The Cleveland Browns may have only managed to score a single victory over the past two seasons, but the current roster certainly doesn’t seem to lack for confidence. After it was reported that former Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James would be signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, a number of Browns players took to social media to declare that they would step up to own the city.
As the Akron Beacon Journal pointed out, players such as Myles Garrett weighed in, even responding directly to James, to whom he said, “if you don’t want to take your throne with you, I’ll take it”. Others such as Christian Kirksey and Damarious Randall also commented, expressing a belief in their team that belies their very recent history.
In fairness to the roster as it currently stands, the reality is that quite a lot of it has changed already just from last season. Randall is one among the many new faces, a former first-round cornerback of the Green Bay Packers who was traded to Cleveland earlier this offseason and who is expected to take over a starting spot at safety.
Other new faces on the roster include quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Tyrod Taylor, running backs Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb, wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Antonio Calloway, offensive linemen, offensive linemen Chris Hubbard, Greg Robinson, and Austin Corbett, and tight end Darren Fells. And that is just on the offensive side of the ball.
James’ success with the Cavaliers, over two separates stints that ultimately culminated in the city’s first major sports championship in several decades, was unquestionably a huge thing for Cleveland in many different aspects, not the least of which was economic. The entire city, including the other sports teams, celebrated their victory as Pittsburgh teams do when one of them wins.
That said, it might be a bit premature to anticipate that it will be the Browns who step up and fill the void left by James’ departure, assuming that the Cavaliers are likely to spiral back into near irrelevance without his presence.
Aside from the mere fact that the Browns have been quite terrible for quite a while, there is the fact that the Cleveland Indians are a pretty decent baseball team. They, admittedly, play in the AFC North of the baseball world, as they are the only team in their division that is not 10 or more games under .500, but their 47-37 record has them in first in the AL Central, with the fifth-best overall record in the AL and eighth-best overall. They went 102-60 just last year and played in the World Series just two years ago.
The Browns? My god, they’re simply trying to win a couple of games. They haven’t had a winning record since 2007, nor claimed a division title since 1989. That was, by the way, before Bill Belichick was their head coach, in case anybody was wondering.