CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns have not been to the AFC Playoffs since January of 2003 or had a winning season since 2007 and won their one and only game in the second-to-last week of the 2016 regular season.
But the newest members of the Browns, namely defensive lineman Myles Garrett and strong safety Jabrill Peppers, feel this year’s rookies can contribute to the changing of the culture within the organization and the results on the field.
“Culture and attitude,” Garrett said of how the Browns can go about changing their fortunes. “It is changing what people are thinking of having an attitude of everyone having us down and saying that we might be 0-16 or 1-15 and that nothing is going to change, but they brought in playmakers and guys who have that attitude of things will get changed right away.
“It is that same atmosphere that they have right now, and it is not going to be the same. We are going to change things right away and that we can win and we will win.”
Last season, the Browns ranked near the bottom of the NFL in several statistical categories, most notably points, yards and rushing yards allowed.
On the field for the fourth-most plays in the NFL, 1,067, the Browns allowed 392.4 yards and 22.8 first downs per game, and surrendered third-down conversions on 45.1 percent of their opponents’ attempts in 2016.
Also, the Browns’ 26 sacks tied for the second fewest in the NFL last season.
“It is all about stepping stones and stacking little wins,” Peppers said. “When I went to Michigan, we had a losing record, as well.
“I like being a part of things that you help from the ground up. That is not really an issue. We know it is going to be a process, and we are all in. We all have bought in. We are all here to do what we have to do to help this team win ball games. That is exactly what we are going to do.”
The first building block will be getting into meetings and on-field work with their veteran teammates after rookie minicamp in two weeks.
“We were more eager to jell with the guys in the locker room and learn from the veterans,” Peppers said. “They set a standard, and we are going to follow suit and do what we have to do to help win ballgames.”
Garrett added, “They are the foundation, and we are just added pieces to the puzzle and we are trying to complete the picture so we can start to win games again.”
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