Browns: Playoffs… please! [Opinion]

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Browns: Playoffs… please! [Opinion]

(Photo via Flickr, Creative Commons License)

(Photo via Flickr, Creative Commons License)

(Photo via Flickr, Creative Commons License)

Toby Khalil, Contributing Writer

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The Cleveland Browns hope to expand their win totals and make the playoffs for the first time since 2002. And they have a real chance of achieving their goal this year.

Last year the Browns drafted quarterback Baker Mayfield, a standout at the University of Oklahoma, with the first pick. Mayfield has brought excitement to Cleveland and has become a fan favorite due to his unique personality and fierce competitiveness.

Erik Stern, ’21, stated, “He just personifies what Cleveland is all about. It’s like he was made to play in Cleveland.” Erik’s comments echoes what most Browns fans feel about their second year quarterback.

On top of the excitement surrounding Mayfield, the Browns traded for wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., regarded as one the most talented receivers in the NFL. With the addition of Beckham as well as others, the Browns are projected by many to make the playoffs.

Kitchens must prove that the previous season was not a fluke and that he can coach this talented team and deal with the multitude of personalities on the Browns’ roster.”

Clevelanders demand a playoff birth after an eighteen-year drought. Junior Lucas Fall explained, “Most people in Cleveland expect a playoff birth this year, and I really don’t think they have any excuse not to.”

The Browns clearly have one of the most talented teams in the NFL. However, this is a young team with far less experience than other contenders in the league. Fans must realize that Freddie Kitchens is a first-year NFL head coach dealing with a multitude of personalities, and Mayfield is only a second-year quarterback and still needs time to develop.

Junior Jenny Rath, who watches every game with her family, claimed, “Kitchens was great as the offensive coordinator, but the head coaching job is a lot harder, and he might not be able to handle it.”

Kitchens must prove that he is the right man for the job. Before taking the head coaching job, Kitchens was a Browns running back coach who was promoted to the offensive coordinator after former head coach Hue Jackson was fired midway through last season. Kitchens’ success created a good relationship with quarterback Baker Mayfield, leading to his promotion to head coach. Kitchens must prove that the previous season was not a fluke and that he can coach this talented team and deal with the multitude of personalities on the Browns’ roster.

At the same time, Mayfield must prove that as a second-year quarterback he can continue to grow as a player and leader. Opposing teams have films of his previous season and can now adjust their game plan to try and stop. He must show that he is able to make on-the-spot adjustments.

Mayfield must also prove that he can lead a young and inexperienced team. In his sophomore season, he clearly has the respect of his peers. As such, he can take credit for the Browns’ wins but must also take responsibility for the team’s failures.

Although many questions remain, fan excitement and joy surround the Browns. For better or worse, this has the making of an unforgettable season.

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