CLEVELAND — The Browns will use their bye week to recharge and refocus, hoping the second half of their season turns out better than the first.
After Sunday’s loss to the Vikings in London, Cleveland wrapped up its final practice Tuesday afternoon before players are allowed a brief respite until rendezvousing next week.
“We have eight games left. We need to take this bye week and heal up, take a little time away and get our minds right,” coach Hue Jackson said. “We have eight more weeks to go and figure some things out and get better at it.”
For the second consecutive season, the Browns have started 0-8, struggling with turnovers, penalties and other self-inflicted wounds in the process. And with one of the league’s youngest rosters, there’s a sense that perhaps a breather could do the group some good.
That includes rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, whose highs and lows in seven starts have been reflective of some of those shortcomings. The youngster said he plans to use the bye to “take a step back, truly evaluate everything that has happened the first half of the season.”
“I think that we are in a position now, at 0-8 heading into the bye week, that we can make some slight changes in terms of mindset, game plan, guys who need to touch the ball more, things like that,” he said.
“If we can all go and figure out what those positives and those strengths are for ourselves, then hopefully we can come back and attack those moving forward.”
The bye also gives the Browns a chance to get healthy, as defensive end Myles Garrett, safety Jabrill Peppers and defensive lineman Trevon Coley all returned to practice. The hope is that cornerback Jason McCourty, who leads the team with three interceptions and five total takeaways, does the same in the near future.
Garrett, who spent the last week in the league’s concussion protocol, said he plans to use the break as a chance to improve. The first-overall NFL Draft pick leads the team with four sacks in three games.
“I took that same approach when I was recovering from the concussion,” he said, “making sure you're improving your game any opportunity you’re given.”
In search of their first win of the season, the Browns will play three of their next four games on the road (Detroit, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Chargers). The bye week, at the very least, gives Cleveland a chance to size up the challenges that lie ahead.
“I still like our players fight. We all want better results," Jackson said. "We are going to take this bye week and really study ourselves and see where we can do better. "