For the Cleveland Browns’ players, reporting to work Thursday was business as usual.
Following Wednesday’s trade of running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a 2014 first-round draft pick, the Browns got back to the practice field and continued preparing for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field.
“Not for one minute do the players in this locker room think we’re not trying to win now,” veteran linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said. “We’re good on the defensive side of the ball. We’ve got some areas we all can improve on. We’ve just got to get the first one, get the first win to create some winning around here.
“I’m thinking about today, Thursday, what I’ve got to game plan for. We’ve got a great test that’s coming up with Adrian Peterson. You’ve got to keep your hard hat on. Keep your hard hat on and keep moving. There’s been changes in the last two years here, so a lot of guys should be familiar with it and know how to approach it. It’s still business as usual.”
Jackson said that players will probably talk about the Richardson trade today, but it is up to him, as a captain, and the team’s other leaders, to keep everyone on the same page.
“We’ve got work to do,” Jackson said. “We’re on a time-slotted day, so we’ve got a lot of studying to do, a lot of film to watch. We’re trying get the first one. Yeah, it’s going to be on our minds. We wish Trent the best of luck, but we’ve still got a job to do.
“Guys in this locker room, myself and the other leaders, we’ve got to not miss a beat. I hate to see him leave, but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. If we do, we’re not going to put a good brand of football on the field.”
Veteran defensive lineman
“We go out there and we put in work every day so that we can win games on Sunday,” Bryant said. “This doesn’t change that. Right now, we’re working to beat Minnesota this weekend, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.
“I respect the decision that they made and I think that they’re doing everything they can to help us win as many games as possible. We keep working and focus on getting the job done. You can’t worry about outside distractions. You can’t worry about what’s going on with the front office. You just have to focus in at practice, work on your reads, your fundamentals and be ready to play on Sunday.”
Jackson said the goal heading into Sunday’s game is the same, “Win the one,” and at 0-2 and one game back in the AFC North Division, he knows the importance of beating the Vikings.
“We need it,” Jackson said. “This is the week to show the character of the guys we have in this locker room. We can go out and take care of business. I don’t care if we win 3-0 or 6-3, as long as we get the win. We’re fully confident. The ship is still sailing.”