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Brand New Browns

They aren’t going 0-16 this year. Book it.

August 24, 2018 - 10:15 am

It’s August 24th. I’m not doing a Super Bowl prediction right now. Not my deal… But I will tell you this, and I’m not looking to make it about me, but I did start the Jacksonville hype machine last year with multiple takes on them at a time when nobody else was looking to talk about them. 

So I’m getting a lot of questions this year, hey, Rome, who’s the team to check out this year? And I’ve held off saying anything. Until now, because today, on August 24th, I’m ready to finally put myself out there. To throw in. To tell you who I’m loading up on. 

I’m here to say… CLEVELAND, THIS IS FOR YOU!

That’s right. After getting the Jags train rolling last year, I’m getting ready to start shoveling some coal for the Cleveland Browns this year. 

Yeah, you heard me: the Cleveland Browns. And this isn’t just some Hard Knocks bump. This is a “Game 3 of preseason” bump.

This is a “Cleveland 5, Philadelphia 0” bump. And save me the tired baseball score jokes. Not cool. Not fresh. Not funny. Tried. Really tired. About as tired as saying Cleveland set it’s on lake on fire.

Wake up and look around you. Look at how Cleveland just dominated the Super Bowl champs. I’m not a big “law of transitive properties” guy, but I’m pretty sure that means that Cleveland gets the Lombardi after last night’s game. 

Doug Pederson is as close to an offensive genius as you’ll find and he had no answers for the Browns. Stymied. Perplexed. Hell, flummoxed. Look it up clones. Don’t step to my vocabulary. It’s world class. And seemingly, so is that Browns defense. 

Remember when Nick Foles turned Bill Belichick’s defense inside out in the Super Bowl? Yeah, well Gregg Williams just wore Nick Foles as a hat. Completely clowned him. Two interceptions and one fumble. One of the all-time great stories in NFL postseason history just got owned in the preseason by a dude who used to preach: AFFECT THE HEAD. 

And I know what you’re thinking. Hey, Rome, relax. It’s just the preseason. Right, but it’s Week 3 of the preseason, which means it’s the most important week of preseason.

And I know your next thought: hey, Rome, they nearly lost Tyrod Taylor to a hand injury and Baker Mayfield to a concussion. In the same game. Same old Browns. 

Wrong. Not same old Browns. Brand new Browns. 

Yeah, that would’ve been a complete nightmare, AND VERY BROWNS LIKE, to lose their top two quarterbacks in the third preseason game. And it almost happened. And I’m still not sure why Taylor was sent back into a meaningless preseason game with an injury, but the bottom line is, it didn’t happen. Taylor went back in and Mayfield continues to make plays and stockpile quality tape. 

The old Browns would’ve lost Taylor and Mayfield, and ended up with Drew Stanton and something called Brogan Roback at quarterback. I’ll be honest, I’m not even sure if Brogran Roback is a real person or a kid Jeff in Richmond made up when he tried to namecheck my son, Logan. Whoever he is he would’ve turned into an interception machine for the old Browns. 

But these aren’t the old Browns. These are the new Browns. They aren’t going 0-16 this year. Book it.  I’m not saying they’re going to run the table the right way now.  Or that they’re world beaters. What I am saying is, this is no longer the team you want to see.  Unless you want to get punched in the face. 

Maybe it’s the buzz of a preseason shutout talking or maybe I’m just still fired up from Brad Paisley talking about Brian Sipe, but I’m all in. 

And if you squinted last night, you could see flashes of the early 90s Dallas Cowboys out there. And that’s not me talking that was Troy Aikman talking. And if Troy Aikman is comparing your team to his early 90s Cowboys, I’m listening.  

I know…I know… Cleveland didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard with their offense, but they didn’t have to. They let the defense do the work. Starting with Myles Garrett, who absolutely wrecked shop. Don’t ask me, ask the poor Eagle who was trying to block him who said, “I got my ass kicked. Myles is a great player. I was out of control today. I just got beat today.” And he won’t be the only one saying that after a game this season.  Because Myles Garrett is going to kick a lot of people’s asses.  

Get used to hearing that from offensive linemen around the league. Garrett is for real. And so are the Browns. I just throw in with anyone. They have to earn it. The Jags did and they made me look really, really good. And now the Browns have and I expect them make me look even better.

Dammnit, Cleveland, am I talking to myself here. Or just giving Steeler fan another reason to go up side your head. Dammnit Cleveland. THIS IS FOR YOU!!!