Since free agency, there has been plenty of positive buzz surrounding the Cleveland Browns.
The NFL Draft made the buzz get even louder because the Browns did extremely well with their draft selections.
— Ryan Rua (@Rua_Numba_2) May 1, 2021
Adding this new talent to an accomplished 2020 roster who made it to the AFC divisional playoffs means there are great expectations for the Cleveland Browns in 2021.
Congratulations for a helluva game! Even though you didn't win, you are NOT the same old Browns! I'll see you in the playoffs in 2022! 💞👍
— NL Harvey (@crkegglane) January 17, 2021
Some are saying “Super Bowl or Bust” in 2021.
Are the Browns a bust if they do not make the Super Bowl following the 2021 season?
The answer is no, and here is why.
1. Youthful Players and Coaches
The Browns are a young team with most of the players being mid-20s or younger.
It can take young players time and experience playing together to make a Super Bowl run.
Of course, there are those rare cases where youthful teams hit the ground running and win the Super Bowl; however, that usually happens under the auspices of a veteran coaching staff.
I know what you are thinking.
The Browns have the reigning NFL Coach of the Year in Kevin Stefanski, 39, on the team’s sidelines.
That is certainly true, but veteran coaches have lately dominated Super Bowls.
Think about it, last year’s Super Bowl had Bruce Arians pitted against Andy Reid.
And we are not far removed from the Patriot’s years of winning under the GOAT Bill Belichick.
All three are in their 60s and have been around football at least half of their lifetimes.
These coaches have assistant coaches that follow them from team to team and work for them for years.
The Browns are only in the second season with the same coaching staff, definitely on the right track, but still new compared to other NFL playoff coaching staffs.
We know that injuries make or break a team.
“Next man up” works for only so long, but teams decimated by injuries usually struggle to get to the postseason.
Injuries are a big unknown for every NFL franchise especially in 2021 with the regular season getting one week longer.
Each team will play 17 games instead of 16.
No one really knows the ramifications of that change yet.
The Browns seem to have a deeper roster in 2021 so hopefully that helps if injuries happen.
This does not mean that the Browns won’t make the Super Bowl.
The team is certainly loaded with talented players and coaches who could certainly perform to the level of getting there.
However, it may take more than two seasons (2020 and 2021) to build the team that will get to the Super Bowl.
the end of the 2017 season Browns fans could never dream that 3-4 years later
-Stability in the FO
-DOP of the year candidate year after year
-Young free agents with options picking Cleveland
-Super bowl expectations
Can't wait to see what 2021 brings
— Cleveland fan in pittsburgh (@216fanin412) April 27, 2021
The Browns can have a successful season without making it to the Super Bowl.
It has to include:
- Winning big games against divisional rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh
- Not losing games against less talented teams (which happened with the Jets and Raiders in 2020)
The Browns should aspire to win the AFC North division and get in the playoffs.
Hosting home playoff games would be great, but the Browns need to be prepared to contend on the road like Tampa Bay did in 2020.
The key is to continue improving so the Super Bowl appearance is inevitable, but it is not fair to call the Browns a bust if it does not happen during the 2021 season.