Berea Report: A Step Backwards

The Browns have few excuses and few answers a day after the team took an admitted "step backward" against the Minnesota Vikings. Fred Greetham reports from Berea as the team tries to re-group and get ready to face the playoff-focused Jacksonville Jaguars.

BEREA – Romeo Crennel said the Browns took a step backwards after an impressive shutout win over the Dolphins just a week ago.

"We reverted back to jumping offside, making turnovers and other mistakes," Crennel said. "I thought we had gotten past that, but we didn't in the game. If we stay close, we have a chance, but when you turn it over like we did, you don't give yourself a chance."

The Browns turned the ball over five times in which the Vikings cashed in for all three of their touchdowns. The Browns had only six penalties, but several were in key situations.

Another problem was Trent Dilfer was sacked five times, two of which resulted in fumbles.

Jeff Faine said the Browns just didn't do it.

"It's frustrating because we didn't present at all what we're all about," he said. "It was the complete opposite of last week."

Dilfer agreed.

"We're trying to win and I've said it all year that we're trying to get better each week," Dilfer said. "It was frustrating yesterday because we took a step backwards."

Crennel said there's nothing the Browns can do but continue to work to get better.

"We'll go back to the drawing board, back to the basics and keep working," Crennel said. "There's no magic wand I can wave to change things."

Quick Hits

On Clock Management: Crennel said the Browns knew what they wanted to do near the end of the first half but two penalties changed everything. The Browns had a first and goal at the five with around 40 seconds to play, but elected to let the clock run down to 12 seconds before trying to get a play off.

"We were in the two minute mode and got to the five-yard line," he said. "We called the play and we jumped offsides.

"We had them on the ropes and had the play called we wanted to run, but as a result of the penalty they had an opportunity to look at the formation. We were in scoring position and didn't feel we had to use the timeout. It was a situation we had them on the move, w but we had the penalties and we had to kick the field goal."

Injury Update: QB Trent Dilfer (knee) will have an MRI later today, but Crennel said he doesn't expect the injury to be serious.

"Until they get the (MRI) done, we won't know anything definite," he said. "It's probably just sore from the beating he took."

Dilfer said he thinks he'll be alright.

"I feel alright," he said. "I came in early and got some treatment and had some MRI's done. I don't know the results, but I'm walking around. I'll let the doctors make the decision."

Crennel said he thinks the most serious injury was to LS Ryan Pontbriand who suffered a back injury.

"Pontbriand will be evaluated and it may be a serious issue," Crennel said. "(Joe) Andruzzi and (Brodney) Pool missed the game and we'll see how they progress."

Crennel said if Pontbriand can't play, TE Steve Heiden will take over the long snapping duties.

Sticking with Trent: Rookie QB Charlie Frye played just one play against the Vikings and threw an interception. Dilfer returned to the game to finish it out even though he was limping.

Crennel said the interception was a result of Frye and Braylon Edwards not being on the same page.

"The problem on the play wasn't the protection, but the miscommunication by the quarterback and the wide receiver."

Crennel said if Dilfer is cleared to play, he will start this week against Jacksonville.

"My choice is to stay with the veteran, if he's healthy," Crennel said. "I said earlier, at some point, we're going to take a look at Charlie. Whether that's a series here or there or a start sometime."

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