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The View Beyond Pluto: Character is What the Browns are Missing Most

Odell  Beckham, Jr. is among several players rumored to want out of Cleveland
Erik Drost
Odell Beckham, Jr. is among several players rumored to want out of Cleveland

The Cleveland Browns will end the decade without a winning season. Last week's 38-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals dropped their record to 6-8 with two games left. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the loss in the desert was a new low for a team that entered the season with big hype.

The Browns were facing a Cardinals team that was 3-9-1 and on a six-game losing streak. "Arizona runs one of these college offenses," Pluto said. "The Browns act like they have never seen this before. Arizona has been running this since day one, the moment they drafted quarterback Kyler Murray."

Pluto says the biggest problem for the Browns is a lack of character.

"What happens with this team, when they get behind, they don't come back. My guess is probably when Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury was talking to his guys on a six game losing streak, he probably said, 'Guys,  I know they got talent over there, but even they don't know who's going to show up from week to week. They lose to anybody and they can beat anybody. But if we get them down, they're gonna quit.'"

As for the Browns, Pluto said it's getting hard to defend first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens. "They seemed so ill-prepared for that game and not particularly motivated."

Now they play their home finale against the 12-2 Baltimore Ravens, a team they beat early in the season. "Before the season started, I think it was at the NFL combine, the coaches speak to the media. They asked Baltimore's coach, John Harbaugh, about the Browns. He said, 'Oh, well they have the most talent in the division.' What he didn't say is they're the best team in the division. Big difference."

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Amanda Rabinowitz
Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. Her days begin before the sun comes up as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition, which airs on WKSU each weekday from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews the Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio’s sports scene.