Detroit Lions Preseason: Straight Talk Needed, Not A Sales Pitch

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Browns QB Robert Griffin III (No. 10)Browns QB Robert Griffin III (No. 10)Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

High Ranking: 29 (2 Rankers)

Low Ranking: 31 (2 Rankers)

Ranking Points: 12


Nowhere in the National Football League does the phrase "hope springs eternal" carry more weight than in Cleveland, where the Browns have been hoping to field a competitive football team since 1999 or so.

Those hopes usually last until the first week of September.

Despite a three-win season in 2015, that hope is back is Northern Ohio this summer. Much of it lies on the right arm of Robert Griffin III, who the team signed in free agency in the hopes (there's that word again) he could recapture the form that won him NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2012.

Even though 2015 starter Josh McCown showed more skill throwing from the pocket and reading defenses early in OTAs, per's Pat McManamon, it's Griffin whom head coach Hue Jackson named the team's starter, per Conor Orr of

Griffin told McManamon he's not letting the pressure of expectations get to him:

I just think you gotta have fun. This is a kid's game that you get to play for a king's ransom. At the end of the day, you know what you're doing. You've done your studying. You'll continue to do your studying.

You've worked hard. You've run, you've lifted and all those things. Now you got to come out and have fun. I think that's the beauty of the game. The more fun you have, the easier it is for you to play freely and go out and make plays.

It doesn't hurt Griffin's chances for success that the Browns got some good news for once when the league announced wide receiver Josh Gordon would be eligible to play after serving a four-game suspension to enter the season.

Gordon told McManamon he's eager to get his career back on track and show that he's learned from his mistakes:

I definitely think I'm a different person. If you haven't changed over a period of time, that's a bad thing. I think me standing here is a testament to that. Most people might not see it that way. That just comes with the territory of me being who I am, considering my past.

It would be the feel-good story of the year to see Griffin make it back from the brink. A movie of the week if Gordon is able to rise from the ashes alongside him. Given Jackson's offensive acumen, they seem to be the sort of pieces he could make some hay with.

The problems are legion, though. Gordon hasn't played professionally in more than a year and is expected to miss at least two weeks of training camp after suffering a quad injury, per Andrew Gribble of the team's official website. Griffin hasn't been Griffin since tearing his ACL at the end of that magical rookie season.

Additionally, the offensive line lost two starters to free agency in right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and center Alex Mack. The defense from front to back is one unproven youngster tasked with a big role after another, with Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden coming off the PUP list.

It's those young defensive starters, such as safeties Jordan Poyer and Ibraheim Campbell, who are the faces to watch as the preseason gets underway. Griffin likely won't play much in the opener, and with Jackson running the offense, the Browns should be much improved in that regard this season.

But if the Browns can't improve on last year's 27th-ranked defense, it won't matter.

This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph

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