CLEVELAND - It was the same Monday message that was delivered numerous times by Chris Palmer, Butch Davis, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini and Pat Shurmur.
Each of the former Browns coaches experienced many blue Mondays trying to talk their way through the aftermath of another loss. First-year coach Rob Chudzinski had his first crack at the difficult task Monday as he put a spin on the 23-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins two days ago.
The usual culprits were listed - turnovers, penalties and lack of third-down conversions (1 of 14). There was the expected show of confidence that many of the problems can be repaired with some good old-fashioned hard work.
Much of the blame has been directed toward a sputtering offense that generated just two scores from a 291-yard performance. Quarterback Brandon Weeden, under constant pressure from the Dolphins' front seven, was 26 of 53 for 289 yards and three interceptions. One pick was on an ill-advised deep pass for Travis Benjamin that was well covered. The other two were after the ball was deflected off the hands of receiver Greg Little and tight end Jordan Cameron.
When the offense had a chance to strike big, the inability to convert proved costly. A screen play that would have been a big gainer if Weeden hadn't overthrown Trent Richardson was derailed because of pressure in Weeden's face. On another occasion, Weeden threw a perfect pass to Benjamin on a skinny post pattern, but Benjamin, obviously distracted by a defender that cut in front of him to almost deflect the ball, dropped the pass.
"We call them 'SINs' - self-inflicted negatives," receiver Davone Bess said. "When your back is against the wall you have to be able to execute from an assignment and alignment standpoint. If you don't do that, you're killing yourself before the play even starts.
"We have to work on some things from our standpoint and not kill ourselves before we go out and try to execute the play."
As a 29-year-old second-year quarterback, Weeden is an easy target on Monday mornings. There were plays when it appeared he didn't process things quick enough, but constant breakdowns in protection made his life miserable.
"There are some scheme things that we can do and will do," Chudzinski said. "Whether it's chips and things we had planned, but we didn't execute it well enough. We'll get those things straightened out."
Weeden exhibited physical evidence of the hits he absorbed in the form of several bruises. His ability to withstand the onslaught played well to his teammates.
"Brandon is a tough man," Bess said. "Several times he stood in there and took some shots and delivered the ball. He did a solid job of getting the guys in the huddle and lined up right and trying to make plays.
"We fell short. They showed some stuff on defense that we didn't see. We always know it's going to be like that on week one, but we have to be able to bounce back."
Right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and right guard Oniel Cousins had days they'd just as soon forget. Schwartz struggled against Cameron Wake, who had 2.5 of the Dolphins' six sacks. Cousins was penalized four times - once for illegal use of hands, twice for holding and once for a false start.
"I've watched the tape and I know what I have to improve on," Cousins said. "I'm going to continue to grind, whether it's going out there to take a hundred reps by myself, because that's the most important thing, to get better."
At some point you might have thought that Chudzinski would have benched Cousins and brought in rookie Garrett Gilkey, but coaches don't like to mess with the continuity of the offensive line.
"Oniel has gotten the majority of the reps," Chudzinski said. "It's important that the guys getting the reps give you the best chance."
That didn't play out as planned last Sunday.