The lowly Browns stooped to yet another league-worst record in 2017, failing to register a single win in Hue Jackson's second season at the helm in Cleveland.
After posting a 1-15 record in 2016, one might've expected Jackson to be promptly shown the door after going 0-16 last time around, but the longtime former Bengals OC remains in place as the 2018 season approaches.
And, though the results clearly haven't been there, it's a testament to Jackson's personality and likability that his players have largely been amongst his first defendants amidst the on field struggles.
Despite many a Browns fan baying for his departure, it's been rare to hear any mutterings from within the organisation in terms of discontent with the third-year head coach.
In fact, there has been an almost startling confidence with which a flurry of players have been speaking about the coming season.
That rather brash confidence was on full display Tuesday as veteran linebacker Christian Kirksey took to Twitter to make an outlandish proclamation regarding the outcome of the 2018 season.
“Woke up this morning letting yal know Browns will be in the playoffs this year! Remember this tweet #Cleveland,” Kirksey wrote.
Quite the prediction considering the lowly depths the franchise has found itself in in recent times, but he might not be as far off as some may think.
The roster is certainly far better coming into this season than it has been in years, and they finally have a quarterback battle worthy of keeping an eye on for all the right reasons.
Tyrod Taylor comes in to the organisation as a Pro Bowler who became the man to break the Bills long playoff drought, and his steady play in the passing game combined with his ability to break off chunk yardage with his legs make him an intriguing fit in Jackson's offense.
Number one overall pick Baker Mayfield will provide Taylor with stiff competition for the QB1 spot throughout the season and that should only enhance the play of whichever man takes the field as the starter week by week.
Additionally, through the draft and free agency, the QB-duo will have a plethora of exciting weapons to utilise in both facets of the offense. Jarvis Landry, Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb are the three most eye catching newbies, but the return of Josh Gordon could also add a spark to the NFL's 22nd ranked passing attack from last season.
One must also consider the recent struggles of their divisional rivals in the AFC North, with both the Ravens and Bengals in clear transitional periods making a run at a Wild Card spot behind the Steelers a stronger possibility than it seems on the face of things.
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