Browns enjoying spoils of early success

AP

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BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Their days as a pitiful punching bag appear to be over for the Browns. They're swinging back, picking up wins and even attracting celebrities.

On Wednesday, superstar rapper Snoop Dogg pulled up in his tour bus and made a surprise visit to practice.

Bow wow!

But while the Browns may have gone from being the NFL's saddest team to one of this season's biggest surprises, coach Hue Jackson warned his players that their fame can be fleeting.

Beware of Snoop Dogg and others.

"A lot of guys see him on the sideline, and his message was, 'Man, you guys are doing some good things, some really good things.' I thought that was great," said Jackson, who has known the rapper since his days at USC. "At the same time, there are going to be a lot of people that want to come be on this wagon when the wagon gets rolling, and we are going to circle the wagon.

"I know that because I did not see any of these people the last two years. I am still the same guy. I still knew all of these people prior to this year. We are not going to get caught up in any of that. Our players won't, and that is my message to them. We are going to work, and we are going to continue to get better and see where we are."

Right now, the Browns believe they're contenders.

And their 12-9 overtime win against a solid Baltimore team on Sunday has the rest of the league looking differently at the Browns (2-2-1).

who became just the second team to lose all 16 games last season. They've been competitive against a tough schedule, played in three OT games, and if not for a couple of bad bounces and breaks, could be unbeaten.

"They were a scary team last year," said Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, who will face the Browns on Sunday. "I know that they did not win a game, but you saw them on the come - you could see it coming. You knew that it was just a matter of time. They have done a good job. The personnel department and coaches, they have done a good job."

And, of course, the Browns have Baker Mayfield.

The rookie quarterback has pumped life into Cleveland's franchise and fan base. The only person not surprised by the Browns' quick turnaround is the player most responsible for it happening

"I have known that the Browns were not bad since the second I stepped foot into this franchise," said the No. 1 overall pick, whose confidence is spreading through Cleveland's locker room like a flu bug.

"We had a special team from the get-go. We believe in this team that we have. Management has put together a great group of guys."

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