CLEVELAND -- There have been millions of words used to describe the Cleveland Browns’ struggles during the 2016 season, but when veteran quarterback Josh McCown addressed the media following a 27-13 loss to the New York Giants last Sunday, one was more telling than others.
According to McCown, frustration continues to mount for the Browns, who dropped to 0-12 with the loss to the Giants, and have not won a game, regular season or otherwise, since last December.
“It is really frustrating because you see the effort put in every week and the way that everybody (is working) and the way that Coach (Hue) Jackson is leading the team and the energy that he brings no matter what our record says,” McCown said.
According to McCown, in order to overcome that frustration, the Browns must continue battling rather than allowing themselves to be beaten down by the mounting losses.
“It makes it tough, but you have to keep fighting,” McCown said. “I said it early on and I will keep saying it, it is the only way that I know how to do it. Hopefully, the rest of the locker room feels the same way. We will just keep fighting and look forward to brighter days and what is going to come out of this.
“There is a toughness that comes out of going through stuff like this and it carries value not only in the locker room and on the field, but in life. Certainly, it is not where we wanted to be and it is disappointing, but relative to everything else going on and other things in the world, especially this week with Thanksgiving, you have to take it in perspective. As football goes, this is pretty low.”
In a losing effort, McCown completed 25 of his 43 throws for 322 yards with one touchdown and two fumbles, one of which was returned for a score. McCown was sacked six times for 36 lost yards.
Six of McCown’s completions went to wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr., who turned six catches into a game-high 131 yards for the third 100-yard game of his career. Pryor caught a 54-yard pass, but two plays later, McCown was stripped of the football and the fumble was returned for a touchdown by Giants defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul.
“That’s on me,” McCown said. “What we were doing is just, you have a big play like that or get something positive going, and then, take a step back. I always like to look at the tape and see and just look at myself and what I can do better. I just felt like I was inconsistent and didn’t play at the level I expect to play.”
McCown is hoping the bye-week break will help the Browns refocus, and that they return to the facility next Monday ready, both mentally and physically, to prepare for an AFC North Division game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“We can step back and study what we’re doing,” McCown said. “Hopefully, we figure out what’s going on in these plays where we’re getting sacked. We can get better and improve in those areas.
“Usually, it’s a little bit of everything. Maybe just take a step back and figure out the things that we can do to tighten up. Hopefully, we can make that better moving forward for all of us.”