1-15 and 0-16.
These are the numbers that represent the dysfunction and losing culture that surrounds the Cleveland Browns over the past two seasons and although no one person is single-handedly to blame, Head Coach Hue Jackson knows like no other that it’s time to finally see some improvement in 2018.
“It can’t get much worse,” said Jackson after the team’s 14th straight loss to open the 2017 season and, unsurprisingly, that same sentiment still holds true as of the summer of 2018.
Unfortunately for Jackson, no one remembers when he led the Oakland Raiders to an 8-8 record in 2011 in which the Raiders got off to a hot start. Due to changes in the front office, the new general manager at the time wanted his own say as to who held the title of head coach and not before long Jackson was fired after one season.
Jackson, who is widely known for his offensive prowess, has lead the Browns to be one of the worst offensive teams over the past two seasons. Ranked 31st and 32nd in offensive for 2016 and 2017 and holding the worst point differential out of all 32 teams, it’s clear something is not working and a repeat of these numbers in 2018 will not end well for Jackson if he wants to stay in Cleveland past this season.
With a flurry of new additions to the team going into the 2018 season, things are looking up for Jackson and the Browns. Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward, Tyrod Taylor, Carlos Hyde and Damarious Randall are just a few names that should bring some excitement to a fan base that has only seen a total of one win in the past two seasons.
New GM John Dorsey has been in the business of turning a losing team around before. After the Kansas City Chiefs won only two games in 2012, Dorsey was brought in to make some changes and with the help of him and recently hired Andy Reid; the team won 11 games the next season. With Dorsey now at the helm for the Browns, fans should be excited and have faith that this level of a turnaround can be possible for a team that has not made the playoffs since 2002.
Of course, it won’t be easy. With all of the new players, veterans and rookies alike, the team will need time to gel and build chemistry and this is where Jackson, his coaches and the front office can earn their money. Jackson will need to somehow build a gameplan that will bring out the best of his players and, looking at the current roster, there is no excuse that this team can’t win at least five to seven games next season, even with our current quarterback situation in Taylor and Mayfield. Cleveland fans know very well that the quarterback position has been the key problem since the team re-entered the league since 1999.
It’s win or go home for Jackson, literally, and he knows it. After all, fans are still waiting for him to jump in the lake after the failures of last season.
“I’m not going 1-15,” Jackson said. “No. I’ll be swimming in that lake over there somewhere. That’s not happening.”
Well, now it’s time to jump in that lake, brush yourself off and get ready for the 2018 NFL season because The Dawg Pound is ready to see some winning football in Cleveland once again.