through the season’s first three games. Now all that is left for them to do is come home with a win.
The Cleveland Browns will hit the quarter pole of the 2016 NFL season on Sunday sporting an 0-3 record.
But after consecutive close losses to the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins, the Browns appear close to notching their first win of the season. And once they finally walk off the field as victors the sky is the limit.
At least according to wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.
“We’re so close to getting over that hump,” Pryor said on Tuesday, according to cleveland.com. “Once we get over that hump, I think we’re going to have a lot of success, even this year. I think we can win all the rest of the games. It depends on our mindset. It depends on how we look at it. It’s just one week at a time.”
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Pryor’s mindset is one that is permeating throughout the roster and comes directly from head coach Hue Jackson, who has preached a positive attitude from the moment he walked in the door at team headquarters in Berea.
While some national media outlets are using Pryor’s comments to poke fun at the Browns – “ha, ha, he thinks they will go undefeated” – that’s losing the plot.
Pryor isn’t saying the Browns will run the table over the season’s final 13 games, but rather is reflecting the positive attitude that the team’s recent performances has instilled in the locker room.
The Browns may be 0-3 on the young season, but there are positives to build on:
- The Browns are currently fourth in the NFL in rushing at 144.7 yards per game
- They are currently second in the NFL in yards per carry at 5.7.
- They are currently at No. 18 in rushing defense, giving up 109.3 yards per game. Normally not a great number, but a nice improvement over last year’s 128.4 yards per game.
- They are only giving up 3.9 yards per carry, down from last season’s 4.5 yards per carry.
- Most importantly, the defense has yet to give up a run longer than 20 yards, after allowing 18 such runs last season.
That doesn’t mean there are not concerns, of course, most notably when it comes to injuries as the Browns:
- Are down to their third-string quarterback, Cody Kessler;
- Are without their No. 1 draft pick, Corey Coleman, their best pass rusher, Carl Nassib, and their starting center, Cameron Erving;
- May be without cornerback Joe Haden for the second consecutive week;
- May be without linebacker Nate Orchard;
- May be without right guard Alvin Bailey after he was charged this week with OVI
It is still early, but so far the Browns are doing what they can to embrace the “next man up” philosophy.
“I have never been more proud and happy with a group because they just they come back in, they get out of their car, go in the building and they go to work,” head coach Hue Jackson said on Wednesday. “We make corrections, we get better from the things we have done and I’m looking for our team to make the next jump this week and continue to get better as we chase this win.
“We have a lot of work to do still to get ready for this football team, and we are looking forward to the challenge this weekend.”
Next: Browns: Week 3 film room
There is no doubt that the Browns have shown improvement through the season’s first three games. Now there is only one thing left to do – win.
“We have to finish, and we have not finished the last two weeks,” Pryor said “We have to play better ball and play a full game how we started. We have to get a win this week. It is urgency.”