BEREA - The last thing Browns coach Pat Shurmur needs as wins become an endangered species is a player that takes his complaints public.
Joshua Cribbs did that last week when he told "The Plain Dealer" that he's unhappy about his lack of playing time at receiver. Cribbs, who excels on punt and kick returns, has just six receptions for 54 yards. He's become a small part of the offense as Shurmur has tried to develop Greg Little and rookie Josh Gordon.
Shurmur said that he isn't disappointed with Cribbs' comments.
"Josh (Cribbs) is a very competitive guy," Shurmur said. "I'm sure he wants to touch the football every play. Most skilled players feel that way about themselves. Josh is a tough guy, and I appreciate what he brings to the table.
"We had a couple of plays in there for him with the intention of him getting the football, and they did a good job of defending him. I think I know Josh and what's in his heart, and he's a competitive guy."
Cribbs spoke up in previous seasons about wanting to be involved more on offense. Shurmur tried to accommodate him last season. Cribbs finished with 41 receptions for 518 yards and four touchdowns.
"Competitive guys want to think they can make a difference in anything they do," Shurmur said. "I'm sure Josh thinks he can line the field better than the guys that do it. That's okay."
VERY CAREFUL: Cornerback Dimitri Patterson hasn't played since suffering an ankle injury Oct. 7 against the New York Giants. Don't expect him back Sunday when the Browns host the Pittsburgh Steelers, even with Buster Skrine possibly out with a head injury.
"Pressure (to return) plus injury equals a bad result," Patterson said. "It's just not going to work. I play a reactive position and I happen to have a bad ankle sprain. That just doesn't mix.
"Am I going to be a liability or an asset? It's as simple as that. It's going to be specifically on what my ankle is going to be."
THOUGHT PROCESS: Shurmur doesn't think he made a mistake when he called a play shortly before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter, which saved a timeout for the Cowboys. The Browns eventually took a 20-17 lead, but the Cowboys had time to march the length of the field to kick a field goal that sent the game into overtime.
"When you get to that point in the game you're doing whatever you can to score," Shurmur said. "We talked about letting it go, but we wanted to get another one in there before the two-minute warning. You never know exactly when you're going to score when you get down there. It might take five or six plays."
QB ANALYSIS: Overall, Shurmur felt that quarterback Brandon Weeden played a good game. He was 20-of-35 for 210 yards and two touchdowns.
"For the most part he was pretty efficient," Shurmur said. "There are still plenty of things he can do better."