Following their loss to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday afternoon, the Cleveland Browns sunk to 0-9 on the season. The only winless team in the NFL, the Browns have a shot to be only the second team to go winless in an entire 16-game season; a dishonor only accomplished by the Detroit Lions in 2008.
Obviously, for any competitor: losing sucks. It’s as simple as that. Although some Browns players are making millions of dollars, continuously losing – which seems to have been happening since their return in 1999 – and especially not having won a single game in 2016 is wearing on the players. They expressed that frustration to the media following Sunday’s loss against the Cowboys.
Cornerback Joe Haden, who has been off and on the inactive list this season and the last few seasons, showed his frustration by admitting that all the of the preparation that they do week-in and week-out only to eventually lose is getting old, but the team will continue to march forward. We can’t forget, this is their job, whether they are good at it or not.
“It is tough. It is super tough. We don’t play these games to lose. We don’t prepare during the week to lose, but it sucks … This is my job. This is what I do. I play ball. I am a professional football player, and at the end of the day, I am going to come in every week and try to do my job at the best of my ability. I feel like I am one of the best corners in the league so every week, I have to lock down receivers. That is my job. That is what I do so no matter what is going on elsewhere I have to do my job and that is what I plan to do every single week.”
Future Pro Football Hall of Fame left tackle Joe Thomas, who has somehow shut down any and all trade rumors including the most recent one from just a couple weeks ago and remained positive and happy that he is a Brown since the day he was drafted in 2007, is also growing tired of losing. Rarely is No. 73 negative – at least while talking to the media – and honestly, he could ask for a trade to a Super Bowl contender but continues to praise Cleveland and show his love of the city and team. In early October, he admitted that he is unhappy with the front office cutting ties with so much young talent last off-season. The bad Browns have wasted all of Thomas’ career thus far, and it seems as though he is also (finally) showing to the media that he is growing tired of the Browns losing and not being playoff contenders – let alone Super Bowl contenders – every single season.
“Every loss, it does, yeah. No doubt. I would imagine probably for everybody. Every loss, it stacks up. Makes it tougher because in the end, you have to remain positive. You have to try to get yourself ready for a game and the best way to do that is to remain positive. It definitely gets harder every time you lose.”
Rookie safety Tracy Howard, who is starting in place of injured Jordan Poyer, may only be nine games into his NFL career, but he knows that although the team has yet to win a game this season, they must stick together.
“We really just have to stay together. That is the biggest thing. We can’t listen to outsiders. We have to stick together as a family and listen to the coaches. You have to look at yourself and see what you can do to help the team, but the biggest thing is just staying together.”
Linebacker Christian Kirksey, who has leads the team in tackles, has made it known that the Browns will not go 0-16. Whether that is the case or not, he admitted that although they suffered their ninth loss in as many games Sunday afternoon, they must look ahead and prepare for Thursday night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.
“Obviously, we took the loss, but we just have to look at the film and be ready for Baltimore.”
Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, who has made a case that he can be a true No. 1 wide receiver not only on the team but in the NFL, has been quite impressive so far in 2016. But, his success hasn’t led to a single win for the team, which is most important. Hoping that a win comes sooner rather than later, TP knows that the only way to look is forward.
“We just have to keep going … We will go in tomorrow and get ready.”
Cornerback Tramon Williams, who has been a major disappointment since joining the Browns, showed his emotions about being on a losing team. Prior to coming to Cleveland, the veteran was part of the Green Bay Packers organization, who are known to compete for a playoff spot year-in and year-out. Things are obviously much different with the Browns.
“It’s tough, but at the same time, we can’t think that way. We feel that if we are on the field, then we have a job to do. As a competitor, you look at any circumstance and just do what you can do. That’s why we play this game because we can feel that we can do that.”
While they are professional athletes, it’s clear that the fact that the Browns are the lone remaining winless team in the league and will be lucky to even win one game this season is disappointing players, young and old. They will say that they will continue to prepare for the next opponent, but not having won a single game so far this season is wearing on players. At this point, it’s up to head coach Hue Jackson and the rest of the coaching staff to keep the team positive.