CLEVELAND — A two-week break between games in the middle of the NFL season can feel like such a long time that you don’t know if the team that emerges from the other side of the bye will look anything like the previous version.
Browns head coach Hue Jackson, who has been around the league long enough to know what can happen when players have too much time off, is giving his players a homework assignment in order to keep on the same path for Week 10 against the Detroit Lions.
During Monday’s press conference, Jackson said he asked each player on the flight home from London to pick an activity to lose at during the bye week in order to stay in the same mindset they’ve had all year.
“Play a board game with your family, gamble on a basketball game, it’s totally up to them,” Jackson said. “I just want to make sure everyone is losing at whatever they do, because that’s the weekly feeling we’ve come to expect.”
The second-year coach, who has led the Browns to a 1-23 record in that time, said he worries about the shock to the system during that game against the Lions if players get too used to being victorious at something. He cited Joe Haden, who nearly had a nervous breakdown from the shock of actually winning a Week 1 game back in September with the Pittsburgh Steelers.