Browns' effort key in season-finale

Posted Dec 27, 2013

On Friday’s edition of “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” co-hosts Vic Carucci and Nathan Zegura discussed the effort they hope to see from the Browns in Sunday’s season-finale at Pittsburgh and the plans they want to hear from this organization. Tom Withers, from the Associated Press, joined Vic and Nathan to continue the discussion on what he would like to hear from the front office and how important he feels a win on Sunday would be.
Jamir Howerton, from, went inside the locker room with running back Chris Ogbonnaya, who reflected on his season and how he envisions the team to be moving forward.

Je’Rod Cherry wrapped up the show and expressed his hopes for the offseason and the accountability needed by the entire organization.

Here are some highlights:

Vic Carucci: “I question the effort of this team. I thought last week, for the first time all season, I didn’t seen the Browns play with the same level of passion that they have had. I want to see (Jason) Campbell, who has expressed his frustration throughout the season, be the guy who feels like it’s a game of redemption, not only for the performance of the team and himself, but for the Steelers. (William) Gay gave him a concussion earlier in the season; I want that to be some fuel for the fire for the entire team. The best way to make them pay is by making the big plays. …I look at the fan base right now and nobody wants a feeling that this was just a giveaway year. I want that sense of accountability and I want a feeling that the front office will do whatever it takes to turn this thing around. I want specifics; more of an idea of what their ideal scenario is for the 2014 season. I want something substantial, something I can wrap my arms around.”

Nathan Zegura: “For me, I want to see a good effort, better than I saw last week, from the Browns. I want to see a team that continues to develop (running back) Edwin Baker and allows him to run the ball against a pretty decent run defense. It’s a matter of this team showing me something that I can feel comfortable with for the future. The Browns have an opportunity to end the Steelers’ season. Wouldn’t it be nice to be the team that does that? ...One of the things I want to hear from the organization is that they feel 4-12 is totally unacceptable and that they are going to reevaluate themselves, utilize their resources in the offseason, and do everything in their power to build for an immediate turnaround. Jimmy (Haslam) wants to win; I’ve heard it come directly out of his mouth. This offseason is so important and so critical because they have the picks and they have the money to make this team a possible playoff team.”

Tom Withers: “I think it’s important for this team to win Sunday against what used to be a chief rival. It’s time for things to turn in the right direction, and I believe there is carry-over into the offseason, especially when you have had six straight losses. I want to see (Barkevious) Mingo, who has, in my mind, been a disappointment, make some impact plays on Sunday. And I want to see an aggressive, consistent, attacking style out of this defense. I want to see a nice mix offensively, just a complete game to finish this season. We’ve seen bits and pieces all season, but I want to see a complete package. …Over the next 10 days and going forward, I want to hear what the plans are: how is this going to be fixed? How are the assets going to be used? Where will the money be allocated? What were the positives of this year? How do you get this thing turned in the completely right direction? Let’s be honest, when you go in to the offseason, with the salary cap and the money they have to spend, why not pay the guys that you know about, instead of going into the market place being unsure? I think that is how you become a good team, you hold on to that core.”

Je'Rod Cherry: “I know what I don’t want to see (Sunday). I don’t want to see a repeat of last Sunday, but I am already getting indications that it may happen with guys not participating and not practicing. You can say all the right things you want, but if it is not backed up, it means nothing. I want to hear that they are going to hold the guys accountable, but unless you don’t do something, it’s not going to hold any weight with me. If I was them, I would tell the guys that they are held accountable and what took place this season is not allowed. I want to hear that they are truly committed to finding guys who want to play week to week. I was most disappointed this season in their inability to take the game to the next level, and the unwillingness to do so. Playing in the NFL is a privilege; I don’t know what it will take for these guys to learn that.”

Chris Ogbonnaya:“We had a great week and we enjoyed the last week of practice for the season. This is definitely a great group to be a part of.  You can see the formula is there and the success we have had, even though it hasn’t always been how we wanted it to be, it’s there. Hopefully, we can end the season with a victory. A win for us would be a great way to end the season and set the bar for next year.”

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