What’s Going on Just Prior to Camp
Well, we are about a week and a half from the Browns beginning their training camp practices in Berea. The excitement continues to build as articles are trickling out with positive reviews regarding the roster. Meanwhile, an in-depth interview with one of the Browns’ owners makes me feel a little better about what has gone down over the past two seasons and the direction of the club. Let’s take a gander into the two points.
Top Half of the League
In an article written by the four-letter network (which I continue to be arm’s length with), all thirty-two NFL teams were ranked by the strength of offensive skilled position personnel – excluding quarterbacks. Therefore, looking at wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends – the sports mogul puts the Cleveland Browns as the thirteenth best group in the league. I could argue a higher ranking, but the fact they jumped from the worst at this ranking a year ago (by a county mile) to better than middle of the road speaks volumes about what John Dorsey has done to this roster. This gets me (and I’m sure many Browns’ fans) excited about this fall; as we look for long plays, touchdowns, and ultimately wins. Obviously, they will have to prove it on the field – but I have faith they will live up to this ranking in 2018. Exceeding it will be great, but that might have to require excellent quarterback play.
Discussion with Dee
Cleveland’s Business did a sit-down interview with Dee Haslam, wife of owner Jimmy Haslam. In the piece, she admitted that the last two seasons (littered with losses) consisted of a tear-down approach of the roster in order to rebuild for the future. Well, they succeeded in that plan, acquiring a pair of top draft picks (Myles Garrett and Baker Mayfield), in addition to accumulating a significant amount of salary cap space. This was mainly used to acquire players like Jarvis Landry, Demarious Randall, Carlos Hyde, and Mychal Kendricks (to name a few). Now that the talent has been improved, it’s time to look forward. Dee came across as remorseful for the “sins” of the past and stated that she would not wish for any kinds of those mistakes again. Knowing this, I am hoping she and Jimmy can avoid poor decisions to build a solid franchise going forward.
Conclusion: In just before the window of the Browns putting on the pads and getting ready to gear up for the season, a section of the roster gets reviewed and an owner speaks up. The Cleveland Browns are starting to get a little bit more respect nationally; something that has not occurred for quite some time (and justifiably so). Being able to admit mistakes and to learn from them is a sign of growth from the Haslam family. I am not ready to say they will be great owners of the Browns for years to come, but a significant improvement would be welcomed.