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Jimmy Haslam says Browns are 'close' to playoff contention

Jimmy Haslam said that the Cleveland Browns are close to playoff contention, and could easily be 6-5 if not for a little bad luck.

David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

According to new Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, the team could easily be right around 6-5 right now, if not for a few plays and potentially some unlucky bounces. Haslam spoke with Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Thursday, and he started off the phone interview by vouching for the on-the-field product, suggesting that it's better now than it was last season:

"I think we have better players and we're better coached (than last year). We're 3-8, but if you went back through the season, I could make a case where we could easily be 6-5. Dallas, Philly, Indy are all games I think we should've won. If we win those three games, we're 6-5 and in the hunt for the playoffs, right? We're very close. We weren't competitive against the Giants after jumping off to an early lead, but every other game we've been in in the fourth quarter. As you know, some of them have gone down to the last minute or two."

Haslam said he feels as though the team is "directionally correct," most likely referring to the young talent that has been brought in recently, most notably in the 2012 NFL Draft with quarterback Brandon Weeden and running back Trent Richardson.

He also talked about the staff and whether or not a move would be made before the end of the season. He reiterated his past statements by saying that any decision will be made at the end of the season. It's clear that Haslam feels good about the on-the-field product, and he hasn't been bad-mouthing the coaches or anything like that. Still, he's not really tipping his hand to any moves regarding to coaching staff and the personnel side.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.