If Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is right, the long-awaited reversal of his team’s fortunes is on the horizon. Haslam and the rest of the franchise’s bigwigs are talking a good game coming off a 1-15 season, the worst in team history. This is the time of year for optimism in the NFL, and even the down-and-out Browns think things are looking up. “The difference between this year and last year in terms of feeling in the building is noticeably different,” Haslam said Monday while he addressed a crowd during the Cleveland Browns Foundation Golf Tournament at Barrington Golf Club. “We were able to obviously to bring in some top-flight talent during the offseason, have what we believe to be a very successful draft and I’m highly confident that this will be the year when the Browns begin to turn around and perform at the level they should. I’m highly, highly confident we got the right guy to lead the ship, and that’s head coach Hue Jackson.” Haslam credited Jackson for keeping the team’s enthusiasm, morale and energy as high as he possibly could during the season from hell. But Jackson has no interest in reflecting on it. He would rather turn the page and focus on the first practice of organized team activities beginning Tuesday. “I don’t even want to talk about last year, what [foundation] was set, because a lot of stuff wasn’t set,” Jackson said when he met with reporters. “I do feel better about [this year]. Our draft shows that we’ve put more quality talent on our team. I think it showed last year that our guys understood our process, and they worked hard. We just couldn’t seem to win because of it. “Now, hopefully we have enough talent to where we can finish games and finish games better and finishing hopefully leads to winning. But at the end of day, all of this is about winning. It’s not about anything else. We need to see tangible wins in order for this organization to be moving forward.” The reasons the Browns should be better this year lie mostly in the hiring of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, upgrades made on the offensive line via free agency and a draft class led by three first-round picks, defensive end Myles Garrett (No. 1 overall), strong safety Jabrill Peppers (No. 25) and tight end David Njoku (No. 29).
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says he’s ‘highly confident’ turnaround will begin this year
Akron Beacon Journal | May 22