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An Early Guess At Who the Browns 2018 MVP Will Be

The Browns have a season starting in less than 100 days, and with a long training camp and season upcoming, there’s plenty of chatter as to what player might shines better than the rest as the teams Most Valuable Player.

An article out on NFL.com talks about just what player they think will be the MVP for not only the Browns, but for each team around the National Football League for 2018.

The Browns MVP – author Dan Hanzus is going with DE Myles Garrett, a very good player that he sees having a big year in Cleveland this upcoming season.

Here’s what Hanzus has to say about Garrett this season:

Garrett showed plenty of flashes in his debut season, registering seven sacks in just 11 games. It makes you wonder what the former No. 1 overall pick can do with a full season of health and the comfort that comes with escaping your rookie year. Browns head coach Hue Jackson has publicly stated the need for Garrett to blossom into an elite performer, something that typically hasn’t happened for Cleveland first-round picks in the past 20 years. Still, Garrett projects as the most talented member of a potentially strong — like, for real! — Cleveland Browns defense.

What do you think of this pick? Do you agree? Leave a comment if you disagree with what player you think will be the Browns 2018 MVP.

Hue Jackson and Baker Mayfield Not Agreeing on Where the Rookie QB is At Early On

Head coach Hue Jackson and rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield had differing assessments of the first overall draft pick’s progress as Browns offseason practices hit Week 3, Pat McManamon of ESPN reports.

“I think he’s right on schedule,” Jackson said Tuesday.

“The pace has been a little bit slower than I’ve really wanted,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield said that despite working with the second team during Tuesday’s practice, which was open to the media. Both Mayfield and Jackson downplayed that, saying it was just a chance for Mayfield to work with some different teammates.

The varied evaluations come from point of view. Jackson said Mayfield is learning the NFL game while Tyrod Taylor, the starter, gets all the first-team reps.

“The game’s not too big for [Mayfield],” Jackson said. “He demonstrates the ability to throw the ball and make decisions with the ball in his hands and [in] learning our system. I think he’s on schedule.

“But is he a finished product? No. He’s not supposed to be, either.”

In that regard, Jackson emphasized that he likes what he sees of Taylor and that the team feels good knowing he is the starter. But the coach did say that Mayfield has improved noticeably taking snaps under center, something he did not have to do a lot in college.

Mayfield’s self-assessment came from a competitor, someone who wants to play as soon as he can.

“There’s always a learning curve,” he said. “There’s always bumps in the road. It’s not going to be perfect, that’s for sure. When you learn a new offense and you’re going up against the best competition possible, yeah, there’s going to be a learning curve.”

He emphasized incremental improvement, saying “you’re not going to complete the whole puzzle at once.”

In Tuesday’s work, Mayfield’s best throw was a quick one down the seam to tight end Darren Fells in a two-minute situation. He also dropped a nice pass into David Njoku’s hands at the goal line, only to see Njoku not hold on.

Jackson said the decision to give Mayfield second-team reps this week was to give him a different look with different players.

“I want to keep tinkering with it a little bit and I made the decision this week with the staff to make him second and get some reps there,” Jackson said. “Nobody should read anything into it.”

“I have to be ready for whenever that opportunity comes, if that’s this year, next year or in five years,” Mayfield said. “I have to be ready as soon as that comes, and right now, getting better every day. That’s all I can do.”

New Browns QB Baker Mayfield Excited About Team Being on ‘Hard Knocks’

Baker Mayfield has already been the star of a nine-part pre-draft series called Behind Baker, and now he’s eager for HBO’s Hard Knocks to pull back the curtain again on what’s in Front of Baker during training camp, Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer reports.

“For me looking at it, and us as a team, I’d say it can be good if you handle it right,” he told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan of Sirius XM NFL radio from the NFLPA Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles. “If you think about it as a way to get on camera and try to show off and do certain things and handle it the wrong way then that can be very negative, it can be a distraction. But if you use it as a sense of, ‘OK, I got to block out everything else and just focus on playing ball,’ then that can be a great thing for us.”

Mayfield believes that Hard Knocks can help prepare the Browns for the some of the adversity they’ll face during the season.

“Having people within our practices, within our training camp, right there trying to, not like they’re trying to distract us, but they’re there,” he said. “You could worry about it, you could think about it, but if you’re able to focus in, that can be a beneficial thing for us, talking about going into away stadiums and going into environments where you have to focus on doing your job, so I’m looking forward it.”

“I know my family is probably looking forward to it as well to be able to get to see practice and what’s going on since they won’t be able to see it there firsthand in person.”

Browns to Appear on HBO’s Hard Knocks in 2018

The Browns will appear on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” for the 2018 season, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.

It will be the first time the Browns, who finished 0-16 last year under coach Hue Jackson, will appear on the series, which is airing for the 13th time.

Cleveland hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2002 and has failed to eclipse five wins in 10 of the past 12 seasons.

The Browns boast the No. 1 overall pick in QB Baker Mayfield, who will be in training camp alongside newcomer Tyrod Taylor as the team looks to fix its longstanding quarterback quandary.

Can the Browns Go From Worst to First in 2018? Pro Football Weekly Discusses Their Chances

There’s been plenty of buzz around the Browns since the NFL Draft nearly two weeks ago, as many think that the turnaround for the team will (hopefully) be swift, and not the long drawn out process that it’s taken for the team to start winning.

Today Pro Football Weekly’s Eric Edholm put out an article ranking all eight last place teams from the 2017 season, and if there’s a chance they can make it all the way to first place in 2018.

While the Browns rank 7th of 8th to find a way to best the Steelers for the Divisional Title, there’s hope on the horizon, and Edholm writes that in his take on the Brown and Orange.

There’s genuine and perhaps even legitimate excitement following a major overhaul this offseason. An offense that was dead last in points scored and absolutely miserable in the red zone has added upgrades at QB (Tyrod Taylor, Baker Mayfield and Drew Stanton), running back (Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb), receiver (Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway, if he can stay out of trouble), hired Todd Haley to call plays and at least given themselves options to replace Joe Thomas at left tackle.

Can they create turnovers on defense? Make vast improvements on special teams? Big questions for sure. And naturally, there’s some real doubt about how 1-31 Hue Jackson will coach knowing that he needs to really knock it out of the park in Year 3 to keep his gig.

Another big obstacle is the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team they’ve beaten once since 2012, who should be the division favorites again. The Browns would have to go from zero victories to, you have to figure, at least 10 to win the AFC North. Remember, the Ravens are still a competitive club, and they’ve also had Cleveland’s number in recent years (2-18 since 2007).

Browns First-Round Pick CB Denzel Ward Down with a Hip Flexor

Browns cornerback Denzel Ward went down during rookie minicamp Friday and sat out Saturday’s session with a hip flexor injury according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The No.4-overall pick in last weekend’s draft out of Ohio State, Ward is being counted on as a starter from Day One at one of the outside corner sports with E.J. Gaines and Jamar Taylor competing for the spot opposite him in standard defensive sets. The injury is considered minor and should not impact Ward’s availability for OTAs or training camp.

LB Dominique Alexander and RB Darius Jackson Released by the Browns

The Browns released two players on Thursday, linebacker Dominique Alexander and running back Darius Jackson. Alexander failed his physical, Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer reports.

Alexander was an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma in 2016 who found a role on special teams. A knee injury ended his 2017 season. The Browns drafted Genard Avery last Saturday, a linebacker out of Memphis who they believe will be a very good special teams player.

Jackson was claimed near the end of the 2016 season. He was originally a sixth-round pick of the Cowboys in 2016.

Browns Exercise Fifth-Year Option on CB Damarious Randall

The Browns have exercised the fifth-year option for 2019 on cornerback Damarious Randall according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Randall, the 30th-overall pick in the 2015 draft out of Arizona State by the Green Bay Packers, was traded to the Browns on March 9 in exchange for quarterback DeShone Kizer. Randall flashed starter skills in Green Bay and racked up 10 interceptions in three seasons but also clashed with the coaching staff, which seems to be the primary reason he was dealt.

He is reportedly transitioning back to free safety, which is the position he played in college. The Browns exercising the fifth-year option means they are covering their bases in case Randall becomes a core player they want to keep longterm. The option is guaranteed for injury only.