The Browns may need a psychologist. They apparently don't need a new head coach.
With the Browns 3-6 after losing straight heading into Sunday's game against the visiting New York Jets, the playoffs are the longest of long shots.
That has increased speculation about the future of Butch Davis as the team's coach.
Right tackle Ryan Tucker, one of the most respected veterans on the team, said he has heard from a good source that Davis is not in jeopardy of being fired.
"I know what his status is," Tucker said. "He's not going anywhere."
Tucker said this with confidence because of a conversation Saturday with team owner Randy Lerner at the team's hotel before last Sunday's 24-10 loss to Pittsburgh.
"I've talked to Randy, and he's not going anywhere," said Tucker, a respected veteran. "Everybody can relax about that deal.
"It's been addressed that the media has been portraying that he's losing faith in Butch, and it's not true. He believes in Butch Davis. He believes in this team. He doesn't want to get even a rumor started that Butch is getting fired and we're starting over."
"He's concerned with (the speculation). He doesn't like that stuff flying around, especially in this locker room. Nobody's talking about it here. It's more the outside people saying, `Butch is on his last legs.' People can get as loud and crazy as they want. He and Randy have a good relationship, and Randy's got a plan and it's not firing the head coach. You do that, you're starting all over again."
Davis said he appreciated Tucker's comments, though he knows only winning can keep his job safe.
"The responsibility of this football team ultimately falls on my shoulders," he said. "We have to play at a higher level than we have played the last couple of weeks."
Lerner has not publicly addressed Davis' status lately. He prefers to stay behind the scenes and is wary of upstaging the coach or the team in general.
But he remains a Browns fan at heart and he takes losing extremely hard. What he has seen from his team lately can't be encouraging. From William Green's pre-game fight to Gerard Warren's foolish comments threatening Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Browns' reputation has taken a hit.
Sloppiness on the field has been rampant as well. False-start penalties, delay-of-game penalties and the burning of timeouts because the play clock has ticked down have been disheartening.
Tucker was asked if the Browns have the talent to win consistently.
"I think we have the players," Tucker said. "We don't have the concentration."
Why is that?
"I'm not a psychologist," he replied.
When asked if the Browns needed one, Tucker replied with a laugh.
"Yeah," he said. "Got any good ones?"
SERIES HISTORY - 17th meeting. The Browns lead 10-6. Cleveland has won the last two in the series, including a 24-21 victory at Giants Stadium two years ago. That game was significant because the Browns rallied from a 21-3 deficit in their first game after owner Al Lerner's death. The victory jump-started the Browns' run to the playoffs.