The final episode of ‘Hard Knocks’ is in the books, but the work the Cleveland Browns need to do for 2018 to be a success is only starting
It’s been a pleasure getting an inside peek at what goes on in Berea as the Cleveland Browns prepared for the 2018 season. HBO’s series ‘Hard Knocks‘ took us all through the team’s training camp and there was plenty to enjoy about the show.
We got to see some of the guys away from the field and even watched a few meetings between coaches and players. The finale was this past Tuesday night, and there we also saw some dreams get crushed as players on the bubble were told they weren’t going to make the final roster.
It’s a great show with a lot of work being put into the production — the people at HBO do a wonderful job of turning things around quickly to air it while the stories are still relevant. It’s sad to see it come to an end, but that means the regular season is officially here.
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For the Browns, that also means their work is just beginning.
One of the themes from the ‘Hard Knocks‘ series was how hard general manager John Dorsey was trying to rid the Browns of their losing culture. They wound up with 31 new faces on their 53 man roster in that endeavor and some high draft picks from the previous regime were lost in that transition.
Defensive end Carl Nassib and receiver Corey Coleman are two such players — although Nassib surely left on better terms as he was released following the team claiming new players on waivers whereas Coleman was gone following a collection of bad practices as camp was just getting underway.
With the roster set and the show over, things are only starting for the Browns. Picking the players was about finding the right guys to get the work done. Now it’s time to start that work.
During the final episode as tight end Devon Cajuste was about to get the bad news he was cut, he walked past a wall in the Browns building with a famous quote from Ulysses S. Grant.
"“In every battle there there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, the he who continues the attack wins.” — Ulysses S. Grant"
For Cleveland, the end of this quote rings true. They need to continue the attack because the end of this series only signals the start of the job they have ahead of them. This Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers walk into FirstEnergy Stadium, the team needs to prove that the culture change is real.
Expectations are high and the front office has done their job putting a respectable roster on the field. But that’s only the first step in a long process for this team to get where they want to be.
At least there’s reason to believe they will get there finally, as long as they continue their attack.