Sean Salisbury joined the Bull & Fox Radio Show to talk about the prospects for the 2020 Cleveland Browns.
Prior to declaring the Browns playoff ready, he talked about all the positive moves the organization made in the offseason.
Thank goodness the Browns have the calm, confident and strong leaders within Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski as they navaigate the season through a pandemic. Imagine if we had the staff last year going into this 🥴🤯
— bri (@breezyCLE) August 12, 2020
Coaching matters, according to Salisbury, as he addressed the issues with Freddie Kitchens during the 2019 season.
While Kevin Stefanski is unproven as a head coach, Salisbury believes he is more disciplined.
Salisbury is correct that we haven’t seen Stefanski with all the pressure and limelight focused on him, but we did get a glimpse of his performance last season as the Vikings offensive coordinator.
The Vikings went 10-6 and advanced to the divisional playoffs where they fell to the eventual NFC Champions, the San Francisco 49ers.
Browns fans will take that performance over what they’ve experienced in previous years.
Will the Cleveland Browns offense in 2020 be as exciting to watch as the Kardiac Kids? pic.twitter.com/FGaqo8SNmA
— Spike Perry (@DawgPoundPerry) July 7, 2020
Salisbury believes that the Browns should be mentioned in the same breath as the KC, SF, and NO offenses.
He is right; the depth is definitely there.
They should be as exciting to watch as the Kardiac Kids.
Nick Chubb could win the rushing title.
Does any other team have 2 talented WRs like Jarvis Landry and OBJ?
The Browns snatched stud TE Austin Hooper from the Falcons.
First-round draft pick Jedrick Wills is there to protect Baker.
Then, there is the Baker factor.
Salisbury wholeheartedly believes that Baker is going to outperform his rookie season.
When he spoke with him at the Super Bowl, he came away with the feeling that Baker was humbled and matured after last season’s disappointment.
Judging by Baker’s offseason physical transformation and demeanor at camp thus far, Salisbury’s assessment seems correct.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 13, 2020
Gone is the beer-guzzling Baker from last summer, and the pandemic Baker working out in his garage, participating in Zoom sessions with other offensive positions, and organizing a workout in Austin.
Salisbury acknowledged that the Browns need to stay healthy and “be lucky” with all that is involved while playing during a pandemic.
But he said the excuses are over.
The front office, coaching staff, and position players that needed to be replaced have been.
If the Browns are not a playoff team, Salisbury admits he will be extremely disappointed.
The Cleveland Browns https://t.co/9uXqi693HO are a professional NFL team based in Cleveland. You can watch Cleveland Browns game live streaming online. Get the latest Cleveland Browns schedule, TV channel, news update here. pic.twitter.com/8K7iafJaRa
— NFL Games (@NFLGames3) July 19, 2020
Salisbury did not address the team’s 2020 schedule, but it should be factored into the discussion.
It is projected as the 29th toughest schedule in the NFL this season.
The Browns opponents did not collectively have a .500 record in 2019.
In fact, they finished with 118 wins and 138 losses.
Within the AFC North division, the Ravens are the toughest opponent.
The Browns face them in Week 1 and Week 13.
5. Consequences of Another Losing Season
Freddie Kitchens bore the majority of the blame for the failed 2019 season.
The 2019 Browns possessed a lot of talent also, but he did not manage it well.
What happens if the Browns have a losing season in 2020?
Who will shoulder the blame?
Honestly, it will fall on Baker Mayfield.
If that offense can’t get in the end zone, it’s going to be on him.
The coaching staff will have a longer trial period to prove themselves, but Baker has been there the longest.
If he performs badly, could they bench him in favor of Case Keenum?
I wonder if Stefanski has a plan for that scenario given that he has openly discussed having plans for every possible COVID-19 scenario he can think of.
Time may (or may not) tell.