The Cleveland Browns know that they have raised the expectations for themselves this season, and that is something that they have all embraced.
They certainly don’t want people to expect them to go 01-6 any more than they want to ever experience that again. And avoiding both the expectations and the reality takes work.
They have put in the work this offseason to bolster the roster, including the acquisition of All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., arguably the biggest move that any team made this offseason.
There is still the draft to come, but they have much less ammunition for it than they usually do because of the moves that they made.
Beckham, however, hasn’t actually been a part of a ton of successful teams. While with the New York Giants, they only posted a winning record one time. So he’ll be looking to reach the postseason for just the second time as the Browns look to do the same for only the second time since they returned to the league in 1999.
At the start of the month, the team held a press conference featuring Baker Mayfield, Beckham, Jarvis Landry, and Myles Garrett, four of the team leaders.
“I think this moment is going to be more iconic than we all realize right now”, the newcomer to the group couldn’t help himself from saying.
Time will tell on that front. Many outlets are already projecting a lot of success for them in the very near future, however, starting with posting a winning record and securing their first division title since they returned to the NFL. Literally, their first. They have never won the AFC North.
“That is obviously, what we want to be a part of. We want to look back in 10 years and be like, ‘man, I remember April 1, 2019. that was the start of something great’”, he said. “I’m just happy to be a part of it”.
Beckham’s comments weren’t necessarily intended to be boisterous, declamatory, or making any kind of promises, but it did have a bit of that sort of air to it.
It’s not exactly LeBron James’ “not five, not six, not seven…” when he took his talents to South Beach, but nevertheless, it might be something that is weighted against him if his era in Cleveland falters as all others have before him.