When asked why the Browns have dropped two straight games to fall to 4-7 on the season, safety T.J. Ward opted to give his actual opinion rather than a bland soundbite.
Ward said that eight turnovers over the last two weeks were the reason why the team lost, an assessment that’s not politically correct in the locker room even if it fairly accurately explains why the Browns have been outscored 68-31 in the two losses. Other members of the Browns defense said Monday that they understood Ward’s frustrations, but that the safety can’t express them in a way that could lead to division on the team.
Coach Rob Chudzinski had the same take and said he let the team know that they needed to stick together in the face of tough times.
“I talked to the team about the importance of us sticking together and this is the time when those frustrations come out, when you don’t have as much success in a game that you want to have,” Chudzinski said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Again, we have a lot of football left to play this season. It’s a team sport and we need to stick together in that way. It was in a context of being frustrated about losing, which I understand. Guys who aren’t frustrated or like losing, we don’t want here anyhow. I think that what T.J. said was in frustration. I know as he came in today, he’s looking at his own performance and there’s a lot of things that we all can do better. That’s the approach it’s been with the team.”
The Jaguars are headed to town this weekend, which would normally look like a chance to get well. It looks like Brandon Weeden will be back at quarterback for the Browns, however, and that certainly mitigates any advantage the Browns might hope to have over the visiting side.