Haden and the Browns returned to the practice field Monday morning after a few days away from the Berea training facility for the team’s annual bye week. Over the final seven weeks of the season, the Browns play four road games and have two matchups with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Browns start the second half of their schedule Sunday at the Dallas Cowboys.
“The bye week definitely helped out,” Haden said. “We had time to go chill and reenergize for the last seven. Everybody’s just really ready, and ready to go at it. I feel like everybody’s ready to do the same thing I was saying, just do a little more. You just want to get out on the field and prove that we are a good team.”
During the bye week break, Haden took the advice of middle linebacker and defensive captain D’Qwell Jackson, as well as head coach Pat Shurmur, and focused on football. In his look back at the first nine games, Haden developed a clear direction for what he wants from the rest of the season.
“We want to establish ourselves as a team that can win games,” Haden said. “We just need to start winning. Everything that we say, we feel like it’s the same thing every week. Every week we lose, we say, ‘Alright, we’re going to focus on next week.’ We really have to just start winning. There’s nothing else that can be said, but ‘Win games.’
“We feel like our team is a good team, but nobody else is going to recognize it or realize it until we start getting ‘Ws’ and not ‘Ls.' Everybody needs to come in and just do more; just do a little bit more. What we’ve been doing in the past obviously hasn’t been working, so, if it’s another hour of film study, if it’s another hour of workouts, if it’s a little more conditioning, if it’s meeting with your coaches, if it’s anything like that, take that next step.”
At 2-7, the Browns are in fourth place in the AFC North Division. However, Haden knows the team is full of players and coaches that love to compete and win.
“You always have a purpose to play when you go out on Sunday,” Haden said. “You’re in the NFL now. This is your profession and this is what you do. If you’re out there for the playoffs or not, when you’re out there, you want to put your best foot forward. You never want to get beat. The people in here, if you’re playing rock-paper-scissors, you don’t want anybody to beat you. It’s just the nature of an NFL player. No matter what you’re fighting for out there, you’re fighting, every time you’re out there, to win.”
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