Berea—What a difference a few days makes.
After the Browns overtime win over the Chiefs, Browns fans seemed to feel a little better about the team that had been shellacked by the Bengals, 30-0 a week before. However, after the win over the Chiefs, the Browns sank back into the abyss with a dismal 27-7 loss over the Steelers last Thursday night.
The Browns have now gone 55 games without winning at least two games in a row, dating back to the 2003 season. They have to win two of their three remaining games just to match last season's record of 6-10.
"It's almost like we cannot stand prosperity," Romeo Crennel said. "If we win—just to get a win, everyone feels wow, we've arrived. The next week, because we've arrived, we don't have to be as up or work quite as hard because we've arrived and we are going to make it happen. It doesn't work that way in the NFL.
"Every week you have to be up and know that the opponent you are playing can beat you. We haven't gotten to that point."
It doesn't get any easier for the Browns as they travel to Baltimore to try and avoid a winless season within the division.
"If we want to be successful, we're going to have to win the division games," Steve Heiden said.
The Browns are 1-10 against the AFC North under Crennel.
"It's important to win in the division," Joe Jurevicius said. "But, if we start doing the little things right, thing will look up if we just stay the course."
"I thought the guys were optimistic about what they could do," he said. "Evidently too optimistic, but I didn't think there was a lack of focus.
"Our team is such that when positive things happen for us, that generates more momentum for us. When negative things happen, that generates more negativity. The start of that game, we had a chance to make it a game and didn't take advantage of that and then some doubt started to creep in."
Crennel said the biggest hurdle for the team to overcome this week is getting back mentally.
"Our challenge is to get our guys back mentally, so we can go on the road and play a good team in Baltimore," he said. "The guys on this team are a hard-working group of guys and I think we'll have a better showing."
Crennel admitted it wouldn't take much to improve upon last week's loss to the Steelers.
"It wouldn't take a whole lot to play better," he said. "I told you once before about this team. I think they'll be able to put this game behind them. The season is not over and I expect them to come back and play better."
"It will be quite a challenge," he said. "If we can do some things on a consistent basis, it's not rocket science—it's football.
"We have three games left and if we practice and do the little things right, we can improve."
Roye to IR: DL Orpheus Roye's season is over as he was placed on the injured reserve. Crennel said he has an MCL and it should heal on its own and no surgery is currently planned.
"I wanted to give Orpheus some time to see if could improve," he said. "It doesn't look like he's going to be able to come back."
To take Roye's place on the roster they added DL Orien Harris, who was on the Steelers' practice squad.
Crennel said he wants Roye to return to his form from 2005.
"I think it's pretty important because Orpheus is one of the more consistent guys on the defensive front," he said. "The thing about this year he hasn't been totally healthy all year."
"We want to win the game and whoever gives us the best chance to win the game will play," he said.
Asked if Frye would start if he's healthy Crennel said.
"I'll see how it works out."
Crennel used the word ‘intriguing' in describing Anderson's performance in the last two games, leading to speculation that Anderson will challenge Frye for the starting job in training camp.
"My main concern has been the last game and the next game—not training camp," Crennel said. "I used the word ‘intriguing' because he had no snaps and led the team to a couple of scores. That's intriguing."
Wide Receivers Drops: Crennel said the wide receivers will spend extra time working on their concentration this week after dropping several passes against the Steelers.
"Generally, we're going to try to get them to concentrate more," he said. "Whether it's putting a number on the ball coming out of the jugs machine or whatever, we need them to concentrate more."
Russell Out: S Brian Russell has been at the Cleveland Clinic since Thursday and they are awaiting results to see if he has a re-occurrence to the staph infection he had removed earlier in the season. He will miss Sunday's game at Baltimore.
"He's disappointed because he's going to miss this game, but he said he'll help out how ever he can with the young guys," Crennel said.
Other injuries mentioned by Crennel were: DB Leigh Bodden (ankle), OL Joe Andruzzi (knee), QB Charlie Frye (wrist), WR Dennis Northcutt (shoulder), LB Willie McGinest (pectoral), DL Nick Eason (foot), LB D'Qwell Jackson (turf toe), LB Mason Unck (groin) and TE Kellen Winslow (knee).
"I gave them Saturday and Sunday off, so the players should be able to be rested," Crennel said.