CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns’ organization and coaching staff have been preaching a change in culture since naming Hue Jackson the head coach on January 11, 2016, but despite a revamped facility, roster and operations, the results have remained much the same as the last 18 years.
At 0-5 after last Sunday’s 33-13 loss to the New England Patriots at FirstEnergy Stadium, the Browns remain the only winless team in the National Football League. However, Jackson believes a win will “no doubt” be the tipping point for the changes in culture to truly take hold
“It would validate everything,” Jackson said. “If you build the foundation right, there is all kind of other things we can point to too, as well. I want to win as bad as anybody. The players do too, and they deserve it, but no one is going to just hand us a game.
“We are going to have to go take what we want and go earn the right to win the game. Will it help? Yes, it would, but I’m not concerned about that more so than how we play -- how we play, play in and play out, every quarter and how we finish the game. That is what is really important.”
In preparing the Browns to play the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville this afternoon, Jackson has gotten back to reinforcing the basics, something he hopes will turn those close losses in the fourth quarter and overtime, which happened three straight weeks before the loss to New England, into victories.
“My focus is really on fundamentals of our football team getting better, really on how hard we play because we need to be a group that plays extremely hard and being an intelligent football team, make sure that we take care of the self-inflicted penalties that we have had, and then, obviously, to earn a win,” Jackson said.
“Those are the four things we have really talked about a lot as a football team and those are the things we are trying to get accomplished.”
To Jackson, part of the fundamental approach to turning around the fortunes of a team with 23 losses in their last 26 games dating back to the end of the 2014 season is focusing on specific roles and responsibilities.
“Everybody has a job to do, and making sure you understand your job as well as anybody that plays your position, that is your job,” Jackson said. “You have to know it better than anybody. We have tried to do that part extremely well.
“I don’t think we are where I want us to be yet, but we are working at that, and I think the players see how important that is on game day. You don’t have to do anybody else’s job. You just have to do your job, and you have to be the best at doing it on that day. That is something we really talk about quite a bit.”