The Cleveland Browns are 81 days away from the start of the NFL season, which is also the uniform number of a wide receiver with a special place in team history.
The Cleveland Browns will open the 2017 NFL regular season facing a familiar foe in the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That game is just 81 days away, which happens to also be the uniform number of former Browns wide receiver Michael Jackson, a sixth-round selection out of Southern Mississippi who played for the team from 1991 through 1995.
Jackson caught 170 passes for 2,797 yards and 28 touchdowns with the Browns. He never led the team in any one particular area, but had a way of finding the end zone as he had seven or more touchdown receptions three times with Cleveland.
He also was on the receiving end of the final touchdown pass that quarterback Bernie Kosar threw as a member of the Browns, a 38-yarder on a play that Kosar drew up in the dirt late in a 29-14 loss to the Denver Broncos.
Jackson tragically passed away in May at the age of 48 after being involved in a motorcycle crash in Louisiana.
Jackson came in too late to be a part of the memorable Browns teams of the late 1980s, spending his tenure in Cleveland during the failed Bill Belichick era, which leaves him as somewhat of a forgotten player in team history.
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"Browns rookie DeShone Kizer has considerably narrowed the gap on Cody Kessler and will press him hard for the starting QB job in training camp. The No. 52 overall pick out of Notre Dame, Kizer started out third in the rotation behind Kessler and Brock Osweiler, but showed coach Hue Jackson enough to warrant the No. 1 spot on the second day of minicamp."
"Jamar Taylor’s respect for Briean Boddy-Calhoun was immediate and grew with each passing day of the 2016 season. Boddy-Calhoun’s “underdog mentality” and dogged work ethic reminded Taylor of himself and inspired him to invite the first-year defensive back to train with him during the offseason. Boddy-Calhoun understandably pounced on the opportunity, and both said they’re better off because of it."
"Although the NFL lags behind other pro sports leagues like Major League Baseball and the NBA with its late embrace and still limited scope of advanced analytics, teams are increasingly relying on them before, during and even after games."
"There has been more than enough debate during this NFL offseason about Colin Kaepernick. Should he get a contract? Should he not? Why isn’t that happening? Is it a conspiracy? Why doesn’t anyone want him when teams will take guys with criminal records? Here’s what is indisputable about Kaepernick as Sporting News presents its ranking of the most hated players currently in the NFL: Kaepernick is not in the NFL."
"The Tennessee Titans had an offseason need atop their shopping list that was underlined, circled multiple times and highlighted with different colors. Now there are little hearts beside it, too. After signing Eric Decker on Sunday night, Tennessee has one of the NFL’s most dynamic and well-rounded offenses."
"Whenever an NFL coach begins to prepare for a future opponent, he surveys the talent at every position group to see which areas might present the most problems. While you can’t necessarily avoid those players for the entire game, they are talented enough to give you pause before attempting to attack them on either side of the ball. With that in mind, here are the position groups that create the most fear in the minds of opposing coaches."