Browns Hope to Forget 0-16 After Rebuilding
The Cleveland Browns hope to finally find success this season after a rebuilding effort by new general manager John Dorsey over the offseason.
The Browns have struggled for a long time now, winning only four games in the past three seasons and not seeing a winning record since 2007. They have gone through false hopes and failed top draft picks, and it seems like there’s no end in sight. Until now.
This season seems like it could be the beginning of the end to Cleveland’s unsuccessful run, thanks to a rebuilding process led by new general manager John Dorsey.
The Browns hired Dorsey towards the end of last season. During the offseason, Dorsey and his staff have acquired various new players in an effort to turn the team around, and they have already seen good results.
The Browns have had several rebuilding efforts over time, and for a long time, they haven’t been successful. However, due to the results their new arrivals produced during the preseason and season opener, it seems this may just be the rebuilding effort that can save the franchise.
“I think what John (Dorsey) did when he walked in here with his personnel guys, I think is unbelievable,” Browns head coach Hue Jackson told ESPN. “I mean, he totally changed our football team.”
Over the draft, the Browns picked up Heisman-winning QB Baker Mayfield in the first round, and he has already shown promising results. Over the preseason, Mayfield threw for 501 yards and two touchdowns and earned an 88.2 passer rating.
Although the Browns chose to start Tyrod Taylor in the opener over Mayfield, they will always have the promising young QB at their disposal should Taylor not succeed.
The Browns also picked up talented receiver Jarvis Landry, who will be playing alongside Josh Gordon, who had already been one of the few working parts of Cleveland’s offense since before Dorsey’s arrival.
With the Dolphins, Landry made the Pro Bowl three times and was one of the league’s reception leaders in 2017. Landry shows no signs of slowing down, and has taken a leadership role among the team. He has confidently talked of turning the team around, and has gone as far as to mention winning the Super Bowl in coming seasons. Landry also called out several of his teammates in an intense and passionate speech, after he saw a lack of intensity and motivation in practices. Landry’s intense leadership is what Cleveland needs right now to push and inspire the team and to create more of a winning attitude.
The Browns also picked up Nick Chubb in the second round of the draft as well as Carlos Hyde from the 49ers. Nick Chubb was one of the top running backs in college football, averaging about 1300 yards and about 12 touchdowns per year. He also played a big role in getting his Georgia team into the College Football Playoffs last year. Carlos Hyde, who has more NFL experience, has shown his ability with the 49ers rushing for almost 2000 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns over the past two seasons. The two new talented running backs should be successful additions to Cleveland’s offense and should help improve the team’s rushing throughout the season.
Cleveland also managed to pick up cornerback Denzel Ward in the first round in an effort to improve their secondary which struggled to keep up with receivers last season. Ward had a successful season at Ohio State last year with 37 tackles and 2 interceptions, and may be Cleveland’s solution to their struggling secondary.
The Browns had a lot to prove last Sunday in their season opener against the Steelers: the same matchup that started their winless season last year. Although the Browns ended the game with a tie, many of their new arrivals showed good results, and the team finally broke their losing streak with their new roster. The team also showed a great improvement from last year.
The Browns greatest success on Sunday was their new and improved defense, who played an outstanding game. The defense forced six turnovers with three fumbles recoveries and three interceptions, two of which rookie Denzel Ward was responsible for. In all of 2017, the Browns only forced 13 turnovers all year. With their rebuilt defense, they just forced six in one game.
Jarvis Landry was also a success, bringing in 7 receptions for 106 yards, while Josh Gordon was able to reel in a 17-yard touchdown pass.
Although the Brown’s recent rebuild certainly seems to have been effective, especially for their defense, they still have room for improvement, especially with their rushing and QB protection. Tyrod Taylor also didn’t put up the greatest performance, but they still have Baker Mayfield padded up on the sidelines their immediate disposal should the Taylor option continue to not work out.
The Browns certainly have a lot to work on, but the team and fans should look at the season opener with optimism. One game into their new general manager’s arrival, the Browns have already broken their losing streak and forced six turnovers in a game, which is already almost half the turnovers they forced in all of last season. The game showed that the Browns are a much better team than last season and could continue getting better as the season progresses as their new young roster continues to improve.
Should John Dorsey’s Moneyballesque rebuilding effort continue to succeed as his talented but young team continues to improve and get more experience, the Browns may very will be a winning team as soon as next season.