What’s Next for The Cleveland Browns
Tearing down the roster, implementing multiple rookies and younger veterans into the lineup, and witnessing injuries a-plenty. That is the summation of the season that the Cleveland Browns season in 2016. The team lost fifteen of its sixteen contests, but it can be argued that the Browns can be looking up beginning with this season. Instead of another miserable, sad commentary about what went wrong – we look towards the future.
For the first time in fourteen years, the Cleveland Browns’ coaching staff will be leading one of the two Senior Bowl roster. Several have scrutinized the franchise as they chose not to attend the event in Mobile (when an opportunity was present) – thus missing critical time that could have been spent with potential draft picks. I hope coach Jackson and company make the most of their time, as their draft needs to be excellent for a change. Coaching the Senior Bowl will likely be felt in the middle rounds of the draft, as many seniors are chosen draft weekend. Meeting up close with these athletes can give the Browns an advantage that other teams will not have.
It has been floated out in the media that there might be at least two changes to Hue Jackson’s coaching staff. The first relates to defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who has been rumored to be replaced in the near future. For the second time since 2013, I will continue to say this – Horton seems like a nice guy but cannot get the most out of his defense. Frankly, I’m tired of seeing opposing tight ends run wild against the Browns’ defense, as well as witnessing opposing signal callers leading their offenses with ease. Add to the fact that Horton was not Hue Jackson’s top candidate as defensive coordinator and a change makes sense. I don’t expect the Browns’ to have a dominating defense in 2017, but a mediocre one would be a welcome sight.
Additionally, quarterbacks’ coach Pep Hamilton could be on the move as well. The former Stanford assistant appears to want to join his ol’ buddy Jim Harbaugh and desert the orange and brown. If that is indeed the case, I wish him all the best – but I cannot feel a sense of loss. Hamilton, in my opinion, did not do a ton to improve the play of the quarterbacks on this team. Jackson could replace the departed coach and an improvement would not be out of the question.
Conclusion: This long offseason could have not come soon enough; I am over their terrible campaign and am already looking towards the future. The front office must make the correct decisions in coaching hires, free agency, and obviously the draft. I will put blind faith that the team will get it right (for the time being) – however that can change in the coming months. One of these years I would like to actually write about the Browns participating in the playoffs (in January and possible February).