The time to reflect is minimal this week in Berea. [
The Browns didn't practice Monday, but their focus was already on the Ravens, who will host them Thursday.
Here are the most important things to know from Monday.
1. Nassib, Taylor dealing with injuries
Two defensive starters are dealing with injuries heading into Thursday's game against the Ravens, but Browns coach Hue Jackson expressed significant optimism about one of them when it pertained to their respective availability.
Jackson said rookie defensive lineman Carl Nassib, who was sidelined with an eye injury during Sunday's loss to the Cowboys, should be fine to play against the Ravens. Defensive back Jamar Taylor, who has been dealing with a groin injury for the past two weeks and was limited to 10 snaps against the Cowboys, "might be questionable" because of the short turnaround, meaning Tramon Williams Sr. or Briean Boddy-Calhoun could be tasked with more extensive work against a Ravens wide receiving corps that features veterans Mike Wallace and Steve Smith Sr.
2. No 'musical chairs'
Jackson found little positive in his evaluation of Sunday's game, and that included the quarterback position despite a relatively accurate performance from rookie Cody Kessler.
Kessler was efficient and productive in the first half but, like the rest of Cleveland's offense, struggled to move the ball in the final 30 minutes. He finished 19-of-27 for 203 yards with all but 36 of those yards coming in the first half. There were some highlights for Kessler, including a well-orchestrated two-minute drill that led to Cleveland's only touchdown, but it didn't lead to a victory, Jackson said.
Still, as the Browns sit at 0-9 heading into Thursday night's game at Baltimore, that tag sticks with everyone who's played quarterback for Cleveland this season. It's why there won't be any "musical chairs" at quarterback, and Kessler will remain the starter.
"I think I made the decision to go with Cody and that is what I am going to do," Jackson said. "But all of them, I mean Josh (McCown), Cody or Robert (Griffin III), we have not gotten a win. You know, and I do not think any of us are excited about that. I mean that is the quarterback's job, more so than anything is to win games. So the stat line of winning is truly what it is all about."
3. Tackling the tackling problem
Because of the stage of the season, the Browns won't be tackling in practice anytime soon, Jackson said, so that means the team will have to take other methods to fix its issue with missed tackles.
Cleveland had a handful of costly missed tackles during Sunday's loss, and Jackson acknowledged as much. But he said other problems on the defense, whether it be miscommunications or misalignments, amplified those instances.
"We are not getting turnovers and we are not pressuring the quarterback, so those things coupled with some tackles missed from time to time really looks really bad, and I am not the first to deny that," Jackson said. "There are some things that do not look very good, but I think we just have to keep working at it and make it an emphasis as we talk to our team because we will not be able to tackle in practice, and go from there."
4. Upon further review
Linebacker Jamie Collins Sr., who was acquired last Monday in a trade with the New England Patriots, wasted little time getting acclimated with the Cleveland defense. He was one of just two players, joining Christian Kirksey, to play every snap on defense against the Cowboys.
Collins finished with eight tackles, including one that went for a 4-yard loss. Jackson on Sunday deferred to the tape when he was asked about the Pro Bowl linebacker's performance. On Monday, he assessed the positives and negatives from Collins' Browns debut.
"He looked really good blitzing at times, got some pressure every now and then. I think [he] obviously he got an opportunity to play with his new teammates, did some good things," Jackson said. "I think he did some things that he is going to learn more about our system as he moves forward, but again, as we talked about yesterday, I think it was too much pressure to think that one guy was just going to totally change the defense. I think he has to play within the structure of our defense, but we think he is a good player."
5. Upcoming plans
The short week presents challenges to coaches around the league, and the Browns will be playing that balance in the coming days.
Cleveland did not have any on-field activities scheduled for Monday because of Sunday's game. On Tuesday, the team's traditional day off, the players will gather at the Browns facility for what
will resemble a typical Wednesday but won't go through too much physical activity on the field. Still, the players, who will travel Wednesday, will need to get moving in some fashion before Thursday's 8:25 p.m. kickoff in Baltimore.
"It is too hard on their bodies to put them back out there and start running, but there is some running that we do need to do for timing purposes," Jackson said. "We will work through all that as we go."