Gregg Williams says he had to "check his ego" at halftime in Sunday's loss to the Ravens. After a first half that wasn't up to par, the Browns defensive coordinator maintained confidence in a young group despite momentary displeasure with them.
"I wanted to go off, but I could have gone off at halftime and what, lose them in the second half?" he said with a smile Friday. "They came back out in the second half and played lights out."
Indeed, the Browns defense gave up just three points and 133 yards after intermission in game where they ultimately outgained Baltimore (386-337) and hung around despite five turnovers.
It was another promising showing for a unit that held the Steelers to 31 rushing yards the week before and allowed just one touchdown in four preseason games.
"There was just a few minor things that happened in the first half," Williams said. "Those are learning, teachable moments and I think with the people that were involved, I think very teachable, because they are pretty sharp guys that way, too."
Though it wasn't a flawless effort against the Ravens, Williams believes Cleveland — which features six new starters on defense — grew from a performance that saw them capitalize on some in-game adjustments.
"I've always taken great pride that we have been able to do those things most places that we have been," he said. "I thought they did a really good job. I really thought the staff and I thought the players were very into it."
And as the Browns prepare for another road trip to Indianapolis this weekend, WIlliams stressed a group filled with young players can't lean on inexperience as an excuse. That includes that less than stellar first half against Baltimore.
"We gave up two touchdowns. We don't do that. I don't like that at all," he said.
"Those were the things I didn't like in the first half. To their credit, they were very focused and made the corrections the right way."