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A truly historic franchise with an interesting past, the Cleveland Browns were established in 1946. Playing through the 1995 season, the team left Cleveland for Baltimore and became the Ravens. The city of Cleveland, upset by the loss of the team and desperate for football, announced the expansion Browns in 1998 and began playing again in 1999.
The old Browns are remembered for their dominance on the football field, reaching the championship game every season between 1946 and 1955, winning seven titles along the way with quarterback Otto Graham leading the charge. They also had the honor of rooting for Jim Brown, perhaps the greatest running back of all-time. The early years for the Browns were marked with unprecedented success.
However, since 1964, their last championship winning season, Cleveland has been one of the most snake bitten franchises in all of sports. It has been more than 50 years since the Browns were champions. While many great players have rushed onto the field in Browns uniforms, no team has put together the kind of season that would bring them a Lombardi Trophy.
More than 25 quarterbacks have started for the Cleveland Browns since 1999. A slew of free agent and draft pick busts have constantly disrupted the efforts to rebuild this once premier franchise back into a winner. Veteran head coach Hue Jackson knew what he was up against when we accepted the position in Cleveland after the 2015 season. In two seasons at in Cleveland, his coaching record with the Browns stands at 1-31.
Shaking off incredible 0-16 record from 2017, Jackson has his players all looking toward the future with one goal in mind: winning. Yet another quarterback change will take place in 2018. The Browns used their first pick in the 2018 NFL draft to select quarterback Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma. Fans in the Dawg Pound have their fingers crossed that Mayfield is the leader they need to overcome their woes. Tyrod Taylor has also been brought in from Buffalo to serve as the backup and mentor for the new starter.
Mayfield will have some bigtime weapons with which to work. Josh Gordon seems to have cleaned up his act and will be back with the Browns this season. He is joined by Jarvis Landry, the former Dolphins star. Corey Coleman, the Browns 2016 1st round pick, is ready to take the next step in his career. The Browns also used a 1st round pick last year to select tight end David Njoku from Miami. He, too, is anticipating a breakout year. The running game gained Carlos Hyde from San Francisco, who will work with Duke Johnson to earn some big gains on the ground.
Defensively, the Browns upgraded through the draft by picking up Myles Garrett with the 1st overall pick. Cleveland looks to establish a dominant edge rush in their pass attack. Jamie Collins leads from the linebacking corps, while EJ Gaines, coming over from Buffalo, plays at cornerback along with Jabrill Peppers at safety. Add to the mix the number four overall pick from 2018, Denzel Ward, another cornerback, and suddenly the Cleveland defense is looking even stronger.
There is a long way to go before this group is considered a potential playoff team, but with hard work and determination, Coach Jackson may have his squad ready to make a push. Looking at the past great players for the Browns results inspires these players. There have been many of them in Cleveland over the years including Bernie Kosar, Clay Matthews, Jr., Joe Thomas, Ozzie Newsome, Otto Graham, and Jim Brown. Click here to learn more about the Cleveland Browns history.