BEREA - It was a question Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden was waiting to hear, and he pounced on it as if he had seen a receiver open deep with no safety in sight.
With the Browns being 0-3 heading into tonight's road game against the 2-1 Baltimore Ravens, Weeden was asked about the team's attitude.
"I'm glad you asked that," Weeden said. "There's so much negative vibe outside this locker room. It's everywhere. In this locker room my goal, and I think the rest of the guys' goal, is to keep the positive vibe in here.
"It's good right now. Yeah, we're all frustrated. We all want to be 3-0, but any time you let all the outside frustrations come into this locker room it starts breaking guys apart. That's a recipe for disaster."
As much sense as the comments make, the fact is that if more losses pile up it will be difficult to keep negative vibes from entering the locker room. The Browns may be young (15 rookies on the roster), but they're smart enough to know when a coach is in trouble.
Weeden looks to the veterans for guidance in these hard times. That's where players like captains Joe Thomas, D'Qwell Jackson and Phil Dawson need to step up.
"I think (we need to) keep these 53 guys focused, mentally positive and keep moving forward and building and keep growing," Weeden said. "We're a young team. Everybody knows that. For the veterans, to keep the young guys focused and be leaders. I think that should be our main focus. We're frustrated, there's no question about that."
The best tonic could be the quick turnaround from the 24-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills last Sunday. It's kind of like the baseball mentality there's not much time to dwell on negatives when another game has to be played.
"It's a division game, too," Weeden said. "When you're trying to win division championships, you have to win division games. It's a tough test. You basically have two and a half days to prepare and then we are playing a football game. You have to learn with basically one or no reps at all. You have to be on your 'A' game and be ready to rock and roll."
The offense needs more from the ground game than it received against the Bills. That means getting a better, more-cohesive effort from the offensive line.
"We have to get some movement up front," running back Trent Richardson said. "We have to stop them from penetrating and really just stick to the basics. We can't do anything all fancy. We have to go downhill."
Defensively the challenge is obvious keep running back Ray Rice from creating havoc. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has also had some big games against the Browns.
"Someone was trying to kind of council me up about Joe Flacco, if he's taken the next step?" Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. "You're looking at a quarterback that's led his team to the playoffs the last four years. Ray Rice, they've got a veteran receiver in Anquan Boldin and then Torrey Smith. They've got some outstanding players and they're playing extremely well."
The Browns had defensive breakdowns in consecutive losses to the Bengals and Bills. Too many rushing yards are being allowed (122.7) and the secondary is struggling without suspended cornerback Joe Haden.
"When you play defense that is the type of defense that you want to play it's team defense, so we've got to all do what we do better," Shurmur said. "You're not going to devise any magical schemes. It comes down to making sure that we execute and play our defense well against what the Ravens do."