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Gregg Williams not afraid to talk about playoffs

Browns Bengals Football

Cincinnati Bengals special assistant Hue Jackson, left, meets with Cleveland Browns head coach Gregg Williams, right, in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

AP

Even with a win — even with a win streak — the Browns are still just 4-6-1.

But in the AFC, they’re still alive in the push for the postseason, and interim coach Gregg Williams wasn’t afraid to tell his team that.

I showed them who was alive,” Williams told Peter King of NBC’s Football Morning in America. “And we are. I also showed them the remaining teams on our schedule, and how five of the six were still alive. I wanted them to see we’re in it.

“But my big thing is: One day at a time. One practice at a time. One game at a time. One meeting at a time. And they’ve listened well. They stay in the moment.”

Williams’ point is a valid one, though all the teams they’re playing down the stretch are in the same spot. And they’re still a game and a half out of the AFC’s sixth seed. But rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield is playing smartly, showing a sense of the moment.

“I don’t want to put too much pressure on him,” Williams said. “But I’ve had the luxury of being on teams with excellent quarterbacks, and I’ve gone against Hall of Fame quarterbacks in my 29 years coaching. And Baker has the innate leadership that shows me he belongs. Grown men can smell whether you belong. They know he does. In his mind, already, he can play the game at a slo-mo pace. I see the similarities to a young Drew Brees.”

And Drew Brees is definitely going to the playoffs. Mayfield might not be ready to join him, but they’re definitely moving in the right direction.