You know that the New York Yankees are going to spend an insane amount of money every year. It’s a fact that no matter what LeBron James does, or who comes after him, that people are still going to call Michael Jordan the greatest basketball player ever.
For so long, we’ve grown accustomed to another sports phenomenon: the Cleveland Browns always stink. The Browns record over the last decade is absolutely abysmal, going 38-122 since 2008.
After an 0-16 run a season ago, HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series, chronicling NFL team training camps, decided to head to Cleveland. Entering 2018, old questions, new faces and the NFL’s No. 1 overall pick loom over another season of football in northern Ohio.
After the first episode of Hard Knocks aired on Tuesday night, a few things set the tone for this season, but one thing became immediately clear — the losing ways in Cleveland don’t fly anymore.
Mediocrity and Browns football have been synonymous for too long, and Cleveland’s organization has had enough.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the season premiere of Hard Knocks.
Baker Mayfield Isn’t Ready for the NFL
The NFL Draft’s No. 1 overall pick is learning that he isn’t in Oklahoma anymore.
“I’ll tell you what, this is a little bit different than Oklahoma training camp,” Mayfield said as a group of Cleveland’s finest chanted his name from the sidelines.
From renting an RV for the Cleveland’s four quarterbacks to stay in during camp to singing a subpar rendition of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” Mayfield is getting the full rookie treatment.
The most telling moment, though, was when head coach Hue Jackson pulled Mayfield aside during practice.
Jackson asked Mayfield about his morning routine, and then asked him why he wasn’t coming into team facilities as early as veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
“He does his own little workouts in the mornings,” Mayfield said.
Jackson replied, “Where is your own little workout in the morning?”
This is a business, and only the hardest workers will thrive. Welcome to the NFL, rookie. — John Duffley
Jarvis Landry is a REAL One
It’s hard to really know if wide receiver Jarvis Landry said more swear words or caught more one-handed passes during the season premiere, but, man, he sure acts and looks the part.
While Landry was “Bless’m Then” all over the practice field and showing off his crazy workouts, he completely tee’d off on his fellow Cleveland receivers for being soft in a meeting.
It was a 90-plus-second cussing barrage that would be a constant bleep if this show wasn’t on HBO.
Having a talent like Landry, who led the NFL in receptions last season, was obviously going to be a major upgrade on the field, yet it appears his biggest presence might be in the locker room and huddles.
Landry gave us one of the greatest speeches in the show’s rich history, and it was as genuine as it gets.
This is just the first episode, too. Just imagine what it will be like when they don’t listen or, you know, when Corey Coleman gets traded. — Brett Regan
Carl Nassib is a Savant
“Who knows what compound interest is?”
Penn State graduate Carl Nassib started on a rant that will make his college professors smile ear to ear.
Nassib, who has played in 30 games in his first two seasons with Cleveland, took a few of his Cleveland teammates to school giving financial advice and discussing the importance of managing their own money.
There are a lot of NFL players who don’t have the knowledge to manage the incredible wealthy they come into as a professional football player, so it’s encouraging to see a 25-year-old taking charge in this regard.
For the record: Nassib graduated from Penn State with a degree in Biology.
Apparently, he paid attention in Economics, too — John Duffley
Brogan Roback is the QB Hero the Browns Need
What happens in the Browns Quarterback RV was supposed to remain a secret, but it didn’t take long for the world to get the MTV Cribs-like tour in the first episode.
Luckily, it also introduced us all to fourth-string quarterback Brogan Roback.
Roback is nothing more than a clipboard-carrying, snack-getting, possible-quarterback on the Browns roster, but it’s hard not to like the guy. The Eastern Michigan product who signed as an undrafted free agent this spring is simply trying to fit in.
All rookies have to go through this and Roback takes it like a champ.
Although his snack choice of Oreos and Pop Tarts are on a level the rest of us can appreciate, give him some credit for going to the nutritionist for healthy snack advice.
Nobody knows what’s going to happen with Tyrod Taylor, Baker Mayfield, or even Drew Stanton on the field.
We do know Roback is going to be consistent, and not a liability. He might be the hero that saves this group of signal callers from almost certain disaster.
Hue Jackson, on the other hand…
More on that in later weeks… — Brett Regan