Crennel, Browns optimistic

Before disbanding, coach and players both expressed confidence about 2006...

BEREA - Last Sunday's win over the Ravens has buoyed the optimism of the Browns, but Romeo Crennel is realistic about the Browns in 2006.

"We were a little better than they were last year and we feel we're going in the right direction," Crennel said. "We're encouraged about the 2006 season."

Crennel was a part of the Patriots that went from 5-11 to win the Super Bowl.

"Only time will tell," Crennel said. "If you look at that New England team that went from 5-11 to the Super Bowl, you never know," he said. "If the team can gel and all the players move in the same direction, anything can happen.

"Just like the game yesterday, we were down in the dumps and we got some momentum and we won," he said. "That happens sometimes in a season and a team gets on a roll."

Crennel knows the difference between winning and losing in the NFL is very close.

"We've made some progress and we've been able to help the players to understand how we want them to play," he said. "In the NFL, there is such a thin line. Every week it's like that. We could've beaten Houston and Detroit and been 8-8 with just another play or two."

Some of the players don't think the Browns are that far away.

"During the off-season, we need to try to add some key players to get us over the hump," Ryan Tucker said. "I think we're close. Every team in this league is only one or two players away."

Center Jeff Faine agrees.

"I think the team has taken some major steps forward," Faine said."I think the biggest thing on (offense) is staying healthy. I'm excited about Reuben (Droughns) and AB (Antonio Bryant) and with Braylon (Edwards) and Kellen (Winslow) coming back, we can be very good."

"We have some really tough guys who want to focus on winning," Droughns said. "I am excited about next year."

The Browns have some decisions to make with free agents and who they want to bring back.

"My personal opinion is we need to keep as many people here as they can," Tucker said. "There's a lot of upside to this team. I can't wait to get back on the field."

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