In the National Football League, there is no better feeling than exhaustedly walking off of a playing field victorious after putting a full week of work into game planning for an opponent.
That winning feeling is not something the Cleveland Browns have felt after a home opener since beating the Baltimore Ravens, 20-3, in the first game of the 2004 regular season, which is why there were smiles everywhere in the locker room following the team’s 26-24 comeback victory over the New Orleans Saints at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday.
“(That’s) a very happy group of Cleveland Browns,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said after the win. “I just told them I couldn’t be more proud. There were a lot of times during that game where we could have just let it slip away. We battled back, and this game is about making plays.
“Just like last week, Pittsburgh made one more than we did, and we made one more today. (I) couldn’t be prouder, couldn’t be happier for all the work just going back to the spring, the time that those guys put in, not just the players but the coaches. Pay days don’t come very often. You only get 16 times a year in regular season. We got paid today.”
Pettine “got paid” in an especially big way, as it was his first victory as an NFL head coach.
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