It’s time for Cleveland to become a football town again. Sure, 0-16 still burns, and October is looming for the Tribe. But we’re on board with linebacker Christian Kirksey’s proclamation that the 2018 Browns have a “different feel.” Here are three reasons you should join us in loving the Browns again.
1. General manager John Dorsey is here to win. If the Sashi Brown era was about accumulating assets, the Dorsey era is about maximizing them. In acquiring quarterback Tyrod Taylor and wide receiver Jarvis Landry, Dorsey pushed the Browns toward relevance. At the same time, he didn’t cast aside Cleveland’s young talent, such as running back Duke Johnson and defensive end Myles Garrett. So while the Browns might not be a playoff team this year, Dorsey seems to be steering the ship in Berea in the right direction. Plus, the man rocks a pullover like a pro.
2. Quarterback play might actually be a strength. From Tim Couch to DeShone Kizer (don’t even mention Johnny Manziel), miserable quarterback play defines the post-1999 Browns. That’s hopefully set to end with this new under-center duo. Taylor, the likely starter, threw a combined 16 interceptions in his last three seasons with the Buffalo Bills and helped end a 17-year playoff drought. By comparison, Kizer threw 22 interceptions in 15 games last year. First-overall pick Baker Mayfield may spend his season learning from the sidelines, but it likely sets the stage for the Heisman Trophy winner and NCAA football’s second-most efficient passer to start in 2019. Plus, Mayfield has the fiery personality to fill the city’s LeBron James-sized hole if he can be what his predecessors weren’t.
3. Jarvis Landry can be an offensive anchor. The Browns offense no longer lives or dies by the state of Josh Gordon, who hasn’t played more than five games in a season since 2013. Landry snagged 112 catches last year for the Miami Dolphins and nearly hit his third-straight 1,000-yard season. Plus, the three-time Pro Bowler hasn’t missed a game in four years. Along with tight end David Njoku and Johnson, the Browns finally have a foundation of offensive talent — especially if Taylor’s quarterback play is anywhere near proficient.