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Young Browns vow to circle the wagons and improve

The SportsXchange

CLEVELAND - No team has ever started 0-4 and advanced to the postseason, but that doesn't mean the winless Cleveland Browns aren't focused on their game against the New York Giants next Sunday in the Meadowlands.

"Hey, let's go," Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. "No gloom and doom here. We're fighting to do what we can to go to New York and beat the Giants.

"This is the group of guys I want to get this thing fixed with and I told them that in the locker room Thursday night. These are my guys and I'm glad they are."

Playing last Thursday meant the Browns got three extra days to heal before playing the Giants. But it also meat three extra days to analyze why they are still winless and why playing hard against the Ravens wasn't good enough.

The simple answer is the Browns are the youngest team in the league. Quarterback Brandon Weeden will be playing his fifth NFL game on Sunday. Giants quarterback Eli Manning has been the Super Bowl MVP twice.

Normally at this point in a lost season, players talk about circling the wagons or an "us against the world" mentality.

Cornerback Dimitri Patterson is in his second season with the Browns and seventh in the NFL. He was with the Chiefs in 2007 and 2008 (4-12 and 2-14) and with the Browns (4-12) last year. He also played on playoff teams with the Eagles in 2009 and 2010 and had to hear about how the Eagles could make the playoffs but never win the Super Bowl.

Patterson knows as much about wagon circling as anybody on the team, and he says that is not the situation in the Browns locker room.

"It should be an 'Everybody-does-their-job mentality,'" Patterson said. "Us against the world - we don't play the media, we don't play bloggers, we don't play ESPN and NFLLive.com.

"Our job is to play. Everybody, their job is to talk, write, whatever the case may be. We're 0-4. Those are the numbers, but we're not going to lie down. No one's going to push us over, either. We've had some tough breaks. There are no excuses, but it's a tough league. We just have to get better and make plays when it counts."

Patterson will make his fourth straight start Sunday as the Browns continue to cope with the four-game suspension of Joe Haden for violating the league's performance enhancing policy.

The Browns allowed 16 passing touchdowns in 2011. They have already allowed nine this season - seven of them in the three games Haden missed. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco completed five passes of 20 yards or more. The Browns expect Manning to test them deep.
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