Mike Pettine remembers the feeling he felt after the Browns beat the Titans and how it lingered throughout the week leading up to Cleveland's game against the Raiders.
The solution to recapturing it and drowning out the outside noise is a simple one that can be rediscovered Sunday in San Diego.
"We have a heck of a challenge in front of us this week and the best cure for the way things are is to go out and win," Pettine said. "We are going to funnel all of our energy into that and jump on a plane to San Diego and see if we can get that done."
Pettine has been frank with his assessment of the Browns' subpar performance, in all three phases, in Cleveland's 27-20 loss to Oakland and he continued to be that way Wednesday, which kicked off the team's official, on-field preparations for the Chargers. The focus, though, has completely shifted away from all that went wrong against the Raiders and how that can be rectified on the West Coast against a San Diego team that feels just as perturbed as the Browns after losing in lopsided fashion at Minnesota.
"We see it as another great opportunity for us to go on the road against a San Diego Chargers team that's in a similar situation that we are," Pettine said. "Both looking to bounce back from a loss."
The Browns will look to bounce back with veteran Josh McCown as their quarterback for a second consecutive week. McCown took all of the snaps and threw for 341 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against the Raiders.
Asked if McCown was in a tough spot because of the popularity of backup Johnny Manziel, Pettine said there weren't too many quarterbacks in the NFL who weren't on a week-to-week basis.
"Comes with the job," Pettine said. "I think he has tremendous mental toughness. He's been in this league a long time and whether he's personally gone through it or a quarterback that he's worked with has gone through it, I don't think he's any stranger to situations like this. I think that would be the least of our problems worrying about how Josh is handling this."
Pettine didn't seem concerned with how the players would react to the outside noise and attention that comes following a loss like last week's. It changed at the drop of a hat last year when the Browns rallied to beat Tennessee and move to 2-2, and Pettine knows it's in the team's hands to recapture those feelings sooner rather than later.
"Control the controllables," Pettine said. "The only thing we know how to do is not get caught up in that. That stuff can drag you down emotionally. If you start to let the past sit on your shoulders – I won't allow it to happen to myself. I won't allow it to happen to this team."