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Browns have problems throughout their team

The way Cleveland coach Butch Davis sees it, a lack of trust among his players is preventing the Browns from winning.

Frankly, coach, it’s a little deeper than that.

A talent upgrade would help. So would fewer penalties and dropped passes. Better pass protection would be a bonus. And, a few more healthy bodies would be nice.

Davis harped on a theme of team trust during his weekly news conference Monday, one day after the Browns (1-2) bumbled their way to a 27-10 loss to the New York Giants.

Decimated by injuries to seven starters, the Browns players who were healthy enough to dress did little to convince anyone that this season is headed toward a happy ending.

The offense made costly turnovers and drive-killing penalties. The defense gave Giants quarterback Kurt Warner too much time and too many extra chances. And Cleveland’s special teams were again rather ordinary.

However, Davis, in his never-ending quest to put a positive spin on his team’s failings, summed up the problems by saying his players needed to be able to count on each other individually and collectively.

“Guys have to do their job and not worry about somebody else, not worry about trying to compensate,” Davis said. “‘Just do your job the best you can and let the other guy do the best he can.’

“We’ve got to do a better job of worrying about the Cleveland Browns and doing what we do best, and not worry what the other team is doing or worrying about how the other team is playing.”

In addition to suffering their second straight defeat, the Browns lost another starter as strongside linebacker Ben Taylor suffered a torn tendon in his chest. He will miss the rest of the season.

Taylor will have the tendon reattached to his left pectoral muscle in surgery on Tuesday at the Cleveland Clinic. The team said he’ll need four-to-six months to recover.

Unfortunately, the Browns don’t have nearly as much time to mend their many problems.

“We have the guys in this locker room to do it,” said safety Earl Little, one of just three starters to meet with the media. “We’re not going to make any excuses about the injuries or anything like that. We’ve just got to get it done.”

For the third time in three weeks, Cleveland’s offense failed to score a touchdown in the first half and didn’t come up with enough big plays after it finally woke up after halftime.

Quarterback Jeff Garcia improved on his 0.0 passer rating from a week earlier, finishing 21-of-31 for 180 yards — a 80.0 rating — and threw a TD pass in the fourth quarter.

But Garcia and center Jeff Faine failed to complete a simple snap in the third quarter, turning the ball back over to the Giants, who were only leading 10-0 at the time.

The Browns then compounded the turnover when safety Robert Griffith was called for unnecessary roughness with New York backed up to its own goal line.

Warner capped a 95-yard scoring drive with a 1-yard TD run, giving the Giants a 17-0 lead moments after they nearly had their lead trimmed to three points.

“We had the opportunities,” Little said. “We just didn’t make the plays.”

Davis lamented that “the swing of events,” a holding penalty against wide receiver Andre’ Davis that nullified a TD run and three dropped interceptions as keys to the loss.

But he also blamed a lack of trust on both sides of the ball as being detrimental. Without trust, Davis said, the Browns will continue to malfunction.

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