After another disappointing 3-13 season with the Cleveland Browns in the AFC North basement, the team was desperate for a change this offseason. Out was head coach Mike Pettine, in was Hue Jackson and the new era for this storied franchise. Jackson took on the task of rebuilding this team via free agency and the draft with the goal of the postseason and even a championship on the horizon. Cleveland signed former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III during the free agency period to compete with Josh McCown and add some depth to the position that has been a weak spot in recent years. During the 2016 NFL Draft, the Browns executed five trades to turn 10 draft picks into 15 new players, a 2017 first and second round pick, a 2018 second-rounder and veteran cornerback Jamar Taylor. The first of those draftees was Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman who is super speedy and can make plays in this offense. They also selected two more receivers throughout the draft, Ricardo Louis and Jordan Payton in the fourth and fifth rounds respectively, creating a surplus of wideouts on their roster heading into camp. Last year’s breakout tight end, Gary Barnidge should have another solid season in this Cleveland offense. Brown’s defensive coordinator Ray Horton doesn’t want this team to be pigeon-holed as a 3-4 or 4-3 defense and prefers running as a hybrid.
Cleveland drafted two new players as part of this philosophy, the first was defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah in the second round, along with another DE Carl Nassib in round three. This will bolster their pass rush and hopefully keep opposing offenses off the field for longer periods of time in 2016. The Browns also signed a few new defensive free agents, inside linebacker Demario Davis and safety Rahim Moore in an attempt to plug a few other defensive holes from last season.
Cleveland fans love their team and have stuck by them through all the thin times. It’s time for the Browns to have success on the field and this new regime has the potential to make it happen. Be sure to secure your Cleveland Browns tickets and be there for this exciting transformation.