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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. Inheriting a total disaster, the Browns went 1-15 in 2016.
Shaking off the disappointment and embarrassment from last year, Jackson has his players all looking toward the future with one goal in mind: winning. He has tabbed Cody Kessler, who started eight games last year, to be the starter going forward. Kessler will have some weapons around him in Corey Coleman, the Browns 2016 1st round pick, and Kenny Britt, the Browns big off-season acquisition from Tennessee. The Browns used a 1st round pick this year to select tight end David Njoku from Miami. Isaiah Crowell is looking to build upon last year’s stats and cross the 1,000 yard barrier this season.
Defensively, the Browns upgraded through the draft. Picking up Myles Garrett with the 1st overall pick, Cleveland looks to establish a dominant edge rush in their pass attack. Jamie Collins, acquired in a trade with New England last season, has signed an extension and is going all in for Cleveland. Joe Haden is a star on the football field at the cornerback position and will have some help back there this year with Jabrill Peppers, the safety out of Michigan that Cleveland selected with another 1st round pick.
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.