Some Browns players think head coach Gregg Williams is giving them the discipline to win games. Maybe teams really do crave discipline after all.
The Cleveland Browns came into the season thinking this would be turn-around year for the franchise. Drafting Baker Mayfield first overall in the 2018 NFL Draft and signing Jarvis Landry in the offseason would point the Browns in the direction of a resurrection. But eight games in, a 2-5-1 record prompted the firing of head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley. The two couldn’t see eye-to-eye and it helped worsen the team’s slow start.
With defensive coordinator Gregg Williams stepping in as the interim head coach, though, things have been looking up for the Browns. A 2-1 record for Williams doesn’t exactly preach change, but the play of Mayfield and the team as a whole reeks of confidence. The last two weeks, both wins, the Browns scored 28 and 35 points, while the defense allowed 36 points combined. It appears that defensive-minded Williams is letting Mayfield fly the plane, while he worries about the defense.
Browns players have taken note of Williams’ style of coaching, particularly offensive lineman JC Tretter. Tretter believes Williams’ approach to leading this Browns team has led to an improvement of team discipline. This approach, however, has also put the Browns in the hunt for a playoff spot.
“It’s something that we desperately needed,” Tretter said. “I think he’s really reined everybody in and got everybody focused on one single goal. I think his leadership has been very strong. He fires up the team. He’s got that personality.
“The rules and what’s expected of each person on the team when it comes to penalties and missed assignments and all these little things, they’re spelled out for you. There’s no confusion about what’s going on.”
This also goes to show that the Browns team we assumed would be a playoff contender were there all along. Jackson got in his own way, which led to getting in the Browns’ way, too. The Browns job may now be Williams’ for the taking.