Three practices separate the Browns and a brief summer break.
Cleveland kicks off mandatory veteran minicamp Tuesday as the final installment of offseason workouts. It also marks the end of what’s been a head-spinning past few months for a team that looks and feels different than the one that went winless a year ago.
“If you look across the locker room, every position group has been upgraded with more talent. It’s everywhere,” Browns coach Hue Jackson told MMQB’s Albert Breer in a story published Monday. “That in itself, when you look from one guy to the next, they can see it, there’s been more talent brought on to this football team.”
Such has been the case as Cleveland closes a period in which it overhauled its roster, retooled the coaching staff and drafted its quarterback of the future. As the Browns approach one final respite before training camp in late July, Jackson believes Cleveland’s roster is as strong as it’s been in some time. He also believes there’s a new sense of urgency in and around Berea with a 1-31 record over the past two seasons.
Jackson, who enters his third season at the helm, told Breer that dynamic starts with Dorsey, the former Chiefs general manager hired by Cleveland in December to guide the team’s personnel department, and the additions of big-name veterans in quarterback Tyrod Taylor, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and free safety Damarious Randall.
“We want to get to winning as soon as we can, and the moves signal that,” Jackson said, adding those acquisitions also send a “message, creates a narrative that this team is gearing up to win, that everything we’re doing is pointing towards winning.”
At least on paper, the Browns stand to take a step forward with Taylor, Landry, Randall and a cast of veteran free agents who should contribute next season. They also drafted quarterback Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 pick and former Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward at No. 4. Cleveland also expects jumps from second-year standouts like Myles Garrett, David Njoku and Jabrill Peppers, its three first-round picks in the 2017 draft.
It’s all worked to create a sense of optimism throughout offseason workouts that, after a trying and turbulent season, better days lie ahead.
This week’s minicamp offers another window into that hope against the understanding that offseason workouts must be taken with a grain of salt. “We’ll know when we get to training camp,” Jackson said. “But I do know there’s talent on this football team.”
Jackson told Breer those better days should be sooner than later.
“These guys know what we’re trying to do, what we’re trying accomplish,” he said. “We’re trying to do something special.”