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Question of the Day
As bad as things went against the Bengals, and it was bad, Shurmur and his staff did not dwell on the many mistakes that were made. Instead, they used the errors as teaching tools to make the Browns better.
That wasn’t the case under former Browns coach Eric Mangini, who subscribed to the Bill Belichick school of intimidation and humiliation during Monday film sessions to inspire players _ or at least scare them into doing better.
“The atmosphere is really nice,” center Alex Mack said. “To come to work and not be dreading it from what’s going to happen and how you’re going to get yelled at or what’s going to show up on the screen. Here it’s, ‘guys we made mistakes and let’s get better’ and have a kind of lighter atmosphere. It’s going to help guys stay upbeat. It’s easier to learn.”
“It’s not acceptable to make mistakes, but it’s a learning experience.”
Browns linebacker Scott Fujita detected a renewed focus when he and his teammates began practicing last week. It was then he knew things would be different against the Colts.
“You came in Monday obviously there was a little bit of a hangover last week,” he said. “Guys were disappointed in the loss. That’s a good thing. Losses like that should sting a little bit. It shows that you care. So guys came back in Wednesday ready to work. I think the focus was great all week. Guys were upbeat and positive about it, and that carried over to the game.”
The Browns’ trip to Indianapolis finished better than it started.
On Saturday, the team’s charter plane went slightly off the runway and got stuck in the mud at Cleveland’s airport. The Browns were forced to switch to another jet, delaying their arrival in Indiana by nearly four hours. It could have been a bad omen, but the young team with five rookie starters, shook it off and moved on in much the same way it did after losing the opener.
Fujita feels the club’s resiliency is a positive sign.
“We were dealt some obstacles last week, getting stuck in the mud and all that,” he said. “There were a lot of different things that normally you wouldn’t have to deal with on a normal travel schedule. So all the guys handled it very well. There was a lot of good emotion, kind of an up-tempo attitude early in the game, and it showed.”
There does seem to a new edge to these Browns.
They let a victory slip last week, and safety T.J. Ward said there was a determination last week not to let it happen again.
“Players just taking our own initiative and put our foot down, we’re not going to take this anymore,” he said. “We’re not going to be run-of-the-mill and accept these losses. It was just a team effort.”
Notes: Shurmur praised rookie defensive linemen Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard for their roles in Sunday’s win. Taylor had five tackles and Sheard recorded a strip-sack and fumble recovery before he foolishly tried to lateral. Shurmur joked defensive players have to be careful because “they tend to be a little more cavalier with the ball.” … Shurmur wanted to get RB Montario Hardesty into the game earlier, but the second-year back didn’t get his first carry until the fourth quarter. … The Browns didn’t sustain any notable injuries.
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