5 things: Late turnovers against Washington offer Browns 'continuing lessons'

The film told Hue Jackson what he already knew following a 31-20 loss to the Redskins.

"I think our lesson to take away from yesterday's game is turnovers. It's something that I've talked about since the day I walked in here," the Browns first-year coach said. "We have to make sure we take care of the ball. We have to get the ball away from the other team and we didn't do that very well as a football team yesterday." [



Indeed, the Browns committed three late turnovers that dashed their hopes of notching their first victory of the season. Instead, they fell to 0-4 at the hands of another narrow defeat.

"There's continuing lessons for our football team as we move forward, but at the same time, I like some of the things we're doing," Jackson said, referencing Cleveland's top-ranked run game and a defense that has found ways to make stops.

"We still have some work to do. We understand that. Our guys are more determined than ever. Just seeing them today and talking to them, nobody's going to back down from the challenge."

The Browns will apply that approach when they host the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, who returns from a four-game suspension, this weekend at FirstEnergy Stadium.

"We understand the hole we've dug ourselves, but we know how to get out of it. We just have to keep working at it and continue to improve," Jackson said.

"Again, to a man, everybody walks in this building ready to go. We're not going to blink. We understand where we are and I do too, so we're going to fight our way out of it."

No excuses

In light of a controversial call in which officials determined the Redskins recovered Duke Johnson Jr.'s fourth-quarter fumble, the Browns have declined to use that dynamic as an excuse. Instead, Jackson has made it clear the team shouldn't have put the ball on the ground in the first place.

"At the end of the day, it's our responsibility to hold on to the ball. We can't give and put people in a situation to hold judgment for our future. We get to control that. Don't turn it over. Don't turn it over and there's never anybody second-guessing or asking this or asking that … let's do our part and we've got to hold on to the ball."

Jackson said the Browns will let the league handle whatever comes from the play.

"We'll turn that (film) in and let the league make their determination," he said, "but they're trying to do the best job that they can do, too, and maybe some things looks close." 

Nassib, Campbell to practice

Here's the bad news first: Jackson said second-year center Austin Reiter tore his ACL against the Redskins and will miss the rest of the season. Reiter, whom the Browns signed off Washington's practice squad last month to add depth along the offensive line, made his first career start Sunday.

Jackson also said tight end Randall Telfer suffered a high ankle sprain and will miss extended time, while quarterback Josh McCown (shoulder) and Cameron Erving (bruised lung) likely won't be able to play this weekend against New England.

The good news: Jackson said the Browns expect rookie defensive end Carl Nassib (hand) and safety Ibraheim Campbell (hamstring) to return to practice. Nassib, the third-round draft pick from Penn State, is expected to play a key role in the team's pass rush.

Meeting expectations

With 18 rookies, Jackson has employed an empathetic approach when it comes to handling the ups and downs of a youth-laden roster. But his expectations for this season have never changed. 

"I expect to win. The last three games I would hope showed you that I expect to win because this team is playing with the opportunity to win," he said, referencing close losses to the Redskins, Dolphins and Ravens.

"We just have to finish those games. We hold onto the ball (against Washington), I think we all feel very comfortable, we have an opportunity to win the game. Two weeks ago (against Miami), we make a few field goals, in everybody's opinion, we have an opportunity to win that game. We hold a 20-2 lead and just do anything (against Baltimore), we have an opportunity to win that game."

But neither youth nor an array of key injuries, the Browns have said, will be used as excuses.  

"I know a lot of people look at our football team with a lot of young players and a lot of injuries. Well, to me, I want to give them a little credit because they're fighting their tails off. I think our coaches are coaching their tails off, too," Jackson said.

"Contrary to what everybody believes, we're not rolling over and saying 'uncle' and just walking out there and saying we're not going to play. We're playing our tails off to win. That's all we're interested in."

Something special

Less than 24 hours from joining the Browns in Washington, D.C., reserve outside linebacker Cam Johnson made two sacks against the Redskins.

Johnson, whom the team signed Saturday afternoon after placing Nate Orchard on injured reserve, spent training camp in Cleveland and rejoined the club in a big way.

"Isn't that something special? Wow … but he has been here, he knows our system – walked off, met us in D.C., and went out and got two sacks and had two huge plays in the game," Jackson said.

"Hopefully what it shows is that we know how to put players in position to have success, and he did. Again, we have been plugging and playing since we started this thing, and again I want to give my staff a lot of credit because I think they are doing a heck of a job – maybe not the job that everybody wants or expects, but I think my staff is working tirelessly trying to do anything and everything we can to help our players be the best they can be. I think our players are giving themselves and trying to give everything they have, so it is twofold, but we know we have to keep working at it."

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