5 things we learned from Andrew Berry's bye week press conference
Browns players are officially on their bye week after two days' worth of meetings at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. The work, though, very much continues behind the scenes as the Browns look to play their best football of the season in their final five games all of which come against teams with significant playoff aspirations — as they mount a push toward the postseason. Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry met with local reporters for 30 minutes to discuss a number of topics about the Browns' present and future. Here were five of the highlights. 1. Browns' 6-6 record 'does not reflect the aspirations we had' Berry made it clear in his opening statement that neither he nor anyone else is satisfied with the team's 6-6 record heading into the bye. The Browns believed they would be in a much better position to make the playoffs at this point of the season, but it's the hand they've been dealt as they look to make a run over the next five weeks and return to the postseason for a second straight year. "Obviously," Berry said, "that does not reflect the aspirations that we had at this point in the season." Berry, though, is optimistic about the possibilities that remain over the next month-plus. He expects the coaching staff to make the "necessary adjustments" on offense, defense and special teams to best position the team for success in games against the Ravens, Raiders, Packers, Steelers and Bengals — none of whom carry a losing record entering Week 13. "I think oftentimes people talk about adversity or challenges really when it is convenient, but the reality is it is really important to us as a team and organization because No. 1, you learn a lot about people, whether it is on the field, publicly or privately, but also, adversity is universally important for growth," Berry said. "I think that is something that we need as a team and we need as an organization, and I think the next five games provide us with a valuable opportunity to grow and work through what will be a very difficult stretch. The reality of it is entering the season and entering December, you hope for the opportunity to play meaningful football late in the year, and that is something that is still right in front of us. "We are going to play five teams that I think are playoff caliber – four in the AFC and three in our division. I am excited about that opportunity. I am excited to learn about how our team deals with adversity and the resolve, and that is something that we are looking forward to seeing how our group responds out of the bye.
2. Berry expects Mayfield's "best football" down the stretch Berry lauded Browns QB Baker Mayfield for being "incredibly, physically tough" during a season in which he's suffered injuries to four different body parts. Mayfield, though, is as healthy as he's been since Week 2, and Berry is confident Mayfield will "play his best football down the stretch" starting Week 14 against the Ravens. "I think he has told you guys he has felt healthier week to week. At the same time, I expect and I am looking forward to seeing our guys work through this tough stretch, and that is not just Baker; that is our entire team," Berry said. "At the end of the day, we want to be playing our best football in December, and that is really our mission. That is our charge."