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Thursday, September 11, 2008
No help coming for Cleveland

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

With recent injuries and a big division game looming against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage said the answer is internal, not external.

Speaking to Cleveland radio station WTAM Thursday morning, Savage said the team's focus is on getting the players he has in the building better, and that's how the Browns will approach beating Pittsburgh this week.

The Browns suffered a 28-10 season-opening loss to the Dallas Cowboys last weekend. The loss, coupled with injuries to safety Sean Jones and receiver Donte' Stallworth, prompted thoughts that the team could seek outside help.

Veteran receiver Joe Horn and cornerback Ty Law have been the most rumored players, but Savage shot down that speculation this morning.

"Quite honestly, we're pretty much tapped out on our budget for this year," Savage told WTAM. "There's really not a lot of extra room to go grab another player, and at this point, there's not a lot to pick from that's on the street right now that's going to come in and help you beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. That's just not going to happen."

The "budget" line has not gone over well in Cleveland this summer. The Browns spent a lot of money this offseason to keep quarterback Derek Anderson and tailback Jamal Lewis, as well as getting Stallworth and defensive linemen Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams. But the team remains under the salary cap.

Savage went on to say that Sunday's game is as close to a must win as a team can have this early in the season. The Browns could ill-afford to fall to 0-2, suffer a division loss and drop two early home games if they plan to make a playoff run in the AFC.

"Nothing would calm the waters better than beating the Steelers," Savage said. "It's the biggest game of the year, and quite frankly it's probably the biggest that we've played since I've been here on Sunday night. So we have to put everything we have into it."