The Cleveland Browns are on the brink of becoming an elite team.
After a surprising 11-5 regular season run in 2020 and a playoff win under a rookie coach in the midst of a pandemic, the team is definitely ascending.
Dan Graziano on NFL Live:
"We now live in a world where preseason expectations are higher for the Cleveland Browns than the Pittsburgh Steelers. Who would've imagined?" pic.twitter.com/ymsAVk3p7M
— Nick Karns (@karnsies817) June 29, 2021
They are not there yet, and here are three things they need to do to enter elite level status in 2021.
1. Stay Focused
In the offseason, it is okay that Browns team members are talking about their postseason aspirations for 2021.
Mentioning the Super Bowl is also fine right now.
However, as soon as the team gets into training camp on July 27, that talk needs to stop.
At that point, the daily rigors need to be the focus.
Practicing, studying, and do everything possible to stay healthy need to be the highest priorities of the players.
After all, they can only control certain things in pursuit of those lofty goals, and one of them is preparation.
Fortunately, Coach Stefanski preaches focus, preparation, and doing the work so this will help these young players focus on the task at hand.
— WKYC 3News (@wkyc) June 29, 2021
2. Handle Adversity
In a 17 game regular season, adversity is a given.
It can manifest in several ways, most notably with injuries.
There will also be bad calls and questionable plays; not everything will go their way.
However, they have to be ready to handle this.
Though not exactly known as adversity, the Browns will garner more nationwide attention after last year’s successes.
That also has to be managed methodically.
3. Win A Lot
The previous two items should help the team win.
Of course, winning is probably the most important part, and that involves dominant play in all three facets of the game.
That means winning the games the team is supposed to win where they are the heavy favorites and being the spoiler and winning the games they are not expected to win.
First up for the Chiefs in 2021? Cleveland Browns. Good luck, NFL!😬🏈#NFL#NFL2021#NFLSchedule#Chiefs#Mahomes#KansasCity#Kelce#TyHill#KC#AndyReid#ClevelandBrowns#Baker#NickChubb#Stefanski#Cleveland#Browns#Ohio#AFC#PatrickMahomes#MVP#QB1#TexasTech pic.twitter.com/6gSqgzdFXU
— WingWarp (@WingWarpApp) May 12, 2021
Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs is a great opportunity for the Browns who are the oddsmakers’ underdogs to pull off an upset and put themselves at 1-0.
It also means not having letdowns after the big wins.
For example, if the Browns go 1-0, that means they need to travel to Houston and handle the Texans with ease as they would likely be considered the favorites in that game.
There were too many close games that involved heroics to win in 2020 that will hopefully be easier wins if they take care of business in 2021.
Also, there were games that should have been won and for various reasons were not.
Those were the Jets and Raiders games of 2020.
All of these three things need to be priorities; however, there are also two elements that can make or break a successful season.
They are luck and peaking at the right time.
Luck is a large factor in winning a Super Bowl every year
— DaWindyCity Productions (@dwcprodz) April 23, 2021
These tend to be somewhat out of the team’s control.
It is so easy to write about how to become elite yet so hard to actually execute and do it.
Let’s hope the Browns can put it all together to have an elite 2021.