Cleveland Browns Turnaround Could Be Sooner Than Expected
As the days inch closer to the sweat and grunts of training camp, Cleveland Browns fans are wary. Since the Browns were reborn in 1999, there have been eight different commanders. Promises have been made and players have come and gone. The fans by the lake are hungry and disgruntled. The once proud Dawg Pound is seeking redemption. The 2016 campaign should prove to be the start of a turnaround.
It’s been a long road, for Browns fans. The wait has seemed like a never-ending nightmare. Each coaching regime was confident enough to talk the talk. But, the walk usually ended in failure. Devout fans can look back to the 2007 season. Romeo Crennel guided the Browns to a 10-6. But the defense was suspect. Per ESPN, the unit was ranked No. 19 in scoring defense and No. 30 in total yardage. The season was successful, but no playoff berth.
Diehard Browns faithful can go back further. Bill Belichick (the same insane genius that coaches the New England Patriots) led the Brownies to an 11-5 mark and the playoffs. The 1994 Browns looked like a Super Bowl contender. The defense was a top-tier unit and the offense was a high-powered threat. But, the dream came crashing down against the Steelers.
The 1995 season was one to forget. Then came four years of nothing. Things had to get better, right? Well, they didn’t.
With Hue Jackson entering his first year as head coach, things will change. Fans may remember the promises of former coaches and chuckle. But, Jackson will bring respect back to Cleveland Browns football. Forget the fact that he’s the ninth head honcho in 17 years. In order for the Browns to get back on track, the Cleveland franchise made the best move possible.
Browns football will be making a comeback. The turnaround may be quicker than many realize. Here’s why it’ll happen.
Always great seeing Coach Hue Jackson…! Preparing for a great @Browns Season..! #GoBrowns #Grind #OURTIME #NFL pic.twitter.com/cwBKjsnEZX
— Jim Brown (@JimBrownNFL32) July 21, 2016
Even though Robert Griffin III is penciled in as the starter, there’s a friendly little battle at the position. Looking over Jackson’s resume, the names of successful signal-callers pops up. Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer, and Joe Flacco (who shined as a rookie) are a few of his successful projects. There’s no need to doubt the Browns’ quarterback outlook will improve.
Coach Jackson has also enlisted the help of Tom House. Things could get pretty interesting under center. He’s not sold on RGIII. But, he understands the stifled potential. He explained his stance on the position, via MMQB.
“When it’s time to make a decision, I’ll make it. I’m being honest. It’s still way soon. I know that’s what everyone’s worried about, but I’m not. There are no games yet. I think it’s a competition, so we can just let things play themselves out.”
He wants the best possible scenario for the Browns.
“We don’t feel any need to rush. When we name one we’ll feel good about, it’ll be because we put the guy through every test, and he passed.”
The Browns aren’t going to turn into a scoring machine immediately. But, they have the potential. Under Jackson, the Cincinnati Bengals offense peaked at No. 7. In just two years, the Browns could see such a change. The play calling will be fresh and the ideas will be challenging to opposing defenses.
Browns fans will see a balanced offense that will support the protection of the starting quarterback. The run will be featured early and often. Taking the pressure off Griffin or any starter will aid in mastering the playbook. Count on the Browns returning to the smash-mouth brand of football that the AFC North is known for.
Turning things around will be a chore. Yet, the end results will be well worth the wait.
[Photo by Ron Schwane/AP]