Third year Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell was more than optimistic about his team’s future while speaking at his third annual free youth football clinic at A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Georgia.
Back on the high school playing field where he scored 61 touchdowns, Crowell spoke about his team’s current trajectory.
“I feel very good about it,” Crowell said, per Jordan D. Hill of the Ledger-Enquirer. “I feel like we’re building something special. A lot of people are underestimating us, but I feel like we’re going to shock the world.”
Just how realistic his early-Summer outlook is remains to be seen. The Browns are still extremely young, inexperienced and have infused even more youth into their core after adding 10 more rookies to their ranks in April’s draft.
Last season, Cleveland led the NFL in snaps played by rookies — over 1,000 more than the next closest team, per Pro Football Focus — which resulted in an abysmal 1-15 2016 season to forget.
Youth isn’t always a detriment, though, so those rookie snaps were important. Before the start of last season, the Browns roster ranked second in the league in youngest average age. That number will again be low, but it hasn’t impeded success for other teams. The Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos were all among the seven youngest rosters in the league.
Besides Crowell’s somewhat surprising claim, his camp was the main focus of the day. Local kids aged 8 to 13 went through football drills and received guidance and instruction from a group of coaches.
“I feel like it’s important to give back to the community, also. You’ve got to give back to where you came from,” Crowell said, per Hill. “I appreciate God for allowing me the opportunity to come back and do something like this. This is what it’s all about.”
Children in attendance also received free Crowell themed T-shirts and some were sporting eye black that had “Feed the Crow” enscribed on them.