The word “progress” has been tossed around for years here in Cleveland. The Indians front office acts as if the team makes “progress” every year, yet that has never added up to a World Series win. After the departure of LeBron James, we watched four years of alleged “progress” that is only now coming to fruition with that same man’s return. And of course, our beloved Browns seem to be making “progress” every year with our dysfunctional regimes, talentless teams and terrible quarterbacks.

However, this year’s Cleveland Browns are making progress. Progress that will actually develop into something great. Progresses that doesn’t look like it will take a nosedive back to square one, packaged with a new regime and it’s shaky promises., pub-2319592412860037, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

The Browns are 1-2 currently, and that is simply disappointing. But, I don’t think we as fans could have asked for a better 1-2 start that what we got.

My thoughts are that a loss is a loss, and I refuse to make excuses because the Browns truthfully should be 3-0 right now. And that’s when it hit me. We finally actually have expectations for this team to perform at a high level. On Sundays, we aren’t bracing for another menacing blowout, but more so for a convincing win.

It all starts with quarterback Brian Hoyer, better known as the first quarterback since 1999 that actually plays at an NFL level. His ability to lead the charge has been impressive to watch. Down by 24 at the half, the Browns could have given up in Pittsburgh, but Hoyer refused to let the team quit. Losing the lead to New Orleans, and that game could’ve been over just like that. Going toe-to-toe with the Baltimore Ravens despite poor run defense for most of the game, yet plenty of quarterbacks around the league, and almost all former new-Browns quarterbacks, would have folded.

Yes, it was only the Saints game that actually ended in a victory, but in all three games to this point the Cleveland Browns showed resiliency on both offense and defense as well against three very difficult opponents.

The next step for the Browns in finishing the job. Putting away that opponent, and stunting any chance for them to win. That’s what turns decent teams into great teams.

Unfortunately, the word “progress” is overused. In contrast, this is the perfect description of the Browns this year. When the team finally takes the field in week 5 on the road against Tennessee, the goal is to finish the job. That progresses the team even further, securing actual victories instead of moral victories that need to be justified by player and coaches of their worth.

In order to progress, build the mental toughness, execute when it counts most, and score touchdowns instead of attempting field goal attempts.

That a recipe for successful progress.

-Zach Shafron

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