In defense of being an optimistic Browns fan in 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 03: Wide receiver Travis Benjamin
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 03: Wide receiver Travis Benjamin /

The Cleveland Browns begin training camp Thursday, which means it is time to get optimistic and hope for the best after so many years of losing.

It’s that time of year again. Time for training camp.

What a whimsical time, especially for us battered Cleveland Browns fans. Year in and year out, training camp arrives, and with it comes another dose of hope. It seems that as of late, that hope has feigned early on in the season, not lasting for more than a few games.

However, this season has a different feel. Could this be the year we have all been waiting for or will it again end in disappointment?

Rewind a couple of months, when the Cleveland Browns had just drafted what was viewed as one of their best classes in years. At this time, the distinguished DPD staff announced their way too early predictions of what this season’s record may look like.

Most were abundantly conservative: 3-13, 4-12, 5-11… so on and so-forth.  It seemed as if this year’s dose of optimism had not been delivered yet. Maybe it was lost in the mail? Or maybe this batch of Browns loyalists just know better than to get their hopes up.

But there was one writer who bravely stood up to the majority. It may not have been optimism, but he had to have been dosed with something because he really believes in this team. Defying all of the logical Browns fans, he stood up and made his proclamation. With ice in his veins and hope in his heart, he proudly announced a belief that the lowly squad could win seven games this season. That writer was called crazy, absurd, the state of his sanity was put into question. That writer was your’s truly.

A few months have passed, and with time, those astronomical expectations have slightly settled back to earth. Was a 7-9 prediction a bit ambitious? Absolutely. Your skepticism is valid but give this fan a break. It’s an exciting time to be following the Cleveland Browns.

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Just look at all of the positive changes that have taken place since last season. Not one but two young quarterbacks get a chance to compete, a veteran offensive line is forming that can become one of the league’s best and a new defensive scheme is taking shape with the personnel to run it.

Gregg Williams and his treasure trove of third-down blitzes expect to have opposing quarterbacks under siege. Joe Thomas will again be anchoring an offensive line that has added the likes of Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter.

Incumbent Cody Kessler and newcomer DeShone Kizer will be in fierce competition to see who can lead the offense. And who could forget, there is that one guy, what was his name…Garrett, I think?

Excuse me for having a little faith, but the 2017 Browns are worth being all in on. Is 7-9 going to happen? Probably not. But is it this crazy impossibility? Certainly not.

Next: Projecting the 53-man roster

So put down the pitchforks, sit back and get ready for another season of Cleveland Browns football. This one might even be worth watching and that hasn’t been the case in a long time.