Ward doesn't back down from the truth

November, 27, 2013
11/27/13
4:59
PM ET
You like a guy who speaks honestly, then doesn’t hide from what he says.

Browns safety T.J. Ward was angry and frustrated following the back-to-back losses to the Bengals and Steelers, and among his comments were some lamenting turnovers.

He pointed out the Browns were losing because they were turning the ball over.

It had to stop, he said.

And the defense had to force more turnovers as well.

It prompted some raised eyebrows around town. There was talk of Ward dividing the team, that kind of thing. D'Qwell Jackson said in an interview that he understood Ward's frustration, but there might be a better way to handle it.

True enough. But the NFL is an adult league with adults playing an adult game, so Ward’s words could just have easily been taken as a wakeup call to his teammates, and himself.

Ward is a guy who has played for nothing but losing teams in Cleveland. He’s a guy who wants to win who was bitterly disappointed that the Browns didn’t.

Wednesday when he talked to reporters, Ward did not back down from his statements. He told a group of media he was not pointing fingers, just speaking the truth as he saw it.

He said he’d say the same thing again.

There are times when athletes can’t win. If they don’t talk, they’re criticized. Then when they talk and tell the truth, they are criticized more.

Ward was accountable. He answered questions. He told the truth. If his teammates didn’t like the truth, they can do something about it.

After all, the Browns have far, far bigger issues than a guy who simply spoke the truth in a postgame interview.

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

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