Cleveland Browns: Hue Jackson says team has ‘more talent’
By Dan Justik
The Cleveland Browns have re-tooled the entire roster this offseason, and Browns head coach Hue Jackson believes that they have upgraded every position group.
Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey had his hands full when he took over the Browns roster in December. The roster was one of the worst in the league, as shown by their 0-16 record last season. Since that time, he has been busy flipping over the entire roster and adding a bunch of new players.
The past two seasons, Browns head coach Hue Jackson was forced to coach teams that were designed to lose.
Sashi Brown wanted to move away from expensive, proven players and add cheaper options in free agency or through the draft. This added a bunch of rookies and young players that were not quite ready to play as big of roles as they were playing. That method pushed the Browns to a 1-31 record the past two seasons.
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Then came Dorsey, who went out and traded or signed for players that have proven something in the NFL. The difference has been noticeable to Jackson when he talked about the talent the team has added in an interview with The MMQB’s Albert Breer.
"“If you look across the locker room, every position group has been upgraded with more talent. It’s everywhere. That in itself, when you look from one guy to the next, they can see it, there’s been more talent brought on to this football team.”"
The Browns are looking at potentially ten new starters on their roster this year. But the biggest difference on the roster is the quality of depth behind the starters.
In the NFL, injuries are always going to happen. Teams will flounder when the depth behind their starters is not good. That happened with the Browns last year when Joe Thomas, Jamie Collins, Derrick Kindred, and Jabrill Peppers all missed games.
When Thomas went down, the Browns were forced to move Spencer Drango to fill in. Drango is more of a traditional guard, and struggled when forced to play tackle. James Burgess filled in for Collins, and he also struggled.
When the pair of Kindred and Peppers missed time, the Browns were bringing in safeties from practice squads to help fill the hole. But with Dorsey in charge, gone are those days as the team has one of the deepest rosters it has had in years. Jackson referenced that when talking about the quarterbacks.
"“Tyrod Taylor’s our starting quarterback, we drafted a rookie quarterback, and I think it’s a great situation to be in—we don’t have to play a rookie quarterback right away, because we have a proven guy who’s played in the league, won games, played in playoff games.”"
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With the influx of talent, Jackson is likely much more comfortable coaching this roster than in years past. The Browns have one of the most improved rosters in the NFL, and could win some more games than people expect in 2018.