BEREA - It was all about keeping his head held high for Browns coach Pat Shurmur on Monday.
The last thing Shurmur wanted portrayed the day after a 25-15 loss to the Baltimore Ravens was a feeling of discouragement. At 2-7 and entering the bye week, the players don't need to dwell on how bad things are for two weeks.
"I am not discouraged," Shurmur said. "I remember a year ago we played the Ravens here and the score was close but they beat the brakes off us. They ran the ball; we found a way to keep it close, and there were special teams issues that popped up.
"This was a very fine football team we played. We had a chance to beat them, but we didn't. That's what's disappointing, but we're not discouraged. So you're going to hear me say it because I believe it."
The game marked a setback in the development of rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, who was 20 of 37 for 176 yards and two interceptions. He did have an 18-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon negated by an illegal-formation penalty when Chris Ogbonnaya mistakenly lined up on the line of scrimmage, which put eight men on the line.
Weeden had some sharp moments in the middle stages of the game, but he struggled early and late. Having been stung by a pick-six in the first game against the Ravens this season, Weeden seemed hesitant to take chances in the red zone.
"You want to be aggressive, but you also have to have a huge amount of concern for the football," Shurmur said. "They (the Ravens) did a nice job yesterday. There are times when teams won't let you throw it. They played some soft zones where we were forced to check the balls down. Now, we've got to get more out of our check downs.
"When we choose to run the football, we've got to carve out more yardage. Just generally speaking, there are times we'll look at everything there too, whether we run it or throw it."
Weeden said after the game that the Ravens played a lot of cover-2 (two deep safeties), which made it difficult to get the ball down field in the red zone. On the touchdown pass that was negated by the penalty, Gordon was able to get open on a slant because the underneath area had been vacated by a linebacker that aligned wide in man coverage.
There were a few other plays to be made of which Weeden didn't take advantage.
"A couple that we could have been a little bit more heroic or aggressive with," Shurmur said. "Then there are plays throughout the game, not just the red zone, that I wish we would have executed better."
Shurmur was criticized for his decision to go for a first down on fourth-and-2 from the Browns' 28 trailing 22-15 with slightly less than four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Weeden's pass for Greg Little, who ran a slant route, flew over his head.
The call went against the philosophy Shurmur used when he called for a punt on fourth-and-short inside Indianapolis Colts' territory a couple of weeks ago.
"What I would like us to do is execute, give him (Weeden) a better play and make it," Shurmur said. "I watched the game last night. The (New York) Giants punted in that situation (and they) never saw the ball again. Being that we did get the ball back, yeah, I would consider doing something different if I can guarantee I'm going to get the ball back."
The tone in the locker room after the game was more subdued than after previous losses. Some players appeared angry.
"We all kind of go through the spectrum of emotions after a game when you don't win," Shurmur said. "Yeah, I'm angry when we lose. Get disappointed, angry, but not discouraged."