Optimism and confidence are always the basis for a winning program. The old mantra of: “Nothing will work if we don’t believe in ourselves” rings very true in creating the building blocks of this once heralded organization. The focus of Free Agency was centered on fortifying the deficiencies on the offensive line. With the additions of guard Kevin Zeitler and center J.C. Tretter, the Browns now have one of the top units in the league. Building from the trenches is always the best way to creating a winning structure and well, putting together a team.
Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. are the perfect tandem to be utilized by an offensive guru such as Hue Jackson. “The Crow” has sprinter like speed and with the talented blockers in front of him his talents could be put on full display. Last season Crowell ran for over 900 yards with only Joe Thomas playing every snap. Thomas playing every down is redundant considering he has been doing this for 10 straight years including making the Pro Bowl continuously. Johnson on the other hand has not been a big part of any gameplan over the past two seasons. He has the ability to be a great 3rd down back and much more if he is given the opportunity to showcase his skills.
— PirateLife Football (@PirateLifeFF) July 6, 2017
Besides Kenny Britt, which has shown some glimpses of talent, besides his troubled past, the receiving corps is young, talented and unproven. It appears that the tight end position will be the focus of the passing game. Seth DeValve and David Njoku’s talents will be on full display in Hue Jackson’s offensive scheme. DeValve started getting more confidence and reps as the season progressed last year. Njoku is a supremely talented athlete and with the correct coaching he could be a mismatch for both safeties and linebackers from day one. Corey Coleman’s talent has never been questioned but he can’t consistently stay healthy and be on the field. I hope he can change that pattern, but his current hamstring issues could be another example of his fragility. Ricardo Louis, “Hollywood” Higgins and Jordan Payton all need to take big strides forward. Al Saunders is an energetic and incredibly talented wide receivers coach that will bring out the best in this crew. I loved watching him during the drills at training camp last year. He loves his job and wants to make each of his players reach the apex of their talents.
I am the eternal optimist and being a lifelong Browns fan requires three things: 1) thick skin, 2) loyalty and 3) a sense of humor. Otherwise it’s going to be a very long season with heart ache, and non-stop disappointments. All this being said, the demeanor and attitude of this year’s team is much more positive and united.
Next article I will focus on the quarterback position: The Holy Grail that our Browns have been searching for since 1999.