CLEVELAND — The Browns hope their bye week left them recharged, refocused and ready for the second half of what's been a challenging season.
Cleveland coach Hue Jackson's message to a young team that's struggled with self-inflicted wounds and missed opportunities was simple.
"Fight," Jackson said Thursday. "Fight."
As the Browns try and climb out of an 0-8 start, Jackson stressed consistency out of a group that has lost four games by a total of 12 points. In other contests, Cleveland has been blown out or been unable to rally past early, insurmountable deficits.
Jackson laid out a plan for the final eight weeks of 2017. Of course, it includes limited turnovers — the Browns lead the league with 21 — on offense and improving their red zone defense. Cleveland should also benefit from a slew of healthy starters due to return to the lineup including rookie defensive end Myles Garrett, rookie safety Jabrill Peppers and cornerback Jason McCourty. Jackson also challenged Cleveland's quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and tight ends to step up as its offense searches for playmakers.
"Let's have our skill players play some dominating football. If we can do those things and really shore up the issues we have had, which were turnovers and penalties, then I would feel better about where we are headed," he said.
"Obviously, the score is going to take care of itself. The ultimate in this thing is we want to win. That's what it's all about. That's why they keep score. That's what we're chasing, but there are some things that lead to winning that we need to do better."