The Cleveland Browns enter Week 1 against the division-rival Pittsburgh Steelers looking to win their first regular season game on a Sunday since all the way back in December of 2015.
For the Browns, this game offers them an opportunity to prove that a summer of optimism isn’t going to give in to a regular season of realism. The reality that this squad is coming off just the second winless 16-game regular season in NFL history.
Historically, Cleveland has been overmatched against a much more stable Steelers squad. That might not be the case come Sunday.
Why? Well, we’re glad you asked. Pittsburgh is dealing with a tremendous amount of turmoil as running back Le’Veon Bell’s holdout has continued into the start of the regular season.
By now it’s well known. Bell wants a lucrative long-term extension. On the other hand, Pittsburgh handed him the dreaded franchise tag for a second consecutive year.
As the Steelers prepare for their regular season opener, members of the team’s offensive line took to the media this week to absolutely blast Bell. It certainly wasn’t a good look for either side.
As it relates to Browns head coach Hue Jackson, he seemed downright giddy talking about the turmoil on Thursday.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) September 6, 2018
This is the perfect response from Mr. Jackson. Why wouldn’t he be rooting for more turmoil ahead of Sunday’s matchup? It will only act as a benefit for the Browns as they look to start out the regular year on a good note.
Jackson himself isn’t a stranger to adversity and turmoil. He enters this season with a 1-31 record as Cleveland’s head coach. A slow start to the year will almost certainly lead to the coach being fired.
His stance is clear. Take every opportunity presented to you and go with it. Whether this means Cleveland will take advantage of Pittsburgh’s drama remains to be seen.