CLEVELAND -- Following last Sunday’s 33-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at Twickenham Stadium in London, Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson said the team needed to play perfectly in order to win a game.
And at 0-8 and firmly in last place in the AFC North Division, defensive back Jamar Taylor agreed with his head coach about needing to eliminate every mistake in order to win.
“I don’t think it is pressure, but it is true,” Taylor said. “You have to think that the other day, we got like three crazy calls or four penalties, and then, they just throw a touchdown, which kind of just took the momentum away. We definitely have to play at a crazy high level. We can’t afford penalties and turnovers and things like that right now.”
For the first time in a month, rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer played a full game, completing 18 of his 34 attempts for 179 yards with no touchdowns, as well as five carries for 18 yards and one score in a 33-16 loss to the Vikings (6-2). More importantly for the Browns, Kizer did not turn the ball over in the loss.
“With a young quarterback, you want to put him in the best position to make plays, so I think on defense, we know we have to get the ball back, and when we don’t, it gives them less of a chance to give DeShone looks,” Taylor said. “We want those guys to be on the field so they can make plays.
“As a defense, we just try to put it on our back. We want to win games for our team. We pride ourselves on winning games in the defensive room, so we don’t want to have penalties. I think we had five the other day, and that is just uncommon for us. We don’t want to have stuff like that because now, our offense doesn’t have a chance if we are keeping their offense on the field.”
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.
“We just have good people,” Taylor said of the defense. “We have good dudes who care about football. GW (Gregg Williams) always tells us, once we start caring about it way more than they care about it, then we will have a good defense. I think you see that on the field.
“Dudes are flying around. Dudes are making plays. We haven’t got as many turnovers as we want right now, but we are getting people off the field and we are giving our offense a chance. I think as long as we keep on caring and dudes keep taking it serious, then we will be where we want to be.”
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