Shurmur says Browns have to stop defeating themselves

BEREA, Ohio -- Cleveland Browns coach Pat Shurmur spent a portion of his Monday news conference reviewing two decisive plays from Saturday's 20-14 loss to Baltimore: quarterback Seneca Wallace's decision to call a running play in the closing seconds of the first half when the Browns were out of timeouts and rookie defensive tackle Phil Taylor inexcusably being drawn offside by the Ravens on fourth down with two minutes left.

"We have to play smarter," Shurmur said. "We can't be our own worst enemy. That's an important thing to learn."

Shurmur didn't criticize either of his players, choosing to accept blame for what went wrong.

"I'm responsible to make sure things get executed," he said. "So I need to do a better job. I'm going to leave it at that."

The Browns (4-11) have let several games slip away because of their own mistakes, starting with the season opener against Cincinnati. The Bengals caught Cleveland's defense napping, quickly snapped the ball and completed a game-sealing touchdown pass. There have been other missed and blown chances, leading to the Browns' fourth straight season of at least 11 losses.

"I can point out five games that we should have won," safety Mike Adams said. "But as (defensive coordinator) Dick Jauron said, 'What should have happened, happened.' We lost the game. At the end of the day, our record is four and whatever. So we didn't win those games. We didn't get it done. We didn't make the big play when we needed."

The Brownshost Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Steelers are battling Baltimore for the AFC North title and also have playoff seeding at stake. The Browns have an opportunity to right some wrongs and end a nine-game losing streak to division opponents.

"We're growing and getting better," Wallace said. "But at the same time, it's almost like we have to play the perfect game in order to get a victory. We're not the best team out there right now. We'll get there eventually."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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