The rabid love affair Northeast Ohio has with the Cleveland Browns is over; this is a region that is no longer excited to go to a football game for the sake of watching the local team lose.
This is now a region that has tasted the sweet victory of a championship for the first time in more than a half century thanks to LeBron James and the Cavaliers and the surging baseball Indians.
So, as the Browns begin their tepid lift off to a season of the lowest expectations in the 32 team to open the era of coach Hue Jackson, it will be interesting to see how long Dawg Pound contuse to bark.
The Browns went an abysmal 3-13 and finished in last place in the AFC North and are predicted to finish the season just a tab better than the hapless San Francisco 49ers.
However, anyone who knows anything about Jackson knows that he’s not buying into such chatter.
The offense should improve under Jackson and new quarterback Robert Griffin III, who hopefully stays healthy and reverts back to his rookie season of excitement and big plays.
Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson should be a strong one-two running back tandem. Budding star Josh Gordon should pick right up where he left off when he led the NFL in receiving yards in 2013 and wide-out Corey Coleman is a candidate offensive Rookie of the Year. Terrelle Pryor, whom the late Al Davis drafted when Jackson was the head coach in Oakland, can justify all the faith the Browns have shown in him in his transition to receiver, but the patchwork offensive line must protect Griffin.
Rest for sure the Browns will play hard under Jackson and fight to win try to win every game possible this season, but this team is built for success in 2018, not 2016.
Some of the 2016 draft picks have looked good DE Carl Nassib, OLB Emmanuel Ogbah, but there are not enough impact players and not enough players in general to sustain any measurable success.
The Browns will open the season against The Eagles on Sept. 11 and host Baltimore on Sept. 18 in the season opener.
The Dawg Pound will be out in droves as summer fades to fall, warm temperatures succumb to the brutal cold and yet another season of despair floating in the air.