CLEVELAND -- With Sunday’s 35-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys at FirstEnergy Stadium, the Cleveland Browns have started a season at 0-9 for just the second time in franchise history, matching the record of the 1975 team and setting a new team mark with the 12th straight loss dating back to last December.
But with the Browns on a short week ahead of Thursday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium, quarterback Cody Kessler knows that if the team wants to get into the win column, it must continue fighting through obstacles.
“The way I was brought up was through adversity,” Kessler said. “Different things that happen in your life you can’t control. This team, I think the best word I know is just relentless. These guys come back to work every day.
“No matter what the circumstances are, this is a great group of guys and I love playing with them and playing for this team and this city. It’s tough. You want to win every game. When that doesn’t happen, you have to look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘Ok, let’s go.’”
Although the Browns were close in four of their losses, they have surrendered 28 or more points in five straight games, and at least 31 points in four of the last five outings, including three consecutive contests.
Defensively, the Browns rank near the bottom of the league in key statistical categories. They have surrendered an average of 30.3 points (31st), 421.7 yards (31st) and 146.4 rushing yards (31st) through the first nine games of the season.
“You have got to take it in,” Kessler said. “It’s supposed to hurt. It’s going to hurt because if it doesn’t, then you don’t care. It’s going to hurt, but you have to move on. You have to keep going.
“These guys in this locker room are great -- great character, great athletes, great guys that prepare as hard as they can every week. Obviously, we have come up short, but that’s not going to stop us. We are going to come ready to go. We’ve got a short week this week, come get ready for Thursday.”
While the Browns dropped to 0-9 with the loss to the Cowboys and remain the only winless team in the National Football League, Kessler “absolutely” believes his team will be ready when they get to Baltimore for their Thursday night game.
“The will of this team and the way these guys fight and just that relentless effort is something that -- and you don’t see it outside the building, but I see it inside the building -- the guys in the locker room see it,” Kessler said.
“You care so much about this game and this sport, and it hurts when you put everything you have into it. These guys come ready to work every day, and I know tomorrow is going to be the same way. We are going to show up. Obviously, it is going to hurt a little bit and you are going to think about it, but you are going to come ready to go and clear your mind and get ready for Baltimore.”