(Opening statements) "On winning teams, you see them go out and play with consistency. The teams that are getting ready to start their second season now, that's what they do throughout the course of the season. These are long seasons and every game counts the same. You have to mature as a team to a point where you can go out and play with the type of physical, mental and emotional level that it takes to win. We have to find a way to develop that consistency, to go out and play at any level.
"There is no question in my mind that over the three years, we've improved each year. The next step is the biggest and the toughest step for us. As the playoffs are set now, there are four teams that moved into the playoffs and are coming off losing records. The Pittsburgh Steelers were 6-10 and are now 15-1. The San Diego Chargers were 4-12 a year ago, but turned it around and are now 12-4. The Falcons went from 5-11 to 11-5 and the Jets went from 6-10 to 10-6. Those are big steps. There is only one other team that is not in the playoffs, that was in there the year before .
"Yesterday was not one of our better days, special teams-wise. Offensively we came out in the second series with an outstanding drive that went for nine plays, 73 yards five first downs and a touchdown. After that we lost our rhythm and had too many negatives, too many sacks and things that disrupt drives. We weren't able to get much done until we were in a two-minute situation late in the game.
"Defensively, they started off the game with a big play. Northcutt went up the field. We were real close. I thought we were going to come up with the interception but they came up with the ball. We took our shot up the field and the ball went off our fingertips. That's kind of the way the day went. They made the plays and we didn't. The one thing our defense did do was hold them to one touchdown because we played good red zone defense. Unfortunately, they kicked five field goals.
"We have to take and learn from this year. We have to grow from our experience. One thing I do feel good about heading into our fourth year is that we have a good foundation established, in terms of nucleus players, the right kind of guys who understand what it takes to move to the next level. Everything we've done from the beginning here has been based on trying to establish a foundation for a football team with the type of work ethic and attitude we think will take to eventually win the championship. It's a long, tough process and there are no short cuts, as much as you would like it to have happen. Stay focused on what it's going to take to go where you want to go.
"I feel good and it's in the right direction. As I look at our team, maybe the game yesterday forces you to critique yourself that much tougher. If we had gone out and won that game, we'd have a pretty good feeling going into the offseason and sometimes things get crossed over, in terms of taking that next step.
"I assure you, as a coaching staff, we are looking with a pretty wide eye at everything we've been doing. As we move forward, and I feel we're headed in the right direction, I'm disappointed in our performance and the way things turned out yesterday. I told the team afterward, 'that's life in the NFL.' You have to get yourself ready each week. On any given Sunday the Browns came in here and I give them credit for coming in and playing the type of football game they did. They were able to get the win."