All of our attention as NFL fans is focused on the Cleveland Browns for what they’ll do in Thursday night’s NFL Draft. It’s an unprecedented situation for Cleveland as they hold the #1 and #4 overall pick. And this year, we finally (hopefully) expect them to take the franchise quarterback that they haven’t taken over what seems like a lifetime of trades down the draft order and failed experiments with the likes of Johnny Manziel and DeShone Kizer.
But it looks like there will be lots of attention on the Browns this summer. According to reports, the team is expected to be featured on this year’s Hard Knocks.
#Browns are likely going to be featured on this year’s HBO Hard Knocks series, per source. An official announcement is expected on Thursday.
— Kyle Kelly (@KyleKellyCLE) April 24, 2018
Naturally, the Browns fit the criteria of being one of the teams the NFL could select to make a mandatory appearance: They haven’t been on the show the previous decade, haven’t made the playoffs the last two years, and don’t have a new coach. It’s that last one that’s still a stunner, with Hue Jackson sitting on a 1-31 record as Browns head coach.
So why this year to chronicle the Browns’ Sisyphean task of trying to build an NFL contender? Well, the timing works out for a couple reasons.
First, seeing that #1 draft pick in camp is always going to be a compelling storyline for the HBO show to follow. And given the fact the Browns have seen so many “franchise quarterbacks” come and go and fail under the weighty pressure of trying to turn the franchise around, all eyes are going to be on that #1 pick to see how he grows through camp. Even if Tyrod Taylor is the starter for the entire season (and we all know to take anything Hue Jackson says with a grain of salt with regards to those quarterbacks), it’ll still be a compelling preseason story to follow.
Second, there’s only been one other time in history a team has ever tried to turn around an 0-16 season. How do the Browns players and coaches cope with trying to come back from that embarrassment? How does the franchise to instill a winning culture from scratch? How does the front office move on from Moneyball for Football? How do the new players fit in? How do you dig out of a 1-31 hole if you’re Hue Jackson?
Compelling doesn’t always have to equal great quality, at least when it comes to records on the field. And this offseason the Browns will have more than enough storylines to make Hard Knocks interesting. In truth, it may turn out to be one of the most interesting seasons for Hard Knocks in years.