Organized team activities are a time for teams to get to know their new players, to install the basic concepts they'll be using throughout the year, to get in some good conditioning work, and to set the tone for what is going to be expected throughout the offseason. They're also a time for teams to break out motivational tactics in order to get players to work as hard as possible to secure their place on the roster or in the starting lineup.
The Cleveland Browns, even coming off an 0-16 season, are no exception. According to the Browns' official website, one of the motivational tactics the Browns are using this offseason is making Browns players "earn" the stripes on their helmets. Everybody on the team is practicing in blank helmets without stripes, which are to be awarded only when a player has demonstrated he is playing the way the Browns want to play, according to coach Hue Jackson.
"The guys that put them on their helmets that get a chance to wear them, it's going to be because they demonstrate the characteristics that we're looking for in Cleveland Browns players," Jackson said. "That's the way we're going to play and conduct ourselves and go out and win football games."
It's unknown at this point what, exactly, the characteristics Jackson and his staff are looking for might be, but one would presume they are not the same characteristics the staff was looking for last year, when the team went 0-16.
There is a bit more optimism around the Browns this year after the acquisitions of Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry, Damarious Randall, and Carlos Hyde, plus the drafting of Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward, Nick Chubb, and more. Our own Will Brinson thinks it's possible the Browns could even in 2018. One would assume that if that were the case, that would mean pretty much everybody on the Browns would have demonstrated that they were worthy of the stripes on their helmet.