Christmas is just days away. Everybody is making their lists and checking them twice, including the Cleveland Browns.
2018 marks the first time in a while the Browns will be on Santa’s nice list. So what are players and coaches hoping to wake up to on Christmas morning? Here’s what players and coaches are wishing will be under the Christmas tree this holiday season.
Interim Head Coach Gregg Williams – A Coaching Job with the Browns in 2019
Gregg Williams certainly has earned the right to stay on the Browns coaching staff in 2019. Despite going 4-2 since becoming the interim head coach, its more likely Williams only chance to stay in Cleveland is as the defensive coordinator. That’s no guarantee though. Williams will be interviewed for the job during the off season. Where it leads to is up in the air.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield – Offensive Rookie of the year Award
It’s a two man race for offensive rookie of the year. Number one overall pick Baker Mayfield should win the award, but it’s likely going to go to number two overall pick Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants. Don’t let Mayfield’s five rookie of the week honors fool you. That’s a fan vote, not a vote by NFL media members.
Defensive End Myles Garrett – Franchise Single Season Sack Record
Myles Garrett could wake up Christmas morning with his present already opened. The franchise record for sacks in a season is 14. Garrett enters week 16 against the Cincinnati Bengals with 12 and a half sacks.
General Manager John Dorsey – The Perfect List of Head Coaching Candidates
John Dorsey has done a wonderful job rebuilding the roster in 2018. One thing he has never done as a general manager is hire his own head coach. With the possibility of a quarter of the teams in the NFL in search for new head coaches in 2019, having a head start will benefit the franchise this off season.
Running Back Nick Chubb – A 1,000 yard rushing season as a rookie
Just like Garrett, Nick Chubb could also wake up on Christmas morning with his present already opened. Chubb needs just 140 yards in the last two games to surpass 1,000 yards rushing in his rookie season. That’s quite a feat considering he didn’t see steady work until Carlos Hyde was traded on October 19.
“Something I take pride in every year,”Chubb said. “Dating back since high school, I always get at least 1,000 yards. I think I have done that almost every year, except for the one year I got hurt in college I was not able to get it. It is definitely a goal I set for every year.”
Offensive Coordinator Freddie Kitchens – The Head Coach or Offensive Coordinator job in 2019
Freddie Kitchens deserves to be back as the offensive coordinator in 2019. What a difference he has made since taking over for the fired Todd Haley. There is talk that Kitchens will be retained no matter who becomes the head coach in 2019. Fox Sports Jay Glazer reported the news this week.
“Jay knows more than I know, I guess (laughter)” Kitchens said. “I am serious when I tell you I do not advertise for jobs. I am not worried about head coach, coordinator – I do not care. I’m just trying to do the job that I am doing right now today and then do a good job tomorrow and then the next day, and then see where I am at the end of the year.”
Cornerback Denzel Ward – Defensive rookie of the Year award
Santa may not be able to deliver on Denzel Ward‘s Christmas wish. It’s likely that Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James or Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard takes home the honor. Ward is back from concussion protocol and justified Dorsey’s decision to draft him by making the Pro Bowl as a rookie.
“It is a blessing,” Ward said. “It just shows all of the hard work that all of us put in. This is not just me. I could not have done it without my teammates. They are really supportive. I appreciate them and the coaches. It is just really exciting. Just glad that I can be a representative here for the Cleveland Browns.”
Defensive Back Damarious Randall – The football he intercepted in Cincinnati and then gave to Hue Jackson
Damarious Randall blew up social media when the Browns and Bengals first met back on November 25 in Cincinnati. His interception turned into the talk on social media when he handed the football to former head coach Hue Jackson on the Bengals sideline. Jackson tossed the football aside.
Offensive Line Coach Bob Wylie – The Hard Knocks cameras documenting his broken ankle recovery and a stretching tips video
Bob Wylie became a fan favorite during Hard Knocks. If only the cameras could have stayed throughout the regular season. This week has been good and bad for the Browns coach who could be Santa Claus for Christmas. In fact that’s what happened when he sported a Santa suit in a video with his offensive lineman dressed up as reindeer pushing him on the blocking sled.
On the flip side, Wylie is now on injured reserve due to a broken ankle. Wylie suffered the injury during practice on Thursday and had surgery that evening.
Wylie even was listed in the final injury report on Friday. The offensive linemen and the entire team will be playing for Wylie on Sunday.
“He is the best. I was saying it the other day, he is seriously one of the best humans that I know,” Joel Bitonio said. “He cares about us as people. He does a good job coaching us, as well. It was tough to see him go down for sure.”
“It is very unfortunate. You never want to see that happen,” Kevin Zeitler said. “Especially as players and coaches, you are with each other all of the time. It is unfortunate. We wish he heals up quickly. He has already joked with us. He wants to be on the sideline for the game already. Hopefully, that happens.”
Punter Britton Colquitt – A Pro Bowl berth and another commercial opportunity
Britton Colquitt has been punting at a Pro Bowl level in 2018. It’s a shame he is just the second alternate for the Pro Bowl in Orlando next month. If the first of his Christmas wishes does not come true, he”ll have more time for the second. Colquitt appeared in a commercial for ‘Power Home Solar.’ It become a trending topic on social media, some of it good, but most of it was comical. We’ll see if a second opportunity is presented to him this off season.
The ‘Dawg Pound’ and Browns Fans Everywhere – A winning season and a future full of hope
Cleveland Browns fans have put up with futility for two decades. Most Christmas’, the beloved fan base receives the same gift, a lump of coal. 2018 is a different story. A sellout crowd for the regular season home finale is a perfect example. So are the Browns finale heading in the right direction? It’s looking like it. To all the fans who have stuck with this team since 1999, enjoy your Christmas gift this year and preserve it for years to come. Something special is happening.