Cleveland Browns: 5 important veterans for 2016
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns are in full-on rebuild mode, but they will still need help from these five key veterans in 2016.
The Cleveland Browns have been extremely busy since the close of the 2015 NFL season.
The team’s latest biennial rebuilding project has brought in a new head coach and front office; 14 draft picks, many of whom have a very real chance of making the final roster this fall; and the exodus of numerous veterans, either by choice in free agency – Alex Mack, Mitchell Schwartz and Travis Benjamin, to name a few – or by force with the releasing of Karlos Dansby, Donte Whitner, Randy Starks and, on Monday, Brian Hartline.
“We’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we don’t need to be right now,” head coach Hue Jackson said last week. “We need to work at it and pay attention to detail and be accountable to each other and make sure guys are doing the right things and coach them the way we know we have to in order to get them to where we need to get them to be.”
“We’re starting at the bottom, and we’re going to climb our way to the top.” – Head coach Hue Jackson
The Browns were already facing a tall challenge coming off a 3-13 season – the franchise’s 11th double-digit loss season out of the past 13 – even before the rebuilding efforts began. Now, after the last few months, the Browns have quickly turned the Browns into a young team that is going to need plenty of work.
Jackson has put together what is being touted as a very strong coaching staff, but there are only so many hours in the day (ever for someone as energetic as wide receivers coach Al Saunders), so the team is going to need to keep some veterans around to help out.
Along that line of thinking, here are five veterans that will play a key role this fall in helping to accelerate the learning curve of the young players.
Next: Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins