The Browns will have to earn their stripes, literally and figuratively, this season.
Cleveland’s players won’t be allowed to wear the stripes on their helmets until they make the 53-man roster, head coach Hue Jackson said Tuesday after practice.
“There’s a certain way that the Cleveland Browns have to play,” he said, “and we’re going to earn our stripes.”
It’s a new initiative that is as much of a mantra for a new-look Browns team trying to bounce back from a winless season. It applies to veterans like quarterback Tyrod Taylor and linebacker Christian Kirksey to rookies, including first-round picks Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward.
As such, the Browns have been practicing without the team’s traditional brown-and-white helmet decal down the middle. That will continue into mandatory minicamp next week and the preseason later this summer.
Jackson said in everything the players do, there will be a need to “earn it” along the way.
“The guys that put them on their helmets that get a chance to wear them, it’s going to be because they demonstrate the characteristics that we’re looking for in Cleveland Browns players. That’s the way we're going to play and conduct ourselves and go out and win football games."
Cleveland concludes OTAs on Thursday before kicking off minicamp next week.