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.
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.