What is your “Why?” That is the question Cleveland Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey asked his teammates during training camp. It became a highlight of this season’s edition of the HBO series Hard Knocks.
And part of his “Why?” has always been combining football with community service, giving back to those who helped him and being a role model for our youth.
Originally drafted by the Browns in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Kirksey has become a leader in the locker room and a real presence in the community. His Kirkoland Foundation was established to help children, both in Cleveland where he plays and in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was born and raised.
Its been tumultuous week here in Cleveland. On Monday, head coach Hue Jackson was fired. While fans speculated on the timing and on when offensive coordinator Todd Haley would be named as interim coach, the announcement came that Haley was fired also.
This leaves defensive coordinator Gregg Williams as the “last man standing” in this year’s edition of “Cleveland Browns Coaching Survivor.” Not sure if you can call being put in charge of this team a personal victory, but Williams had his hands full facing the insanely productive Kansas City Chiefs offense and their incredibly talented quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
It was an emotional day, to say the least for the Pittsburgh fans. Still coming to grips with the shooting at the Pittsburgh Synagogue, Steelers fans filled up the stadium for a game against division foe Cleveland Browns.
Coming off of the bye, and a come from behind win against the Bengals, the Steelers were looking to pick up where they left off. That was the thought anyway. The Steeler defense was a little bit sleepy in the first few possessions. The Browns were able to pretty much do what they wanted on the opening drive, but it stalled and had to kick a field goal.
A couple of series later, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception. Thankfully it wasn’t a pick six, but yeah, it was a slow start. Finally, Roethlisberger was able to connect with wide receiver Antonio Brown and get the scoring party started. Sort of.
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit was one of my favorite movies. What does that have to do with football? Well, stay here with me just a moment…
There is a scene when Rita (Lauryn Hill) is talking to her mother (Sheryl Lee Ralph) and mom says “But there are a lot of talented people right down there on the streets singin’ their ‘shoulda-coulda-woulda’s.'”
Of all the lines in that movie, it’s one that really stuck with me. And after the blistering loss the Cleveland Browns took this week from the Los Angeles Chargers, it seems like the perfect theme to recap the game.
The wait is finally over! Browns fans get to enjoy their first Victory Monday in a very long time…. two years in fact.
While it took their third overtime game to get a Sunday win, the Browns did it in their usual thrilling, heart-attack inducing, pretty darn lucky and maybe a little ugly fashion. Add to that the fact that it was a division game and, well, fans are going crazy right now!
Never let it be said that I bury the lead! So many things to talk about regarding the Cleveland Browns vs the New York Jets Thursday night game but I figured I’d start with the most important fact of all – BROWNS WIN!
635 days since their last victory. 1,413 days since their last win on a Thursday night. 30 quarterbacks since their return in 1999. Three games into the season and they’ve scored 21 points in all of them. These are just a few of the fun and crazy and sometimes heartbreaking numbers that belong to the Browns.
Hopefully, one of those numbers – 30 QBs – will be held for the next 10+ years. Due to an injury to Tyrod Taylor, fans finally got to see the number one pick from the draft, Baker Mayfield, and they were not disappointed.
For the second week in a row, the Cleveland Browns put up a great fight but came away empty, largely due to problems with the kicking game. After settling for a tie in week one vs the Pittsburgh Steelers, they tried to get that first win in two years down in New Orleans.
Placekicker Zane Gonzalez really struggled, missing two extra points and a field goal to the left, then missed a chance to tie things up with a field goal attempt that went way right.
The offense, while not spectacular, did enough to win but you can’t leave eight points off the board when you are facing a great opponent. Even the defense recovering fumbles by wide receivers Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr. wasn’t enough to keep the Browns ahead on the scoreboard. They’ve won the turnover battle the last two weeks, but the offense has only come away with 10 points as a result.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor played an adequate game, and while fans were clamoring to give rookie Baker Mayfield a shot, Taylor managed an amazing deep pass to rookie wide receiver Antonio Callaway for a 47-yard touchdown that could give them the lead, if they had managed to get the extra point. All for naught…
While everyone knows that the Cleveland Browns finished a dismal 0-16 last year, few fans remember that they went an undefeated 4-0 in the preseason.
Does the preseason matter? Not really. But there are still important lessons to be learned, schemes to master and starting position battles being fought.
Preseason Week 1, the Browns traveled to New Jersey to face the New York Giants and their rookie running back Saquon Barkley. The game began with a couple solid series’ and seven points from veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
After trading with Buffalo to acquire Taylor in the offseason, Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson told everyone he would be the Starting QB for this year. And then Baker Mayfield was drafted #1 in April and the speculation began.
Did the three-quarters Mayfield played meet fans expectations? Is there a QB Controversy AGAIN in Cleveland? You make the call.
Last night the new season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cleveland Browns” premiered. While there are a number of funny and interesting things to take away from the first episode, what made the biggest impact on me was a seemingly simple question: What is your “Why?”
Linebacker Christian Kirksey, drafted in 2014, has stepped up as a leader during training camp and is finding ways to motivate his teammates. In a scene that stayed with me, he asked everyone in the room: “What is your why?”
He challenged them to write down the reason they practice, workout, play on a piece of paper and put it somewhere they will see every day to keep them motivated and remind them why they are doing what they do.
Which made me wonder: Why do Browns Fans stay by this team?