Published On: Thu, May 17th, 2018

5 reasons to watch the Browns' season of 'Hard Knocks'

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The Cleveland Browns were the obvious choice to be featured on “Hard Knocks.”

Since the start of the new league year, the Browns have commanded the most attention by virtue of holding the first pick in the recent draft.

There’s much to be gleaned from the Browns’ upcoming training camp. Here are the five things we’re most looking forward to seeing.

Baker Mayfield


Without question, all eyes will be on Baker Mayfield.

Is he Johnny Manziel 2.0 or is he the franchise savior Browns fans have been waiting for?

Mayfield proved to be as electrifying on the field as he was entertaining with his flag-planting, crotch-grabbing antics last season. Teams had concerns about his height (6-feet), but the Browns have no qualms about his Heisman Trophy-winning arm and leadership capabilities.

Head coach Hue Jackson was baffled by Mayfield’s ability to rally his troops, as he displayed during his pre-draft workout.

“Damndest thing I’ve seen. Like Baker was the Pied Piper,” Jackson told Peter King of The MMQB.

We’ll see if his teammates will follow behind him at the pro level.

QB competition


Despite being the No. 1 draft pick and anointed the future of the franchise, Mayfield isn’t immediately promised the starting job. It’s first been handed to Tyrod Taylor, who was acquired via trade a month before Mayfield heard his name called.

The rookie quarterback is eager to compete with Taylor for the role and has promised the head-to-head battle won’t separate the locker room.

Taylor isn’t likely to cede the starter’s role to the rookie, as he’s looking to rebuild his value after the Bills tried to bury him while he led them back to the playoffs last season.

Taylor’s not long for Cleveland, but if he can carve out a few wins with a victory-deprived team before Mayfield takes over, he could land a starting role elsewhere.

Dorsey-Jackson power dynamic


Dorsey has been publicly supportive of Jackson and elected to keep him as head coach despite the team’s 0-16 showing last season. But rest assured, Jackson has little room for error going forward.

Dorsey was hired in December to turn around a woebegone franchise. And while he wields all the control, Jackson’s has been diminished, as he’s ceded the offensive coordinator role to Todd Haley.

How Dorsey and Jackson interact and co-exist will be something to watch as they work together to shake off the embarrassment of last year’s winless season.

Hue jumps in a lake

Speaking of that 0-16 season, Jackson promised he’d jump in the lake if the Browns went winless in 2017. They did, and he will.

His dip will take place before training camp, but let’s hope the HBO cameras will be on site to provide some behind-the-scenes coverage.

I mean, when’s the last time a head coach – a traditionally drab figure – jumped in a lake?

Mayfield vs. Allen in Week 2 of preseason


NFL fans won’t have to wait long to see how Mayfield measures up against one of his fellow rookie quarterbacks.

The Browns will face the Bills in the second game of the preseason. Both Mayfield and Josh Allen will likely enter the preseason as the second quarterback on their respective depth charts and therefore should see significant action by Week 2 of exhibition games.

Did the Browns take the right guy? Should they have opted for Allen’s big arm and upside?

The Bills traded up to the No. 7 pick to get Allen and could come out looking like geniuses if the youngster outshines the Heisman winner.

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)



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