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Browns take pride in the fight

Posted Dec 8, 2013

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Although the Cleveland Browns lost to the New England Patriots, 27-26, the players and coaches took pride in the way they fought to the end.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- As the Cleveland Browns broke down the huddle following Sunday’s 27-26, last-minute loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium, defensive captain D’Qwell Jackson told his teammates how proud he was of their ability to fight through adversity.

The middle linebacker also promised his teammates that all of their hard work would not go unrewarded. To him, the players and coaches continue to build the foundation for the future.

“I’ve played a ton of games in my career, and this is the first one that went down to the last second,” Jackson said. “Regardless, we played well throughout the game in every phase of the game. We’ve been talking about playing well the first five minutes of each half, and the last five minutes of each half, and it just got away from us.

“I’m proud of every guy in this locker room. Every guy gave it his all. I’m fully energized by this. It’s disappointing, but I’m fully energized.”

Although the Browns suffered a setback in New England, outside linebacker Paul Kruger said he feels the team is on the verge of something special.

“We’re building something, and it takes time,” Kruger said. “You’ve got to continue to fight and be competitive every day. This whole team, defense, offense, special teams, is full of guys who want to win, who are competitive and who have great desire.”

Fourth-year defensive back Joe Haden agreed with Jackson and Kruger’s sentiments, but added that losses like the one to the Patriots, which came down to New England quarterback Tom Brady engineering two touchdown drives in the waning minutes of the game, hurt.

“This one’s bad to be up like that and end up how it did,” Haden said. “At the end of the day, I’m happy to be a part of this team. Everybody fought. We fought to the end. It didn’t go in our favor at all, but we can’t take anything from what the Patriots did. It’s definitely deflating, but I love these dudes, man. I’m just happy to be a part of this. They went hard. It was no lack of effort.

“We always say, ‘We’re really close to turning it around.’ We really are. We’ve just got to close it out. We’ve got to close it out. It’s not a lack of effort. It’s a little bit of execution. We’re going to come back in and look at the tape. This one hurts. Everybody played their hearts out. Everyone knows we could’ve won the game. We had this one, and we’ve just got to grow from here.”

From spending extra time in the film room trying to gain an advantage on the opponent to giving everything on the practice field and in the weight room, the players said they have felt prepared to win every game.

That is a fact evident to even the newest of Browns.

“I’ve only been here five, six weeks, and I see the way guys treat each other on this team,” said defensive back Jordan Poyer. “I see the pride the guys have of being a Cleveland Brown. Whether we’re 4-9 or not, guys will hold their heads high and be super proud of being a Cleveland Brown.

“I say the same thing. I’m happy to be out there for this team. It’s a great group of guys, a great group of coaches. We fight. We’ve all got heart, and when an outcome like that happens, it’s tough.”

Despite falling short of their goal of beating the Patriots Sunday, Browns quarterback Jason
Campbell said he was proud of the effort given on the field.

“Our offense, defense and special teams, the coaching staff, everyone came here to get a win,” Campbell said. “All week, we talked about coming here to get a win. We felt it was a great opportunity against a team like New England. To lose a game like that at the end, it definitely stings. I felt like everyone put everything out there on the field.”