Anyone paying attention to Browns training camp—so, nobody beyond a group of irascible, underpaid beat writers—may have noticed that the players’ equipment looks a little different. The brown and white stripes that go across the middle of the helmet are missing. In a surprising deviation from everything we’ve come to know about the Browns, this was intentional.
Head coach Hue Jackson removed the helmet stripes as a motivational tactic—players who make the 53-man roster will earn them. (The team says this will extend into the preseason, but does that mean the Browns will play those four games with stripeless helmets? The only thing more Browns would be if the NFL forces them to return to regulation uniforms.)
If you want to be part of this storied franchise that hasn’t been to a playoff game since 2002, you have to WORK. This isn’t as ridiculous as having a funeral for a football, but it’s close. From 92.3 The Fan:
“Earn it,” Jackson said. “There is a certain way that the Cleveland Browns have to play, and we are going to earn our stripes. The guys that put them on their helmets and get the chance to wear them, it is going to be because they demonstrate the characteristics that we are looking for in Cleveland Browns players. That is the way that they are going to play, that is how we are going to conduct ourselves and go out and win football games.”
The Cleveland Browns have won one game in the past two seasons. If there are any tight depth-chart battles this summer, is that a good thing?