Cleveland Browns: Jackson wants players to ‘earn their stripes’
By Dan Justik
Organizations and coaches always try to find ways to motivate their players, and Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson is using the Browns’ helmets as his way to motivate.
One of the hallmarks of the Cleveland Browns franchise has been the team’s helmet. Although very simple, when someone thinks of the Cleveland orgnaization, one of the first things that will pop in their head is the orange helmet with the brown and white stripe down the middle of the helmet.
This season, however, Browns head coach Hue Jackson is making his players earn that stripe down the middle of their helmet. Per ESPN’s Pat McManamon, Jackson believes the players have to have the characteristics of a Cleveland Brown to wear the stripe on their helmet.
"“There is a certain way that the Cleveland Browns have to play, and we are going to earn our stripes,” Jackson said Tuesday at the team’s OTA practice open to the media. “The guys that put them on their helmets and get the chance to wear them, it is going to be because they demonstrate the characteristics that we are looking for in Cleveland Browns players."
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Jackson said that in order to earn their stripe, the player will have to make the final 53-man roster.
The stripe system that Jackson is using is very similar to what Urban Meyer does for his players at Ohio State. Every freshmen player that enters Ohio State’s program has a black stripe on their helmet as soon as their first practice.
The freshmen has an upperclassmen football player assigned to them to show them what it takes to be a football player at Ohio State.
As soon as that player demonstrates what Meyer wants from his players, that freshmen will lose the black stripe, signifying that the player has earned his spot on Ohio State’s roster.
The biggest difference between what Meyer does and what Jackson is doing is if a Browns player does not show what it takes to be a Cleveland Brown, he will not make the Browns roster.
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Although it seems like a cliche tactic being used by Jackson, after going 0-16 last season, anything to try and help to get wins is worth trying.