Berea—Despite the Browns 20-12 win over the Bengals, many fans are not very optimistic about the Browns coming back from a 0-3 start to win the division.
Romeo Crennel said there is realism amongst the Browns.
"There's a degree of relief and a degree of confidence knowing that you can win," he said. "There's also a degree of realism that this 2008 team has a long way to go. We have a tough schedule coming up and nobody is going to lay down."
Crennel said there were some positives to build on coming off the win over the Bengals.
"Offensively, our team can build off of the fourth quarter," Crennel said. "We scored in the fourth quarter and were able to run out the clock."
However, his optimism was guarded.
"When we look at the team there is a lot of work to do," Crennel said. "It was good to get a win. It will help some attitudes and get us some confidence."
The players also carry over that cautious optimism.
"Getting a win under our belts lets us know we can win," Josh Cribbs said. "We need to focus as a team, not just the offense or defense or special teams."
"We got the ‘W'," D'Qwell Jackson said. ""We have to keep working and stay focused."
The Browns' best chance of making the playoffs would be winning the division. Can that still happen?
"Of course," Cribbs said. "Especially with the game between Pittsburgh and Baltimore tonight. However, winning will give us the best chance to get back in it."
Kamerion Wimbley knows there's a long season left.
"It felt good to get our first win," Wimbley said. "We knew it was a crucial game. We still have so many games to play."
Eric Steinbach feels the win and the play of the offense in the fourth quarter will be a springboard for the rest of the season.
"Hopefully, this game will get us clicking," Steinbach said. "We need to be complimentary in all three phases of the game.
"We've done a good job of sticking together and rallying because when you're 0-3 you can go one of two ways."
The players know they can still play better.
"It's great to win, but did things wrong that we need to correct," Steinbach said.
Crennel summed up what he thinks the team needs to do to get on the right track.
"Number one, our guys need to get healthy," he said. "Number two, we need to eliminate penalties and number three try and improve our offensive scoring."
Status Quo on DA: Despite a less-than-stellar game against the Bengals, Crennel said that nothing has changed in regards to the quarterback situation.
"We discuss all personnel," he said. "As of right now, Anderson is the starter and Quinn will be ready."
Crennel was asked if it was a leap of faith to stay with Anderson, who had a QB rating of around 16 after three quarters. He finished the fourth quarter by going 7-of-8 for 66 yards, including a touchdown.
"I think a coach takes a leap of faith every time he plays a game," Crennel said. "If we win, everybody is happy. If we lose, everybody is not."
Anderson is 58-of-117 for 543 yards (49.6 pct.) with three touchdowns and six interceptions through the first quarter of the season. His QB rating is 49.9.
Stallworth's Debut: WR Donte Stallworth said that he expects to be ready for the Oct. 13 game with the Giants. He said he can run straight ahead, but wanted to make sure he could make all the cuts in coming back from his quadriceps strain.
"I tried to be smart and not be a liability for the team," he said. "I wanted to contribute, but wasn't quite ready.
"I was real close last week," he said. "There was no setback, but I wasn't quite there. If I had to go this week, I'd feel optimistic."
Stallworth said he feels he should be in good shape for the next week.
"The bye will really help me," he said. "I should be able to contribute in the next game. I've felt terrible watching, like I wasn't part of the team."
Smith Surgery: Crennel said that DL Shaun Smith will have surgery on his hand that he's played with that has been in a cast.
"He'll have surgery to fix the bone, but anticipate he'll be able to play Giants game."
Flag Day: Crennel wasn't very happy with the number of penalties the team keeps committing, including four offside penalties for lining up in the neutral zone.
"None of it is excusable," Crennel said. "They tried to focus on not having the penalties we have been having on offense. It turned to the defensive guys lining up as close to the ball as possible. We didn't protect the neutral zone."
Crennel shouldered the blame for the miscues.
"Those penalties hurt the team and we're not doing enough," he said. "I'm the head coach and it stops with me."
Injury Update: The Browns came out of the Bengals game in decent shape injury-wise according to Crennel. OL Kevin Shaffer (mild concussion) and FB Lawrence Vickers (eye) were the only players mentioned, other than TE Kellen Winslow (knee).
Vickers was hit near the eye after a Browns touchdown by a beer bottle that was thrown by a fan.
"I didn't know what happened," he said. "I smelled beer and I said something to the official, but he said there was nothing they could do."
Vickers appears to be alright.
Crennel was encouraged that OL Eric Steinbach was able to play and came through the game in good shape.
"He came in with little practice and did a nice job for us," Crennel said.
Crennel thinks the bye will help and is hopeful that DB Sean Jones and WR Donte Stallworth will be able to return for the Giants' game, as well as get some of the players with lingering injuries back.
"If we can keep getting guys back, that will help us."
On Winslow: "His knee got banged up, but he finished the game."
What About Time?: Crennel was asked why he didn't call a timeout near the end of the first half when the Bengals seemed to be content in running the clock down to kick a field goal. There were about 45 seconds to play and Marvin Lewis ran the clock down to 11 seconds. The Browns could've gotten the ball back with about 35-40 seconds. They ended up calling a timeout after they got the ball back with about five seconds left.
"I saw Marvin going down to the official," he said. "At that time, my stopping the clock earlier wouldn't stop what he was going to do. Depending on where you get the ball. I decided to let him run the clock down and kick the field goal.
"If they got the field goal, the way the game was going, was fine with me."