BEREA—Maybe Al Davis had it right.
The former Raiders owner’s most famous quote was “Just Win Baby!”
As the Browns come back after the bye week, the players know there’s only one thing they need to do.
“We want to establish our identity,” Joe Haden said. “We just need to start winning. There’s nothing that can be said, but to just win games.”
The Browns are 2-7 and have seven games left on their schedule, starting with the Cowboys this Sunday in Dallas.
Ahtyba Rubin says the Browns are working hard to get things right.
“We’re a young team trying to find our way and just trying to get it right,” Rubin said. “Hopefully, this year or next year, will be our year.”
Haden says he feels the Browns have to do the little things to find a way to break through.
“Everybody needs to come in and just do a little more because obviously, what we’re doing isn’t working,” he said. “Whether, it’s watching an extra hour of film or whatever, we need to find a way.”
Pat Shurmur said he felt the energy as the players returned to practice Monday.
“I saw a renewed energy level,” Shurmur said. “All the players were back on time and we ended practice with a spirited two-minute drill.”
Haden said he felt the same thing.
“The bye week helped us to be able to chill and re-energize for the rest of the season,” Haden said. “I think the other guys feel the same way.”
Rubin Back: DL Ahtyba Rubin returned to practice Monday. He has missed three of the last four weeks with a calf injury. He started against the Colts, but left early in the game after re-injuring his calf.
Shurmur is hopeful that Rubin will be able to play this week.
“He was out there,” Shurmur said. ”Hopefully, we’ll have him back.”
Rubin said it has been tough sitting out.
“It’s been a little frustrating, but I’m taking it one day at a time,” Rubin said. “Of course, I want to be out there making plays and contributing.
“I’m trying to do everything I can to get back (out there).”
If Rubin is able to play, it will be the first time that DL Phil Taylor and Rubin are expected to be on the field together this year. Rubin has 21 tackles, one sack, two passes broken up and a forced fumble.
“We’re starting to see all the guys back,” Shurmur said. “The roster looks more like we thought it would to start the season.”
Shurmur said that when Rubin and Taylor are healthy, the Browns have more flexibility in using rookie DL Billy Win on the outside.
“When we have more defensive tackles, it allows us to use Billy at defensive end more,” Shurmur said. “We’re more flexible. He’s got the body type to play end.”
Patterson Still Out: As the Browns returned to practice after the bye week, only DB Dimitri Patterson (ankle) was still not practicing. DL Ahtyba Rubin (calf) was back at practice. The team practiced indoors due to inclement weather.
Holmgren Rumors: Shurmur was asked about the rumors over the weekend of Mike Holmgren possibly be interested in becoming the Cowboys head coach should Jason Garrett be fired.
“I don’t know (what Holmgren’s thinking),” Shurmur said. That’s what he was (a coach) for a long time. You probably need to ask him that question.”
Shurmur said he doesn’t see that being a distraction for the Browns as they prepare to head to Dallas.
“I don’t think that’s a distraction for (the team),” Shurmur said. “As far as I know, the Cowboys have a coach.”
Number Crunching: Through 10 weeks of the NFL season, the Browns are 29th overall on offense and 24th overall on defense. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are 9th overall on offense and 8th on defense.
“On paper, they are one of the best teams,” Haden said. “They are a really talented group of players.”