Skip to main content

GM Andrew Berry's top priority for bye week focuses on ball security 

Berry believes the offense can play at a high level the way its constructed

Berry day 2

As the Browns head into the bye week in Week 5, Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the team's current status.

Berry's message to the public was that the team's top priority is to capitalize on their strengths to become a better ball club.

"The big thing is, coming out of the bye, I think early in the season you're going to throw a couple of jabs that miss, right? Like as you try different things, as you adjust to different things that happen in games," Berry said. "And I think the next several weeks are important for us as we adjust to the early learnings of the season. And as we get late into the year, and we figure out our formula in each phase, it's going to be really important that we lean into those strengths."

The Browns are currently 2-2 and are third in the AFC North division. They are also 1-2 in division play. The Browns defense has been one of the best defenses in the league, but the offense could be better.

Through four weeks, the Browns offense has a completion percentage of 60.9, which is 27th in the league. Their passer rating is 71.5, with only the Giants and Bengals behind them in the league.

The Browns have only completed seven passes over 20 yards. Their biggest issue, however, is their turnovers. They are currently tied for the second highest number of giveaways (10) in the NFL, just behind the Vikings who have 11.

"The number one thing that we have to do is something that Kevin (Stefanski) has preached since the day he got the job, and that's protect the football," Berry said. "We've turned the ball over ten times this season and we've lost the turnover battle in all four games that we've played this year, and quite honestly, that's not a sustainable way to win football games in the NFL. So that's really the first thing that we have to get corrected."

The protection doesn't just come down to the offensive line, Berry said. There are other elements that play a role like the quarterback's depth, the route combination, the running backs and the tight ends. Berry said the way that they can rectify their ball security issues comes down to decision-making when they have the ball in their hands – whether it's decision-making by the quarterback or tightening the protection.

However, Berry and the coaches are confident that the offense can come together, fix their issues and match the defense level of play. There is a high level of belief in their guys across the offense, from QB Deshaun Watson to their offensive line, their running backs and their pass catchers. They know they have guys like WR Amari Cooper and TE David Njoku who can be featured pass catchers. They know they have guys in their receiving core like Elijah Moore, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Marquise Goodwin as options. Now, it's just using the bye week to reset and address the concerns in terms of ball security for the remainder of the season.

"Kevin (Stefanski) has a saying that if you have the ball in your hands, whether you're a skill player, whether you're a quarterback, whether you're the center, whether you turn the ball over, the fate of the organization is in your hands," Berry said. "And ball security is a heavy emphasis at practice. I know it'll continue to be ratcheted up after the bye, but we've talked a lot about winning the turnover battle internally, and just we haven't done it."