"We're so close to getting over that hump," Pryor said, via Cleveland.com, this week. "Once we get over that hump, I think we're going to have a lot of success, even this year ... I think we can win all the rest of the games. It depends on our mind set. It depends on how we look at it. It's just one week at a time."
While we know with relative certainty that the Browns will not win the remainder of their games this season -- I think Pryor knows that, too -- it's important to focus on his attitude. As fans, and sometimes players, become wiser to the process-driven rebuilding projects around the league, there seems to be less of a moribund attitude surrounding 0-3 teams. On Tuesday, the Around The NFL crew debated which 0-3 team they'd rather be a fan of at this point in the season -- and it was sometimes easier to find reasons to get on board with the Browns or Jaguars than the more established Saints or Bears.
The weight of a long losing season could eventually take its toll on the Browns, though this team has already seen two years' worth of bad news crash into the facility in a matter of weeks. Their starting and backup quarterbacks are gone. The quarterback they passed on at No. 2 is apparently Peyton Manning pre-snap and Aaron Rodgers post-snap. The player they drafted instead, wide receiver Corey Coleman, broke his hand after a breakout week.
And yet, last Sunday's loss to the Dolphins didn't seem like the book-closing moment that everyone expected it to be. Instead, the Browns are giving themselves a chance to run an offense that could be piloted by a converted wide receiver for more than a quarter of its offensive snaps. While we hate to use the phrase, this is a "rag-tag" operation right now that seems to have finally accepted its circumstances. Coach Hue Jackson has them looking forward instead of deeper down an endless black hole of disappointment.
That's what Pryor means when he says the team can win out, even if they won't.