Berea, OH – The Cleveland Browns have now have something that they have not had in the recent past — optimism.
Hope has been in the air year after year for a successful season, or even a season in which the Browns win half of their games. Unfortunately, the team has won one game out of their past 32, and those losses all came under head coach Hue Jackson.
Jackson has done a tremendous job heading into the 2018 season in finding a new staff to compliment him, and finding talent that could make the difference. The talent begins with starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who is now heading into his eighth NFL season. Taylor has been the epitome of consistency and has been an excellent role model for the Browns number one draft pick Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield has a similar playing style to Taylor’s, and has admitted that Taylor has set the standard high for him. A model quarterback who has proven to be successful is something that has been absent from the Browns locker room, and this is the reason that many recent draft picks have not been able to grow and learn before they play. This is what held Deshone Kizer back, and many rookie quarterbacks before him.
Taylor has spoken about the “controversy” between the two quarterbacks in Brown’s training camp and assured the media that there is no controversy. These two players simply hold each other to the highest standard, and they are both preparing to play a starting role.
The next skilled position that the Browns have tremendously improved in, is the wide receiver position. They landed a big-time free agent in Jarvis Landry, and are hoping to return an extremely gifted receiver in Josh Gordon. Gordon has missed training camp due to personal reasons, but will likely debut in the first or second game of the season.
The Browns also have young talent in Antonio Callaway and Rashard Higgins, and this is a plethora of talent that the Browns may never have had at the position. Callaway has dealt with some legal issues that may hinder the beginning of his season, but he will make a huge impact if he can play.
The backfield has also improved tremendously with the addition of Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb. Chubb is a rookie from Georgia that has broken a number of records, and had an outstanding college career as a north-south runner. Hyde has nearly eclipsed 1,000 yards in the past two seasons and is still in the prime of his career. The team also has Duke Johnson who is extremely talented, but has had issues with injury.
The teams tight end David Njoku is a freak athlete that has had trouble catching the ball, but Mayfield spoke to the media and said that Njoku has improved on catching the ball. This is the only issue that he has shown, but his athleticism gives him potential that could soar through the roof.
This is just on the offensive side of the ball, as their defense has improved dramatically. The team drafted a cornerback in Denzel Ward in the first round that is a lock down player, and they brought in Damarious Randall who is gifted in the secondary. They still have Jabrill Peppers who is a second-year player that is known to dominate the secondary.
The player with the highest roof on the defense is Myles Garrett, who is a second-year player that has the potential to be one of the greatest at his position. He is a physically gifted defensive end the was sidelined last season often due to injury.
A big positive for the Browns this is their linebacker core, because they have three linebackers that can all be considered elite. Jamie Collins was injured last season, but he was the best player on a New England Patriots team that consistently dominated. Christian Kirksey has been with the Browns for four years and is continuing to improve each year. They also brought in Michael Kendricks who was the starting middle linebacker last year for the Eagles – who won the Super Bowl.
The team has also brought in an offensive guru in Todd Haley, and many other coaching pieces that are rebuilding the culture for the Cleveland Browns.
The saying that Browns fans have spewed out for years is, “there’s always next season.” This might be that season.