ORLANDO —** Browns coach Hue Jackson is, at the very least, aware of the viral hype video going around social media showing new quarterback Tyrod Taylor and wide receiver Jarvis Landry working out with their new teammates for the first time.
“Instagram’s great, isn’t it?” Jackson said, laughing, Tuesday at the NFL’s Annual Meeting in Orlando.
The video in question (which Landry posted to his Instagram/Twitter accounts last week) shows Landry, Taylor and running back Carlos Hyde — who are among 12 new additions to the Browns since the dawn of the new league year — playing throw and catch with new teammates tight end and wide receiver Ricardo Louis at a park in South Florida.
Moreover, the clip offered a glimpse of what Cleveland’s new-look offense could look like in 2018 following the franchise’s first winless season.
“There will be a cleansing of this organization,” Jackson said. “And it’s going to be because of the players we’ve added on this team and it’s going to be because of the new mindset of the players that are returning from this team.”
In an effort to reshape the league’s youngest roster, the Browns executed trades for Taylor (the former Bills starting quarterback), Landry (the league’s receptions leader and a three-time Pro Bowler), former Packers defensive back Damarious Randall and signed several other players who are expected to play key roles next year.
On offense, in particular, Taylor and Landry give Cleveland two experienced and proven playmakers with track records of production. The next step, of course, is for the pair to develop chemistry with other offensive skill players such as Njoku, running back Duke Johnson Jr. and wide receiver Josh Gordon.
The creation of those bonds, Jackson said, must start with Taylor, who will be the team’s starting quarterback after three seasons in Buffalo. “These guys are working extremely hard, and I’ll keep saying this, I think it starts with the quarterback. He’s got to do the most, that’s what Tyrod’s doing each and every day,” Jackson said.
“He’s the one that’s spearheading that, those things that happen. As you see, those guys are having a great time together, they’re getting to know one another. I think that’s important. And I’m watching Tyrod reach out to so many different people on this football team, and I think he gets it. It’s not just about the offense, he’s got to also inspire the defense, too. The defense has got to play for the quarterback. The special teams has to play for the quarterback. And he gets that.”
After a 1-31 mark over the past two seasons, Jackson said he’s excited about the future with players such as Taylor and Landry and the chance to add two more impact players in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft
“I think our fans, first of all, I can’t thank them enough for hanging in there with the organization, the football team over the last two years. But they should expect winning. They should expect this team to be totally different and play a lot different than what it has the last few years and we’ve been close,” he said.
“I’ll be the first to tell you that and I know nobody really talks about that, but close doesn’t do anything. Close doesn’t win games and obviously we won none. We need to start to finish these games with the thought of winning, and I think it starts with Tyrod. It starts with (offensive coordinator) Todd Haley, it starts with (defensive coordinator) Gregg Williams and it starts with (special teams coordinator) Amos Jones and Myles Garrett and David Njoku and Duke Johnson and the rest of the really good football players on this team. It’s time for us to make that next step as an organization to get to winning.”