Policy apologizes

Carmen Policy was apologetic on Monday, one day after making some strange statements following the Browns' 15-10 loss to Jacksonville.

Policy accepted full blame for not criticizing the actions of fans that threw beer bottles and other objects on the field. The unruly behavior began after referee Terry McAulay overruled the call on a 3-yard pass to Quincy Morgan that was initially ruled a catch on a fourth-and-2 play from the Jacksonville 12.

"I set the tone for everything that was said last (Sunday) night," Policy said as he sat next to Lew Merletti, director of security, Monday at a press conference. "I did not set the proper tone. Regardless of what my intentions were, it was incumbent upon me to make it clear as to what I'm thinking and what I'm saying for this organization.

"I'm not an amateur. I'm not someone who would normally wilt before the presence of even a hostile press corps. I know what I say will be interpreted exactly the way I say it, and I don't think I did a good job of that."

Policy's apologetic tone was in stark contrast to his actions immediately after the game. He appeared angered by media questions concerning fan behavior, at no time condemning the actions of those who literally took matters into their own hands.

There was no excuse for it," Policy said of his comments on Sunday. "I don't care what kind of despair or shock I might have been under due to what transpired as a result of the call and the fan reaction. Because of that I caused some pain to the people of this organization and the people of this community.

"I was not doing justice to Cleveland and Browns fans of creating an image that you can attach to them that should only be attached to a certain limited number of hooligans. They have no business being in the stadium if they're going to act like that. I can assure you that they won't be in the stadium in the future. We will find out who they are, and they are the ones who will be held accountable."

STILL STRONG: There's no sign of break of the bond between the players and fans after the actions of fans last Sunday in Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Quarterback Tim Couch was mildly critical of the fans' behavior, but he wasn't about to come down on them in a harsh way.

"It's hard to say that you don't want them to show emotion," Couch said. "I was talking to (Jacksonville) quarterback Mark Brunell and a couple of their linemen after the game, and they were like, ‘I wish our fans were into it as much as your fans are into it.'

"You can look at it either way. Either our fans are really into it, or either they're nuts throwing he bottles and stuff. I'm sticking behind our fans. I'm glad they're behind us. I'm not happy that they're throwing bottles, but I'm happy that they're behind us."

If anything, the bond between the players and fans seems to have solidified more than ever. Couch made a point of saying that his opinion of the fans hasn't changed because of the events of last Sunday.

"From the day I left college, I said that I wanted to play in Cleveland and for the Browns," Couch said. "Nothing has changed that. I still feel good about our fans. They're very supportive of us. That was just them showing their emotions and how much they wanted to get into the playoffs. They got caught up in the emotion that the one decision to give Jacksonville the ball back kind of knocked us out of the playoffs."

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