Browns Daily Wrap: Tolerable loss

Posted Dec 9, 2013

On Monday’s edition of “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” co-hosts Vic Carucci and Nathan Zegura felt positive about where the Browns are headed despite Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots. Coach Rob Chudzinski joined Vic and Nathan as he reflected on the game, expressing encouragement about how the team prepared and executed against Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Tom Withers, from the Associated Press, and Doug Dieken, from the PNC Bank Cleveland Browns Radio Network, joined Vic and Nathan for a Roundtable discussion as they talked about how the Cleveland Browns outplayed the Patriots despite questionable calls by the officials. Jamir Howerton, from, went inside the locker room with running back Chris Ogbonnaya, who talked about the fight and hunger this team has despite a disappointing loss.

Vic and Nathan were joined by Je’Rod Cherry, who reiterated the fact that the Browns should feel optimistic after Sunday’s game and should take advantage of this opportunity to grow as a football team.

Here are some highlights:

Vic Carucci: “There are many layers to the frustration of yesterday’s game and the officials certainly did not help, but the bottom line is that the game would have changed if the Browns were prepared for the on-side kick. I do feel that they played their best game of the season, though. Ray Horton out-schemed the Patriots and (Brian) Hoyer was a tremendous help on the sidelines yesterday. He has been studying that offense for four years, he knew what to anticipate, and was a huge help to the defensive staff. Given the Browns’ standard of performance, we are looking at a team that achieved a high level of play that allowed them to compete against one of the best teams in the NFL. In fact, they did better than compete; they outplayed them. I’m extremely proud of the effort of the team and I like where they are headed.”

Nathan Zegura: “I feel very proud to be a Browns fan. I loved their effort and the way they played. This was a team that was well coached and managed to out-scheme the “master schemer” (Bill Belichick). I understand people are tired of moral victories, and I get that. I know people are angry, but what you have to realize is that this is a significantly better football team than you have seen in years. They are more competitive and, yes, they need to find ways to win the game, but this is a team that played one of the best teams in the NFL and they bested them in many ways. I have to disagree, though, with some of the officiating. For a team to play its best game of the season and have it taken away in such a gut-wrenching, mind boggling way, it really hurts. But the Browns should use this game as a confidence-builder and continue to work on their execution for the remainder of the season.”

Rob Chudzinski: “Winning is obviously the ultimate goal, but we did a lot of good things out there yesterday. Experience is a great teacher and I’ve seen a lot of teams go through these experiences and understand and learn from it. What I see that is so encouraging is the development of young players and how they are growing up in such a hurry. The mindset of this team is so tough and they are so relentless and I think you can see that on the field and it will eventually translate to wins. I disagree with some of the calls that were made, but it was called and there is nothing we can do about it. We had the opportunities to win the game and we didn’t. It never comes down to one play and we are focusing on what we can control at this point. Once you blame someone else for something, then you take the control out of your own hands. We just aren’t going to operate that way. There are a lot of positives to pull from this game and anyone who doesn’t see that is blind. I’m encouraged with the direction we are going and with what I see. I’m excited for the next game and I know the guys are, too.”

Tom Withers: “There were so many positives to take away from this game; it’s too bad it got overshadowed by a few bad calls. I thought Campbell played extremely tough and the defense played well up until the fourth quarter. You rarely see (Tom) Brady on the sideline with his head in his heads; that was a good sight to see. The alarming part about the game is that once again, the defense can’t get the job done at the end when they need to. Chud did not play the blame game on the officials, which is respectable. I like that he reinforced that experience is the best teacher. The Browns will learn from this and grow, and I like the direction the team is headed.”

Doug Dieken: “I think this game shows that when you play a clean game with no turnovers, you can play with the best of the best in the league. But when you get jobbed by the officials, you get jobbed by the officials, and there is nothing you can do about that. There were, obviously, a lot of questionable calls, but you saw the Browns were well prepared for what Brady was going to bring and their effort was at a maximum. They played competitive and should feel good about themselves, despite the loss.”

Chris Ogbonnaya: “All the things we worked on during the week we did, and we did what we were supposed to do. Unfortunately, the main thing is finishing and that comes in the preparation, focus, and understanding of the situation. I can’t be more proud of these guys; we competed our tails off. Things happen and it’s a part of the game, but our team will never surrender, we won’t back down and we will continue to fight and that is how we have been trained. We’ve taken on the identity of our coaches. As long as there is time on the clock, win or lose, anything can happen. There is plenty to play for and it doesn’t matter if it’s preseason, regular season, or playoffs, I want to win the game. And I am going to do what I can to try and win the game.”

Je'Rod Cherry: “Going in to the game, I had the Browns with no chance whatsoever, so I was very impressed with the team as a collective unit. I thought this team may have quit, given everything going on behind the scenes, but that was not the case. They proved that they do respect the idea that being in the NFL is a privilege, not a right, and it showed because they went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the league. The interesting thing will be to see how they respond to Chicago this weekend. The coaches remember what you did last, so all those guys who want to stick around for next season need to close the deal in these last few games. We really are a decent football team, and if we continuously play for four full quarters, we will start to see a change for the better.”

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