CLEVELAND -- Third-year Cleveland Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey is working tirelessly to be a man of his word.
Following a 35-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Kirksey stood up in the locker room and told reporters that the Browns would not go 0-16 and become just the third team in the history of the National Football League to go winless for an entire season.
And despite a 24-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday dropping the Browns to 0-11, Kirksey remains confident that the team will not go winless.
“As long as I am strapping on the pads, as long as I have this Cleveland jersey on, I am going to always have hope,” Kirksey said. “I am going to always go into the game thinking win. That is just my attitude, and that is how I am going to be. I am always going to be a guy that is willing to do anything for my teammates, be a guy that is going to give it my all and always going to think win.
“That is just my mindset, so I guess that is not going to change, so of course, I still have that in me and still as my main focus and so does Hue and so does the whole team. Our main focus is to go out there and prove that the next week, go out there and play to win. It is as simple as that.”
Ranked second in the NFL in tackles heading into Sunday’s game against the New York Giants, Kirksey feels the Browns would benefit greatly from players playing within their own skills and not focusing on trying to do too much.
“It is all about winning games,” Kirksey said. “At the end of the day, you have to look yourself in the mirror and the team has to look themselves in the mirror and just see what our struggles are and see what we need to improve on. Things will get better in time. You can’t lose faith.”
Kirksey has plenty of faith, not only in himself, but in head coach Hue Jackson.
“I have all the confidence and faith in Hue,” Kirksey said. “It is new for him, and it is new for us. We are all in it together. That is why we are a team, we are an organization, and I stand 100 percent behind Hue. He has been a great coach for us. I know our record is not where we need to be, but I have all the faith in Hue.
“I have all the faith in my linebacker coach, Johnny Holland. I have all the faith in this program, Jimmy Haslam and the whole Browns organization. I have faith in these guys and we are all in it together, so we are not pointing fingers at anyone. We are all fighting, and that is what it means to be a team. When things are not going well, you have to stick together.”