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Browns remain intent on establishing QB after unsuccessful trade for AJ McCarron

CLEVELAND — Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown didn't try to sugarcoat a last-minute trade attempt for Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron.

Brown lamented the missed opportunity to add another young, talented player to the roster at the NFL's trade deadline last week and stressed Cleveland must find a long-term answer at the position.

"At the end of the day, it's our job to make those things happen," he said Monday in a wide-ranging press conference. "We were all disappointed that it didn't happen."

The attempt to acquire McCarron, who spent one season with Browns coach Hue Jackson in Cincinnati, comes as the Browns continue to struggle with inconsistent quarterback play through the first half of the season. While rookie DeShone Kizer, a second-round pick from Notre Dame, has showed promise, he's struggled with turnovers that have afflicted Cleveland in an 0-8 start.

Against that backdrop, Brown emphasized the Browns are "very intent on addressing the quarterback position" despite having not yet taken a signal-caller in the first round of the past two NFL Drafts or adding one in free agency this past spring.

"Even when we haven't taken one high the last two years, we found ways to add other players to that room and we will continue to look for every opportunity there," he said. "We're confident in what we're going to do moving forward, but these things will always be second-guessed until we win."

Armed with five picks in the first two rounds of the 2018 draft, the Browns will have opportunities to add to a room that includes Kizer, Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler. Brown also acknowledged decisions to pass on the likes of Eagles second-year quarterback Carson Wentz and Texans rookie DeShaun Watson, who have emerged as dynamic players for both clubs.

"You take your hat off to both of those young players who are off to hot starts to their careers. I think whenever we look at an opportunity in the draft, first you come knowing that there are going to be opportunities that you miss on to add talent to your roster," Brown said. 

"I think good organizations – I've talked about this before – do go back and look at those decisions and those evaluations. 'What did we miss?' We're perpetually doing that here internally. What is all of the information we had? How do we gather it? Was it accurate? How did we analyze the information and put it all together to make a decision?"

Nonetheless, Brown remains confident Cleveland will address the position, whether it's with somebody already on the roster, in the draft or free agency.  

"We have got good processes in terms of background on these guys, good systems in place in terms of evaluating touch points all over the place," he said. "We will get it right. It doesn't mean that we will get every single one right, but we are confident of where we are headed and the group that we have here in place."

That approach, of course, includes moving past last week's unsuccessful attempt to add McCarron to the roster.

"I don't shy away from missed opportunities at all. That's going to be a piece of it. There are a lot of non-quarterbacks out there frankly that are playing well right now, too, that we would love to have on our team," Brown said.

"But we're not going to get everyone right. We haven't and we won't moving forward. We will get enough of them right and we will solve the quarterback position here."

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