With 3:55 to play in last Sunday’s 32-28 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Cleveland Browns were celebrating wide receiver
However, the celebration was short-lived as the Jaguars marched 80 yards in nine plays in 3:15 for the eventual game-winning score, a 20-yard pass from quarterback Chad Henne to wide receiver, and Cleveland native, Cecil Shorts III, who had gotten behind the coverage of
Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton called that last Jacksonville drive “very disappointing on everybody’s part.”
“To be put in a situation where the offense and Josh had done an outstanding job of giving us a lead with 3:17 left in the game, for us not to seal the deal was very disappointing,” Horton said. “We had jumped offsides on a play that was a potential sack-fumble that was negated. They hit a pass down the sideline, and then, at the very end, Cecil Shorts ran a double route that was completed.
“I think everybody was highly, highly disappointed, and probably, nobody more so than Joe, who took it very hard. I think that shows outstanding character. It means that much to him. I believe, if you’d have asked him before, he’d love to be the guy that they throw at to make the play. It’s just unfortunate that he happened to catch it on that particular play.”
Horton said he felt the Browns missed an opportunity to prove their defense belonged in the discussion as one of the best in the NFL.
“People talk statement games,” Horton said. “You should say, ‘Hey, put it on us,’ and great players would say not only, ‘Put it on us.’ ‘Put it on me.’ That’s how you make a name, a reputation in this league of big-time players making big-time plays in big-time games.
“I would hope most of our guys would want to be in that situation. I know I did. I wanted it to be an epiphany of how good we can be, and those are the kinds of the drives that cement or help build that legacy, that legend, the ability to be mentioned as a good, top defense.”
While the Browns were upset by the last of the Jaguars’ three touchdowns, Horton said he believes the players are ready to erase the memory of the Jacksonville game with a solid performance against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
“I think our guys are highly motivated all the time to perform well,” Horton said. “One of our sayings is, ‘The standard is the standard.’ Players use it all the time. It doesn’t matter what we do. We just care about getting off the field. That will never be an issue with our guys, character-wise, of what’s in front of us, what we’re playing for and how we want to be representative of the Cleveland Browns.”