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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Cleveland is Titletown – Meaning for the Browns

Cleveland is Titletown – Meaning for the Browns

I Got that Championship Feeling

I understand this is a Cleveland Browns’ blog, but I am going to touch on another subject for this week’s post.  The Cleveland Cavaliers did what many (including myself at many points) thought they would not be able to do – win the NBA Championship.  It was monumental for the city and was a warm, joyful, incredible feeling that many possessed while walking down the streets.  One could feel the tension, frustration, and anger (of the past fifty-two years) simply melt away immediately. So Cleveland, where do we go from here?

Under Pressure

They say the first one is often the hardest – that could not have been any truer for the wine and gold this year.  All the scrutiny, all the bashing by media (national and local alike), and hearing daily talk about the greatness of the Golden State Warriors had to be maddening. Follow that up with an incredible run through the Eastern Conference, only to be told you had no business playing the champs in a series. This was a bunch of overcomers and truly epitomized Cleveland.

That said, the pressure to deliver a title to the city is all but gone (but we will still gladly accept multiple championships).  Thus, the Indians and Browns (and the Cavs again) will not be mocked nationally for not getting it done.  Losing in dramatic fashion will not come with “a name”.  Playing loose in sports is vital to success, the Cavs performed that way and it showed.  Not saying that this will ultimately lead to multiple titles – but I expect improved play by the other two franchises.

Positive Thinking

It’s been a part of us all, but it is finally time to shed the negativity each and every time it’s available.  The worst will not always happen.  People will not jinx this or that.  The team will not always find a way to lose.  I have never been more positive about a
Cleveland team than I was heading into game seven.  It was a different feeling, but it was genuine and I anticipate this to continue watching Cleveland teams.  I hope the exorcism of other fans’ psyche occurs as well.  The fact that the stupid jersey with all the quarterbacks’ names on it since 1999 will be retired should help with this positive mentality.

Conclusion:  The curse is broken, the streak is over, and Cleveland is king.  I love the city, the fans, the teams and everything else associated with northeast Ohio.  That parade was an incredible display of overall awesomeness by the city. There have been a lot of positive articles over the past few months about Hue Jackson and the Cleveland Browns.  It is time to take steps forward and fall in line with this city.

 

 

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Post OTAs News and Notes for the Browns

Post OTAs News and Notes for the Browns

The Latest from Cleveland

As the stories continue to come out, I continue to delve further into them.  First, the head coach’s philosophies continue to strengthen – to the dismay of some.  Additionally, the Browns can take steps forward this training camp where they previously went backwards. Finally, some guys are meeting up in the west coast during down time.

Hue’s Attitude

I like the way Hue Jackson is throwing caution to the wind regarding practices during training camp, which will include players wearing pads.  Those in analytics (as well as the Ivy League) feel it might not be wise to do this – for fear of injury.  However, Jackson has mentioned being able to take care of his players (and I trust him). Meanwhile, apparently those involved with analytics did not watch the 2015 Cleveland Browns practice and subsequently their regular season. The soft and mushy practices led to several injures (due to being ill-prepared) and being manhandled by stronger and more physical teams.

Meet up in Tampa

Last season, the Browns and the Bills held joint practices and scrimmages in upstate New York.  Things did not go so well for the orange and brown, who gave off an appearance as a high school team rather than a professional one.  That pretty much set the tone for the season and the pathetic results that ensued.  2016 is a chance at redemption, as the Browns will travel to Tampa to join the Buccaneers for a two-day practice session, prior to their exhibition contest.  It goes without saying that the guests need to be the aggressors this time – not to mention the ones who excel.  Will it lead to a 12-4 record this fall?  Unlikely, but I’m tired of the Browns being a joke.

Workouts in Los Angeles

Corey Coleman, Rob Griffin, and Cody Kessler (to name a few) are some of the Browns’ players who are expected to travel west within the next month to work out and prepare for the upcoming NFL season.  It may not be much, but this is yet another example of this team “getting it”, while their predecessors did not.  I hope the rapport being built by this offense carries over, regardless of who is behind center. Pulling in the same direction is vital for the Browns – and signs of this are on display.

Conclusion:  The Browns appear to be righting some of their wrongs from a three-win season a year ago.  I continue to feel confident in my five-to-seven victory prediction for 2016, as training camp should help to solidify this.  Who knows, perhaps Jackson can continue his magic and the Browns have a miraculous season.  Bottom line is that I am not ready to be negative about this team just yet.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2016 in Offseason, Training Camp

 

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The Latest about the Browns – Offseason Edition

The Latest about the Browns – Offseason Edition

Time Before Training Camp

In the throes of the NBA Finals (of which I have little confidence in our Cavs, unfortunately) – the NFL season is coming to a slow time before training camp commences in July. Below is a compilation that has occurred, including an outlook for an underperforming athlete, some goodwill for the orange and brown, and the countdown is on for the season.

Gilbert Given Another Shot

It appears what happened in the past will remain right there – as this coaching staff is all about moving forward with Justin Gilbert. His attitude issues are well documented (and something Gilbert did not want to discuss with the media) – but hopefully the positivity surrounding Hue Jackson and company will lead to a better outlook for the cornerback. Gilbert has the talent and traits to be at least a role player in this defense, but has come to nowhere near his potential. I like the odds of this regime doing something that their predecessors could not – getting production from this first round pick. All said, a shorter leash should be given this training camp should the “old” Gilbert resurface.  At that point, it might be time to relieve him of his duties.

Community Work

The publicity surrounding the orange and brown getting around northeast Ohio and helping others are increasing greatly. Whether it’s improving the assets inside high schools, football facilities, or apparel – players with the Browns doing tremendous work to improve the community. I greatly commend what this front office has preached and the fact the team has followed through. At the end of the day, they might not always be winners in the fall but they are still making northeast Ohio a better place for today’s youth.

Century Mark

Well, we are under 100 days until the Cleveland Browns head to Philadelphia to face the Eagles in the regular season opener. It seems just like yesterday when Jimmy Haslam called a press conference to let everyone know he was blowing things up again. The Browns have a great deal of work in this time frame to go from a perceived “bottom feeder” in the league to a respectable one. Young guys and inexperienced ones must step up and perform when given an opportunity this year. I’m still envisioning a bump in their win total (from 2015) by a few games; however training camp and the preseason could be very telling.

Conclusion: I understand that this the time of year has many positive articles about NFL players – some of which do not come to fruition a few months later. Thus, I am taking the Gilbert news with a grain of salt and he still must prove doubters wrong. I am ready for the hiatus to be complete, but I will have to wait for over a month like everyone else.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2016 in Offseason, Players, Training Camp

 

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What Now for the Browns?

What Now for the Browns?

Latest Updates from Berea

The news cycle continues to go on during this period of OTAs for the Cleveland Browns.  The transactions persist for the team, much to the chagrin of some veterans.  However, when a team laden with older players fails miserably – it should come to no surprise that younger athletes will likely be brought in as replacements the following season. Speaking of which, it would appear that getting to know their predecessors is a good thing for these young men. This is especially the case, as those elder athletes got to the playoffs and performed at a high level game in and game out.

Release of Hartline

Veteran wide receiver Brian Hartline was let go by the Cleveland Browns last week in a move that was not completely surprising. Looking at what the team has been doing over the past few months – youth has been a big factor (especially at skilled positions).  Brian simply did not fit that mold with this team, and the fact that the Browns drafted four wide outs did not help things either.  Could his veteran leadership have helped out the wide receiving unit?  Sure, but more production on the field was needed from the athlete as well.  Like many other guys who are moving on from the orange and brown – I wish him good luck and have no ill will towards the athlete.

Alumni on Hand

It was a solid move to have former players on hand during the OTAs for the Cleveland Browns. Hanford Dixon, Felix Wright, and (gasp) Bernie Kosar were in attendance talking to today’s team. For about thirty-one franchises, doing this is not a big deal and a typical thing done by squads in the NFL. However, it seems to be a problem for the Browns, especially with their frosty relationship with their former quarterback in the 1980s and 90s. Perhaps this is the olive branch that was needed to link the old teams (the ones who actually had success) to the current crop. Will it lead to future success for the orange and brown? Who knows, but I will take whatever positive karma is out there for this club.

Time off for Thomas

The veteran days off for Joe Thomas appear to be a hot button for the Cleveland media. I frankly do not have a problem with it, but I understand where it could cause problems within the locker room.  Face it, everyone would like some time off once in a while.  Maybe if the team is in a playoff push (I understand that’s unlikely, but I can dream) – perhaps Thomas can put on a good face and give his all each and every practice. At the end of the day, having Thomas available and reliable (each game) is what matters for this franchise, however.

Conclusion: It’s almost the down time for the Browns; that period between mini camps and training camps. Hopefully the team is getting up to speed and learning what Hue Jackson is all about. Rookies like Jordan Payton (still in classes) have been hurt by not practicing, but they can still make up for that in the coming months. Not hearing about idiots failing drug tests or going on benders in Las Vegas the next few months will be refreshing this season.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2016 in Offseason, Players, Training Camp

 

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