The Cleveland Browns have reached Super Bowl LI...the only catch is that the players have to dress up for the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. An incredible five former Browns players and two of the most important coaches have matriculated from Cleveland and into the big game.
The Patriots feature former Browns DL Jabaal Sheard, RB Dion Lewis, and LB Barkevious Mingo, along with head coach Bill Belichick and assistant special teams coordinator Ray Ventrone. The Falcons will play C Alex Mack and WR Taylor Gabriel, along with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and defensive line coach Bryan Cox.
All five players are holding major roles for the Patriots and Falcons. Sheard and Lewis rotate into the lineup, while Mingo ranks second on the team in special teams snaps. Mack plays every possible for the Falcons, while Gabriel is the #3 receiver.
Only Washington can match the number of former players in the Super Bowl, but all five players are on the Falcons and only one is expected to play most of the game (OG Chris Chester), a second is a depth option (WR Aldrick Robinson), and the others barely even play on special teams.
It seems funny to think, but with Belichick and Shanahan on opposite sidelines, and with Lewis and Mack crucial to the offensive success of their respective teams, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Super Bowl go to whichever former Brown has the best game.