Painted in the end zone of the Browns' practice field is the word FINISH with the numbers 6 5 4 3 2 1 below. It's a not-so-subtle reminder, head coach Hue Jackson says, of what lies ahead for a team in search of its first win.
"The second halves are something that we really talked about. We need to finish a game," Jackson said. "As you guys all know, we have been up at halftime on about six of these opportunities. Normally, that's where you want to be. For some reason, we have not been able to finish it. To make winning a reality, that is what you have to do. You have to finish games, and we are going to count this thing down."
It's an approach that'll guide the Browns this weekend against the Steelers and through the remainder of a tough season. And though they've spoken of the need to "finish" before — they did so after a 28-7 loss to Baltimore last week in which they led at halftime — there would now appear to be an added sense of urgency following an 0-10 start.
"We have to attack the plays they give us, and we have to go be excited like right after the kickoff and we go on and take the field. We're excited, we have juices flowing, it has to be like that coming out of the half. I think that's the difference," wide receiver Terrelle Pryor said.
"Obviously, a young team and there are different things that happen. Like I have said before, all it takes is one to two plays that you miss offensively or defensively, and it is a big thing in a game and it makes a difference ... We have to come out there, and I think Sunday is the best way to start it."
Linebacker Christian Kirksey, who leads the NFL with 94 tackles, offered a similar sentiment.
"I'm a competitor and so are these guys on the team. That is why each and every week we feel like we have a chance. Whenever you strap up the pads on Sunday, you play to win, whether you are 0-10 or 10-0," he said.
"It's the same approach for every game. Whenever you are in between those white lines, you have to give your all. You have to play, and that is what we get paid to do and that is what we do. We are competitors, so it's never a sense of being frustrated or a sense of kind of going through that emotions of when you are going into a game."
Instead, they say the focus is on finishing games. "There are six of them left," Jackson said, "and I told these guys that, and that's what (the end zone paint) there for. We're going to try to finish this season the right way because we need to."