Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, I am talking about the Cleveland Browns.
The Cincinnati Bengals are my second favorite team behind the New Orleans Saints, so it was a bit devastating when Hue Jackson was hired by the Browns earlier this offseason. I have witnessed what he as been able to accomplish with the Bengals offense under Marvin Lewis. Yes, the Bengals had a great offense this year, it was the defense that lost them the AFC Wildcard game but I will leave that discussion for another time.
It was a great hire for the Cleveland Browns, and throw in the signing of RGIII and I think things are going to get better for Cleveland fans. Before the Browns traded away their #2 pick in this year’s draft I was convinced they were going with RGIII at QB. I know some of you may not take my word for it but you can ask my fiance about it. She can recall my rants when I was listening to Mad Dog Radio and all they kept talking about was which order the QBs would be taken with the top two picks. I kept going ballistic thinking how crazy people could be thinking the Browns would hire Hue Jackson and sign RGIII and then decide to go with another quarterback. Granted I was saying they should just take a better position player at the #2 pick but they one upped my suggestion by trading for more picks to help multiple positions and plan for the future.
I have still left open the question of why I think RGIII is a great snag for the Browns. Well simply put, he was a Heisman Trophy winner and he has shown success in the NFL before. It is easy to point to his time in Washington and say he fell off the wagon and cannot get back to where he was. I beg to differ. I think with Hue Jackson at the helm, RGIII can return to being a highly productive quarterback. Do I think he will become elite? No, not as of now. He still has work to do to make me believe that; however, I think second chances can be a wondrous thing for some people and RGIII is one of those people. He is young so he still has the opportunity to adapt to what went wrong in Washington and make changes where necessary.
Even though an ESPN article from this morning quoted the Browns VP of football operations saying RGIII is no guarantee as the starter, I think he will be given the starting job. Why else would the Browns have brought him in when they have Austin Davis and Josh McCown who both saw action on the team last season. They know they can fall back on Davis or McCown if RGIII does not work out, which is why I feel like the position is RGIII’s to lose.
So in short, I am excited to see what Hue Jackson and RGIII can bring to Cleveland this year. I think RGIII can return to being a productive starter in the coming years and unfortunately the Browns could become yet another dangerous team in the AFC North. Do I think the Browns will be heading to the playoffs anytime soon? No, but I think they can beat out the 1-15 record predictions for this season. If I had to guess, I could see them going 4-12. Accomplishing that or better would not shock me, which would be a good start to yet another attempt to rebuilding the Browns.