Outside expectations are so low for the Browns that coach Mike Pettine joked he’s seen his team picked to finish fifth in the four-team AFC North.
The Browns were the only team in their division not to make the playoffs last season, and the national perception is that Cleveland, which finished 7-9 last year, won’t contend again. Pettine says he’ll use the general lack of respect to motivate his players saying, "nobody wants to be disrespected."
Pettine believes the Browns made strides within their division last season, going 2-4. He pointed to wins over Pittsburgh and Cincinnati and the fact the Browns took a lead into the fourth quarter before losing twice to Baltimore.
Pettine says the Browns don’t "feel like we’re staring up a mountain in the division."
The Browns reported to training camp Wednesday and will have their first practice Thursday.