BEREA — Hue Jackson didn’t lose any of his swagger after a brutal introduction to life as Browns coach.
“We’re going to win a championship here for the Cleveland Browns,” he said Wednesday.
The Browns dropped the opener 29-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday and the outlook for the rest of the season isn’t bright.
“The fans might not like me for a while, but they’re going to love me here pretty soon,” Jackson said. “Eventually they will love me, I promise you that.”
Jackson described his performance in his Browns debut as “horrible.”
“Any time we lose I did horrible,” he said. “I can’t judge myself any other way. It’s wins and losses.
“I don’t know that it’s ever going to be good enough until you win the Super Bowl. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what I came here for. I didn’t come here to be average and just win a few games and go about my business. I came here to help this organization win a championship. How fast that’s going to happen I don’t know. I don’t know if there’s going to be a ton of struggle before there’s a ton of great times, but I don’t worry about people not being happy right now. I’m going to do the best job I can with our staff and these players and we’re going to keep working at it. My point is eventually they will love me because we’re going to win.”
Owner Jimmy Haslam doesn’t expect that to happen this year and asked fans for patience again Wednesday during the Cleveland Browns Foundation radiothon on WKNR 850-AM.
“I am the most impatient person in the world,” Haslam said. “I would like to win 13 games this year, but we’ve set a course. We’ve got 17 rookies on the team. We’ve got 13 draft picks next year. We could have four of the top-40 picks. So we have a bright future in front of us.
“I would ask the fans to — and I know they’ve heard this before — to be patient and hang in there with us. But I’m optimistic that we may hit some bumps in the road this year, we may have to tough through some difficult situations but that we’re on the right track and that we have the right people in place to produce the kind of team the fans here want.”
WHO ARE THESE GUYS?
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has played the Browns 15 times, with 13 wins, but he’s at a loss to identify most members of the young defense he’ll face Sunday.
“I don’t recognize a lot of the guys over there, to be honest with you, so it is kind of funny that we are going in there and it seems like a pretty new group,” he said on a conference call. “I think they play hard and they play fast. You can tell that they are really trying to teach these guys how to run after the ball and have a non-stop motor. They have a lot of good young guys that can get to the passer and do a good job in a lot of those things so it will be interesting.
“I recognize Joe Haden and there is not much more that you really are used to seeing over there so it’s kind of funny.”
Jackson wants his pass rushers to introduce themselves with sacks.
“My plan is that I hope he gets to know some of the other guys here by Sunday, up close and personal possibly,” he said.
Pro Bowl tight end Gary Barnidge dropped two passes and didn’t make a catch in the opener, eliciting a conversation from Jackson.
“I know that is not who he is,” Jackson said. “He is ‘Big Play’ Gary Barnidge, and obviously, he did not make those plays. I think he was more distraught by it than I was. I know every now and then those things happen. We don’t want them to happen to players, but he is human.
“He has to pick himself up, which he has, and go back out and practice your tail off and get yourself ready for the next one. It is time for him to go be Gary Barnidge that we all know, love and respect. I think he will do that this weekend.”
Quarterback Josh McCown called the drops “a one-time thing.”
Ravens coach John Harbaugh extended his conference call with Cleveland media to defend his brother Jim, the coach at Michigan, from an unusual charge.
“Hey, can I just say something for the record since we are talking about Cleveland and there is a lot of family in the area?” John said. “My brother has never eaten a booger.
“I went back and looked at the whole (tape). I actually saw it live and then put it into review, threw the red flag, put it into review, went back and watched some slow-motion. It definitely was a nose rub, nothing came out and a fingernail chew. I think it is important that we set the record straight on that.”
A video of Jim reaching into his nose then his mouth Saturday on the sideline was all over the internet, causing him to defend himself.
“For the record, I have never eaten a booger in my entire life,” he said on his radio show.
THROW IT AWAY
Jackson went to his bag of motivational tricks to get the team to turn the page from the awful opener.
“We all balled up a piece of paper and threw it up in the auditorium,” Jackson said. “Throw it, and we are on to the next one. We can’t worry about the past.”
The Browns will unveil a statue of Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown on Sunday before the Ravens game outside the southeast corner of FirstEnergy Stadium. Owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam commissioned the statue in February to recognize his on-field accomplishments.
The Browns will also induct linebacker Dick Ambrose (1975-84) and defensive back Thom Darden (1972-74, 1976-81) into the Cleveland Browns Legends program during a halftime ceremony.
Ambrose appeared in 116 games for the Browns. He led the team in tackles for five consecutive seasons (1977-81) and was the team’s most valuable defensive player in 1977.
Darden was drafted No. 18 in 1972 and played in 128 games, collecting a franchise-record 45 interceptions for 820 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensive back Marcus Burley (groin) practiced for the first time since being claimed off waivers before Week 1. He was limited. Rookie safety Derrick Kindred (ankle) was limited after leaving the game Sunday but said he expects to play. Receiver Terrelle Pryor (shoulder) and right guard John Greco (back) were full participants.
For the Ravens, receiver Breshad Perriman (calf), running back Kenneth Dixon (knee), outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (foot), linebacker C.J. Mosley (thigh) and linebacker Za’Darius Smith (ankle) didn’t practice.
Receiver Josh Boyce (5-foot-11, 205 pounds) was signed to the practice squad. He spent part of training camp with the Browns.
The radiothon raised $137,000 from fans and the Haslams matched the total to benefit education and youth development in Cleveland.
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or [email protected] Like him on Facebook and follow him @scottpetrak on Twitter.