The Cleveland Browns are in the midst of another change. Since the team was resurrected in 1999, there have been massive franchise turnovers. The only semblance of consistency has been the Dawg Pound and coaching changes. Browns fans have had very few reasons to celebrate. Those days could soon come to an end. If patience is a virtue, Browns backers have been saints. This could be the year things change.
Since 2012, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has rebooted the system like clockwork. He has fired three head coaches, three general managers, two presidents, and a CEO. In the midst of the insane turnover ratio, the Browns are still losing. Over the past decade, Browns faithful have seen one winning season.
Haslam has encouraged patience. With that request, Cleveland brass seems to be making changes that will finally get the results fans have been waiting for. Haslam understands the process but wants Cleveland to realize that he does. Per the Akron Beacon Journal, he was candid about the Browns situation.
“Until we start winning, people are going to make fun of you. So it’s our job to get the right people in place to hopefully turn this thing around like we all want to see, and we’re cautiously optimistic we’ve done that.”
Sashi Brown has been promoted to Head of Football Operations and Paul DePodesta will serve as Chief Strategy Officer. Hue Jackson will oversee the Browns on the field. Once again, moves have been finalized and promises made. Will that get the job done?
Believe in Griffin
Whether Browns fans want to believe it or not, the acquisition of RG III was huge. Griffin’s rookie year was phenomenal. Not only did he break numerous records, he was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He has the skill set to be just as productive on the shores of Lake Erie.
There’s no need to be concerned about his passing ability. Per ESPN stats, his career rating is a respectable 90.6. If you like comparisons, that’s only six points shy of Tom Brady’s career mark. No, he’s not Brady. In 2012 and 2014, Griffin’s completion percentages were 65.6 and 68.7, respectively. Sandwiched between, he passed for a 60.1 completion ratio. During that time, Griffin was behind a horrendous offensive line.
He’s confident and ready to prove his worth.
“I am not afraid to do what is best for this team.”
Don’t expect miracles, expect hard work and dedication.
Buy into Hue’s system
The system used by Jackson works. Like any other, it has to be given the necessary time to be effective. During two stints with the Bengals, Jackson’s magic produced results. From 2004 to 2006, he transformed Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh into exceptional receivers. They became the first two Bengals to gain 1,000 yards in the same season.
In his return to Cincinnati, Jackson helped Andy Dalton emerge as an MVP candidate. If not for a broken thumb in Week 14, Hue’s pupil may have won the honor. Doing the same with Griffin – or any draft pick – will take patience. But, it can happen under Jackson’s tutelage.
Turning the corner takes time
The Browns are going to build through the draft. Letting key players walk and not acquiring big name free agents was a sure sign. Cleveland brass isn’t calling it a rebuilding process. The term “build” has been adopted. No matter how it’s labeled, the Browns are making moves towards winning. Jackson has even deemed the process a reboot.
“Rebuilding says that you’re totally junking everything and starting over, and that’s not what we’re doing. I think we’re rebooting and we’re recharging.”
Turning around a losing franchise takes time and vision. Jackson, Haslam, and the rest of the brain trust seem to be working together and focused on the same thing. They want to bring success to Browns fans.
It may sound like the same story hashed over for some of the faithful. Yet, there’s a good chance it will work.
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