The Cleveland Browns unveiled the latest iteration of their uniquely understated NFL uniforms Wednesday – by going retro.
As expected, no changes were made to the club's iconic orange helmet, the only one in the league that does not feature a logo.
As for the pants and jerseys themselves, the club removed the highly unpopular wording of recent seasons for the more classic look of yesteryear – conservative stripes on the shoulders and legs … and no more orange pants.
Moving forward, the uniform combinations will be defined by white or brown pants coupled with a white jersey and two versions of a brown, one very much resembling the recent Color Rush combination but devoid of any stripes.
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“We wanted to get back to the roots of who the Browns are,” said JW Johnson, the team's executive vice president and a part owner. “We've heard it from our fans and from our players. We needed to get back to our roots.
“As you look at iconic franchises like the Browns, the Bears, the Packers, the Cowboys — they're true to who they are. They're not doing a lot of changes and trying to make a lot of flashy moves with their uniforms. I think when we went through the process, it just felt right that we got back to who we are and who we'll always be.”
True to ourselves.
True to our loyal fans.
True to who we’ll always be.https://t.co/VwRW3sfRSxpic.twitter.com/HbQYZQEu9N
Cleveland is the latest team opting for a fashion reboot in 2020. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons revealed new looks last week. The New England Patriots are expected to join the Indianapolis Colts in making minor cosmetic changes. The Los Angeles Chargers and Rams, who have already released new logos this year, will also have new looks ahead of their scheduled move into their new Inglewood, California, stadium this season.
The Browns wasted little time making their change, waiting for the league's mandatory five-year window to pass between major uniform alterations. In 2015, the franchise switched from gray facemasks to brown ones, added a block "CLEVELAND" above the uniform numbers with the "BROWNS" running down the pants below the leg striping.
Last season, Cleveland made its far more popular all-brown Color Rush uniform its primary one. That one had a far more understated "BROWNS" below the color with no wording on the pants and a different striping scheme on the shoulders and legs.
Now Browns can only hope the new threads help a team that was a huge disappointment in 2019 break its league-worst playoff drought. Cleveland has not reached the playoffs since the 2002 season.
Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis
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