Hue Jackson: Cleveland Browns have to be near perfect to win right now

CLEVELAND -- For the eighth straight time to start the 2017 season and 23rd time in 24 outings under the direction of head coach Hue Jackson, the Cleveland Browns came up on the wrong end of the scoreboard with Sunday’s 33-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at Twickenham Stadium in London.

Leading at halftime, the Browns (0-8) mustered just one field goal in the second half, while the Vikings (6-2), the top team in the NFC North Division, scored 24 of the game’s final 27 points en route to the lopsided win.

“Everything’s got to be perfect,” Jackson said. “That’s where we are. You’re saying it without saying. I’m going to help you out that way. Everything’s got to be perfect for us to have a chance to win a football game, and that’s just where we are as a football team.

“We get it. Our coaching staff gets it. The players get it, and we work that way.”

Although Jackson said the Browns have to be near perfect in all three phases, he acknowledged that going into a game with that mindset is not realistic, for him or his players.

“We try to do the best we can with doing everything right, but I think we all know that’s not how football is played,” Jackson said. “It doesn’t work that way. You can’t be perfect. It’s still a game.

“You’re going to make mistakes and things are going to come up, but that’s where we are, so that’s what we have to do every time we play to give ourselves the best chance to win games. We didn’t make as many, so we’re in a game for quite a while. Then, all of a sudden, we don’t make some other plays I think we can make, and then, the game flips. That’s kind of been the story of where we are.”

With Sunday’s loss to Minnesota, the Browns are 0-8 for the second consecutive season.

Over the last three years, the Browns have gone 4-36, and the record has not been much better since Dee and Jimmy Haslam officially purchased the team in October of 2012.

In five seasons under Haslam’s majority ownership, the Browns have posted an NFL-worst 15-57 record. Factoring in the remaining games of the 2012 season after the sale was approved at an NFL Owners Meeting in Chicago, the Browns have gone 19-62.

“This is the best thing I do know about this football team,” Jackson said. “They play hard. They don’t give up. They don’t quit. I think you guys all see that. This is not a group that turns its back, lays downs and says, ‘Okay, we’re done.’ That’s not what we’re going to do. I’ve never coached a team that’s ever done that, and this team will never do that.

“There’s too much pride in the locker room for that, so that I’m most proud of. We’ve got to find a way to win. That’s our charge as coaches, and that’s what we’re going to do. That’s what it’s all about, winning and losing, so we’ve got to get some things better and got to do some things better. We’ve got the second half of the season left, eight more games, and we’ve got to work at it.”

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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