The Cleveland Browns 2016 season was set in motion when Hue Jackson was hired and owner Jimmy Haslam said at the press conference that they knew it would take time to win.
It continued when the team didn't sign any of their top free agents, brought in only a couple outside free agents and traded down in the NFL Draft.
The direction was clear, the team was unlikely to win a lot of games in 2016 but their build toward the future was going to be a ground up one.
There were some specific questions that I believed the team would try to answer this season and so far they are right on track. Let us look at those questions and what we have learned so far in 2016:
Is Robert Griffin III The QB of the Future?
In Training Camp, this answer seemed to be yes. Griff looked very good throwing the ball, was making better decisions both running and passing and his knee seemed fully healed. RG3 was Jackson's pet project and had an offense developed around his unique skill sets. With a revamped set of offensive weapons, Griff seemed poised to be the Comeback Player of the Year.
Then Week 1 happened and he is hurt again, likely for the rest of the season.
He also didn't look great, but much better than his last time playing in Washington, against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Doesn't matter now, the question is answered: Robert Griffin III is not the Browns QB of the Future.
The RG3 question has been answered, the future at the QB spot clearly does not involve him.
Good for the team to already know.
Can the Young Guys Play?
So far, Corey Coleman and Carl Nassib have stood out among the rookie class. Coleman had a big game in Week 2 before hurting his hand in practice last week. Nassib has been all over the place, getting pressure and knocking down passes, before hurting his hand in Week 2.
WR Terrelle Pryor, while not a rookie, is also a young player who has exploded on the field after Week 3. He can play at a high level as a WR while also being a diverse weapon in other positions.
On offense, running backs Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson have looked very good in their roles in Hue's offense. Due to Coleman's injury and Josh Gordon's continued suspension, Ricardo Louis got playing time in Week 3 and looked like he could contribute for years as well.
All and all, the young guys have showed that they can play which should also raise fans confidence in the Front Office and coaching staff.
This is one that is tough to put into words but is clearly there. The Browns culture is changing. While they lost in Week 3, we saw them respond with heart and grit when down double digits. There was no give up. There was no "same old, same old."
Pryor seems to have stepped into a fiery leadership role. He is passionate on the sidelines, always engaged, never gives up and is very verbal. The rookies, having not experienced the losing, are going hard and expecting to win each play.
The players, to a man, have bought into Hue Jackson. He is the kind of leader they want to fight for and it showed in Week 3, especially.
A team showing fight is rare in Cleveland. We saw it last week and it looks like the culture in Cleveland is changing.
Young guys are developing, the culture is changing and the QB position has a clear direction, not Griffin.
While the team is still 0-3, they are right on track. Those high draft picks will be added to a talented foundation and a changed culture.
Can they find the QB is sitll the remaining question.
Do you feel like the Browns are on track even though they are 0-3?null