CLEVELAND -- Every competitor wants to feel the thrill of victory.
It is what drives them through hours of training and studying in order to find or create a weakness in the opposition long after people with regular jobs have gone to bed for the night, and Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson is as competitive as they come in the National Football League.
But in his first season as head coach in Cleveland, Jackson and the Browns are 0-7 after a 31-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, their chief in-state and AFC North Division rival, at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
“Obviously, I was disappointed because I know we can play better, but at the same time, I know we are going to get better,” Jackson said. “We are going to continue to work at getting better. I get disappointed for our players, for the franchise, for all involved, our fans and everybody because I want everybody to experience winning because that is what we came here to do, and that is what we want to get accomplished.”
Although Jackson and the Browns are frustrated by the results, especially after they surrendered 559 yards of total offense and 271 rushing to the Bengals, there will be no quitting. Rather, Jackson remains focused on Sunday’s game against the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“We have some work to do, but by no means are we going to stop working at this thing,” Jackson said. “We are going to continue to work our tails off to get better fundamentally to play better football as we move forward. We get it. We have dug this hole for ourselves. We have nobody to blame but us, starting with me. We know we have some things to fix.
“At the same time, being disappointed is different than being about to jump over the fence. I say it all the time, but I’m not discouraged. I’m more determined than ever and am going to stay that way to get this football team where it needs to be.”
With the Browns remaining the only winless team in the NFL, Jackson is anxious to get back to work with the players.
“Nobody is pouring sand over our head or dirt over our head,” Jackson said. “We are going to go to work and get this thing better. I am fired up about Wednesday’s practice because that is the next time we get the chance to do something about this.
“Watching the tape, make the corrections, and then, we have to go out and get better, and I know that is going to happen. We are going to keep getting better. We are not going to go backwards.”