The Cleveland Browns dropped their regular-season opener to the Miami Dolphins, 23-10, at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday.
However, when asked about the mood of the locker room, first-year coach Rob Chudzinski said he is confident the players will put the loss in the past and focus on this week’s game at the Baltimore Ravens.
“Anything else is just noise out there,” Chudzinski said. “Guys have to focus on what we’re trying to get done, what we’re doing right now, and we’ll get better.
“These guys are developing players. They’re learning how to play, and how to play in this system. I expect us to keep getting better and improve. That’s really what the message is all about today with these guys: ‘Let’s take what happened yesterday, view that as a positive and move past it.’ When they walk out of this building, we’re focused on Baltimore.”
Although Chudzinski admitted to being “disappointed we didn’t get the win for the team, the organization, and for the fans,” he felt there were positives to build off of in beginning this week’s preparations.
“This is one game,” Chudzinski said. “We have a lot of football left to play. These guys will learn from it as we’re going through the process this afternoon. We’ll get better. We’re looking forward to this next week.”
In addition to the positives, Chudzinski spoke on the importance of improving on miscues -- particularly the three interceptions and nine penalties that cost the Browns 57 yards -- and the one-of-14 performance on third down.
“We had some mental mistakes and some communication issues that hurt us,” Chudzinski said. “Third down is something we need to focus on and get better at. Our pass protection needs to improve, and we have to have a sense of and be able to make the plays at the critical times that are either going to extend our drives offensively or stop drives defensively.
“(For) some of it, we were in long third-down situations, and that makes it tough. You take a negative play on first or second down, and you end up in tough situations to convert. Some of the protection issues showed up as well, and some mental mistakes.”
ADDRESSING PROTECTION ISSUES
The Browns allowed the Dolphins to register six sacks for 45 lost yards and 16 total hits on Weeden. Chudzinski said the Browns will need to work on the scheme and execution of the assignments in order to keep their second-year quarterback upright.
“Whether it’s chips or things that we had planned and didn’t execute it well enough, we’ll get those things straightened out,” Chudzinski said. “The protection issues were there, and that’s something you have to contend with.
“I think Brandon had some ups and downs. I know there’s some throws, some reads that he would love to have back, but the one thing you saw was his resiliency and his toughness. He’s pretty tough and kept bouncing back.”
BRYANT SHINES IN DEBUT
First-year Browns defensive lineman
“I thought he really had a strong game and applied pressure to the quarterback,” Chudzinski said. “He did a great job against the run. I was really pleased with what he did. He just had some back spasms and we felt it was something that wasn’t going to be long-term.”