As the Browns search for their first win of 2016, head coach Hue Jackson pointed to rookie cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun's performance this past weekend as something that might underscore their mindset with a trip to Washington approaching.
In a loss to Miami on Sunday, Boddy-Calhoun — who made his NFL debut in place of an injured Joe Haden — gave up a touchdown pass to DeVante Parker in the first quarter. But the youngster didn't hang his head.
Instead, Boddy-Calhoun, who joined the Browns off waivers earlier this month, notched the team's first interception return for a touchdown on the next series.
"You hope that the guys you put on your team are made of that. You have to have some of that to you. You can't worry about the play you missed, that you didn't make," Jackson said. "You have to play the next play and that is the resiliency of the young man. He shook that off and came back and got after it and made a play for us."
That moment, Jackson said, embodies Cleveland's approach after back-to-back close losses to the Dolphins and Ravens and an array of injuries to key players.
"That's hopefully how our football team will be built and made just like that. It is not going to go our way all the time. We know that. It was not going our way when we were behind. Nobody blinks. That is what we are truly all about," Jackson said.
"We're just going to keep playing and we will look back and see where it is and try to get on the other side of the ledger here pretty soon."
In order to do so, the Browns — who have spoken of the need to finish this weekend — will need to slow down Washington's pass-heavy offense and neutralize star cornerback Josh Norman.
Led by rookie quarterback Cody Kessler, who looks to build upon a strong debut in Miami, Cleveland will travel to the nation's capital still without the services of veteran signal-callers in Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown, rookie receiver Corey Coleman, center Cameron Erving, and defensive end Carl Nassib. They will also potentially be without cornerbacks Haden and Tramon Williams Sr.
The Browns, however, have declined to lean on such a dynamic as an excuse.
Instead, Jackson said he sees a team undeterred by what's happened this past month.
"I can't say enough about our football team. We are not perfect, and we all know that, but I have never been around a group that works like they do and fights like they do and don't worry about all the other things that are surrounding our team – injuries, this, that and the other. We go to practice, and it is a spirited practice, and guys are practicing hard and fast and competing. That is all you want for your team to continue to get better," he said.
"I have never been more proud and happy with a group because they just they come back in, they get out of their car, go in the building and they go to work. We make corrections, we get better from the things we have done and I'm looking for our team to make the next jump this week and continue to get better as we chase this win. We have a lot of work to do still to get ready for this football team, and we are looking forward to the challenge this weekend."