BEREA, Ohio — After the disappointing loss to the Steelers, the Browns said they are now turning all their attention to the home opener with the Saints this Sunday.
"We feel confident," coach Mike Pettine said. "We’ll look at the mistakes that can be corrected (and do so)."
Linebacker Karlos Dansby summed it up this way.
"We let one get away," Dansby said. "We’ll make some corrections and be ready for this week. We’ll come out ready to play and stay focused."
Pettine was most disappointed by the slow start.
"As a team, we started slow," he said. "From a prep standpoint, we’re going to get some feedback from the guys. It was disappointing the way we started. To win NFL games you have to be ready from the beginning."
Despite the loss, Pettine said the 24-point comeback can be used as a springboard going forward.
"It gives us some momentum," Pettine said. "We’re still 0-1, but to get a taste of what it should look like when our mind is right what we can accomplish.
"We learned some hard lessons but there is some momentum that can be gained from this."
Players felt that the mistakes both sides of the ball can easily be rectified.
"We know we were making mistakes and it cost us," Dansby said. "We weren’t doing the little things at the beginning.
"We came together and stay poised. We overcame (the newness) in the second half and were making plays. We’re optimistic."
Defensive lineman Billy Winn agreed.
"We just have to hone in on the fundamentals and we’ll be alright."
On offense, quarterback Brian Hoyer said the tape showed the Browns can move the ball, not only in the up-tempo look but in the ‘normal’ scheme. After scoring just three points in the first half with three first downs, the offense scored 24 points in the second half to tie the game at 27-27 before losing on the final play.
"There are just a few little things we need to clean up," Hoyer said. "And we’ll be alright."
Gilbert’s Learning Curve: CB Justin Gilbert received baptism by fire in his NFL debut, giving up six receptions for 97 to WR Markus Wheaton, including the 20-yard pass to set up the game-winning field goal.
Pettine said that comes with the territory of being an NFL rookie.
"You have that with a rookie corner and most positions," Pettine said. "There’s no substitute for live game reps but you put yourself in situations to get beat. Looking back on it maybe he played too many reps."
Pettine said he wasn’t looking to sitting Gilbert down.
"Not that we’re going to bench him but we might need to look at scaling back some of his reps," Pettine said. "There’s no substitute for playing. What he needs to do is translate from the practice field to the games because he practices well."
Gilbert, Joe Haden and Buster Skrine played the majority of the game at cornerback, but Pettine has four other cornerbacks on the roster in Aaron Berry, Robert Nelson, K’Wuan Williams and Pierre Desir. Nelson and Desir were inactive for the game.
"Aaron’s been solid in the time he has been in and the young kid, K’Waun has done some good things," Pettine said. "We have some options."
Pettine said he doesn’t want to hurt Gilbert’s confidence level but doesn’t want to hurt the team.
"(There’s a) fine line," he said. "You want to do what’s best for the team. Life in the NFL for a rookie corner is tough. There’s not many corners to come out of college (and not struggle some)."
Paul’s Play: LB Paul Kruger might have had his best game as a Browns player. He had two sacks and five tackles.
"Paul played well," Pettine said. "He was very physical. His production came from rolling off the ball and getting physical."
Pettine said the coaching staff has worked with him since they arrived.
"He has taken (the coaching) to heart," Pettine said. "He was one of the guys that stepped up."
On Gordon: News broke over the weekend that the NFL and the NFLPA might reach a deal that would allow suspended Browns WR Josh Gordon to return as soon as this weekend to play against the Saints.
Hoyer said that would be great news, but the team is not counting on that.
"We’re of the mindset to go with what is in this (locker) room," Hoyer said.
Tate, Cameron Update: Pettine said he has no updates on the injuries to RB Ben Tate and TE Jordan Cameron. Tate left the game in the first half with a knee injury and did not return.
Cameron re-injured his shoulder on his first catch of the game, a 47-yard reception in the first half. Cameron played just one play in the second half and finished with two catches for 47 yards.
TE Jim Dray had two catches for 30 yards and TE Gary Barnidge had one catch for 13 yards.
"You talk about people stepping up," Hoyer said. "Jim Dray and Barnidge, those guys worked their butts off."
If Cameron is out for extended time, the question is will the Browns add another tight end.
"We haven’t talked about that yet," Pettine said. "Both of those guys did a nice job."
Marlon Moore Decision: WR Marlon Moore served his one game suspension and is eligible to return this week. Pettine said no decision has been made if they will add him to the active roster or not.
On Ray Rice: The NFL suspended Ravens RB Ray Rice indefinitely after a more defined video was seen by the league office. He originally was suspended for two games by the league. The Ravens terminated Rice’s contract.
Pettine said he saw the video and was asked about his reaction.
"Deeply disturbing," he said. "Especially, as a father who has two daughters. There’s no place for that."
Pettine said he agrees with commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision.
"I agree with that (decision) wholeheartedly."
Several of the Browns voiced their opinions, including Hoyer.
"Obviously, there’s no place for that in this league or in our society," Hoyer said. "(There’s) no room in society for violence against women."
Dansby didn’t say much about it.
"It’s a tough situation to be in," Dansby said. "I can’t really comment on that."
No Second Guessing: Pettine said he doesn’t regret any of the decisions made near the end of the game. The Browns elected to not go for a 53- yard field goal with about four minutes left to play, and they tried to move the ball on their final series deep in their own territory rather than try to run out the clock and force overtime.
"I’m not going to be the Monday morning quarterback," Pettine said. "We were in a good rhythm offensively and we made the decisions that we made and we’ll live with them."