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Hue Jackson: 2018 Browns must 'earn' helmet stripes

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If you're a Browns player assuming the equipment staff will compliantly paste the team's traditional black-and-white stripe on your helmet this summer -- think again, pal.

This offseason, the roster is toiling away with plain orange headgear -- no stripe to be seen -- after coach Hue Jackson had the team's equipment staff strip all helmets clean.

Jackson's thinking goes like this:

"There is a certain way that the Cleveland Browns have to play, and we are going to earn our stripes. The guys that put them on their helmets and get the chance to wear them, it is going to be because they demonstrate the characteristics that we are looking for in Cleveland Browns players," Jackson said Tuesday during OTAs, per ESPN's Pat McManamon.

"That is the way that they are going to play. That is how we are going to conduct ourselves and go out and win football games."

The motivational lever-pull comes soon after Jackson leaped into Lake Erie to fulfill his promise of a water-dunk if last year's Browns were somehow worse than the 1-15 operation that waded through the 2016 season.

They were. The 2017 squad became the second team in NFL history to finish winless, an inglorious result that led to Jackson getting soaked in a Great Lake and the Browns -- in June -- operating without their stripes.

The hope is that September will bring a new chapter while putting an end to the dark-arts nightmare that has plagued the franchise since the turn of the century.

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