appear to have added a new ingredient that is the key to success for any franchise: Chemistry.
In 2019, on paper, the Browns had all of the talent to compete with any team in the league. What they lacked was chemistry. Baker Mayfield and teammates had an offseason conflict surrounding comments made about Duke Johnson, who made it clear he wanted out. When the season began, mysterious controversies popped up involving Genard Avery, Rashard Higgins and Damarious Randall, just to name a few. Through all of this, the team as a whole lacked chemistry and never appeared to be on the same page or enjoy what they were doing.
Chemistry starts in the offseason, and in 2020, it appears the Browns are building a group that is focused and fun. Recently, Myles Garrett and Odell Beckham Jr., two players who were involved in their share of controversy in 2019, have traded playful barbs on social media with Myles poking fun at OBJ’s rescinded warrant for giving a security guard the old “good game” pat, and OBJ responding in kind by questioning how Myles was never charged for swinging his helmet. It raised the antenna of fans watching this play out on Twitter until both noted it was all “luv.”
Baker Mayfield has taken on a stronger role as a leader this year. He invited the team’s wide receivers and tight ends down to Texas to train together. It sounds like there was great turn out, which is important during an offseason where players cannot be physically together at the team facility. Not all players were able to make it though, including Jarvis Landry. Landry continues to lead though by building a mentorship of sorts with rookie wide receiver Donald Peoples-Jones, who he training in Florida during the pre-draft process.
It doesn’t end there. Have you noticed which college is well represented on the team, thereby generating natural chemistry amongst teammates: LSU. Of course, we know about OBJ and Jarvis, but the Browns have three defensive players who played together at LSU on the same team: Greedy Williams, Grant Delpit and Jacob Phillips. Building The Browns recently gave fans a sneak peek of their excitement to play together and natural chemistry.
Chemistry takes effort and time to build, and the 2020 Cleveland Browns are demonstrating early on that they have learned from their disappointing 2019 season. New leadership helps, but ultimately it is on the players to make an effort to get on the same page. What is most impressive is that this unconventional offseason gives players an out, and this Browns team is going the extra mile to prepare for a season we all hope will be played.