The preseason exhibitions should be viewed as an opportunity for the Cleveland Browns to prepare for the upcoming season.
The Cleveland Browns began the preseason with a bang. The up and down performance is typical of a team with a new head coach learning new offensive and defensive systems. Even though the Browns “lost” the first preseason game, wins and losses are not the point.
There are some who believe that the preseason “is a stupid, dangerous thing that has outlived its usefulness.” Such a statement would be true if the preseason were designed to be competitive games with two teams selling out to win.
These people argue that the starters really don’t play much, especially in the first and fourth “games.” They are meaningless because they serve no predictive function going into the regular season. That is, preseason win/loss record does not accurately tell fans if their team will be good or not. Also, starters don’t make meaningful appearances in the preseason. They conclude that the preseason is a complete waste of fans’ time and money. For them, it would be better to eliminate it all together.
The NFL preseason is greatly misunderstood by fans. Part of the problem is the misleading label. The NFL calls them preseason “games.” In reality, they are more like preseason “friendlies” or “exhibitions.” They are not meant to be competitive, although that is an element. Instead, preseason exhibitions are played for team’s self-evaluation and self-preparation.
Each game has its own set of skills to be evaluated and goals each team is trying to accomplish. The following will lay what the Browns are hoping to accomplish with each preseason game.
Next: The First Preseason Exhibition