They are things that should be worked on in training camp so that they don't cause problems in December.
Somewhere along the way a few valuable lessons in Football 101 haven't sunk in to some of the Browns. It's leaving coach Pat Shurmur wearing looks of bewilderment and saying "we need to be smarter" and "we need to do better" over and over.
The mental mistakes in the 20-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens last Saturday were amateurish. Leading the way was quarterback Seneca Wallace's decision to call a running play to Peyton Hillis with time expiring and no timeouts remaining in the first half.
That was followed by Wallace calling two timeouts early in the second half because of alignment problems. On the Browns' final possession Wallace went to the bottom of his checkdown list on a fourth-down pass to Hillis in the left flat, 5 yards short of the first-down marker. Hillis was tackled on the spot.
Then there was Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco doing what everyone in the stadium expected on fourth down inside of the 2-minute warning - trying to induce an offside penalty with a hard count. Rookie defensive tackle Phil Taylor took the bait.
"I've developed a list of nevers from this year that I'd never do again," Shurmur said. "You can only experience things to help you. Younger players have to experience some things, but that's no excuse."
Lack of experience isn't a sound explanation for Wallace's mental mistake at the end of the first half. It should have been second nature for a nine-year veteran to spike the ball and set up for either a field goal or a quick shot into the end zone.
"He was pretty aware of the fact that it was a screw-up," Shurmur said. "He was obviously disappointed about the way things transpired, and I would venture to say that will never happen to him again."
This season has been characterized by a series of unexplainable events, starting with the Cincinnati Bengals winning the opener by scoring a touchdown on a quick snap. What happened last Saturday had to be more upsetting because of the number of mistakes and the fact they happened in the penultimate week of the season.
Shurmur has to be the focal point in the blame game, although Wallace rightfully fell on the sword for the first-half meltdown. Shurmur blamed the use of two timeouts in the second half on trying to get injured players off the field. That might have been a problem, but other teams seem to handle the same issues without needing to burn a timeout.
Shurmur's only way of dealing with the problems is to constantly reaffirm the consequences of poor decisions.
"You develop some principles and then you keep re-saying it," Shurmur said.
There's only one game remaining before it's time to start devising strategies for what to do with a probable top-five draft choice. A rematch with the Pittsburgh Steelers isn't the antidote to solving all that is wrong with the Browns.
"What you look for from every contest are things you can build on," Shurmur said. "We have a locker room of guys that are very prideful. They're not guys that are 'hey, we're sick of losing; they're guys that say 'I want to win.'
"It's going to happen, and when it happens the confidence is going to make the next one happen. That's the message. I understand everyone saying 'when?' That's why you keep pushing and why the coach takes responsibility."
NOT YET: No decision has been made on quarterback Colt McCoy's availability for the game against the Steelers. Shurmur said McCoy continues to make progress and that there's a chance he might be able to play.