The Cleveland Browns returned to their roots when they unveiled new uniforms on Wednesday afternoon.
The uniforms effectively wipe out the franchise’s previous update, which occurred ahead of the 2015 season, and reintroduces the traditional striping pattern worn by greats such as Jim Brown, Paul Warfield and Webster Slaughter, among others, to the sleeves and socks.
“We wanted to get back to the roots of who the Browns are,” said Browns executive vice president and co-owner J.W. Johnson. “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 (Chicago) Bears, the (Green Bay) Packers, the (Dallas) 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.”
The only thing that carries over from the previous set is the helmet, which includes a satin finish and brown facemask. The carbon fiber pattern in the stripe has been removed, however.
At first glance, the new home and road uniforms closely resemble what the franchise wore from 2006-14, albeit with a few minor differences, including a custom number font that matches the Browns’ wordmark, the removal of the wordmark on the chest, a move from Nike’s Elite 51 template to the Vapor Untouchable template and the inclusion of the franchise’s founding year (1946) on the inside collar.
The Browns have two new pairs of pants, one white and one brown, that feature a brown stripe sandwiched between two orange stripes and can be worn interchangeably with the home and road jerseys.
“What I like about it is that it’s paying respect to this organization and this storied franchise about what the Browns are all about,” said longtime director of equipment operations Brad Melland. “I think they did a great job on the production and design of this uniform, and I am extremely happy because this represents what the Browns are really all about.”
Cleveland has also introduced a new all-brown Color Rush uniform, which lacks any stripes on the sleeves, pants or socks, but includes orange numerals. The look brings to mind how several players in the late-1980s and early-1990s, including Clay Matthews and Eric Metcalf, either cut or tucked their sleeves under their pads to create a similar visual effect.
“We just felt like getting back to our roots and going back to who we are and who we’ll always be is a reason why we made this change,” Johnson said. “We hope that our fans, alumni and players, who are obviously really excited about it, will be happy with the direction where we went.”
The Browns have announced all proceeds from the sale of the new jerseys will benefit healthcare professionals, first responders and education professionals for an unspecified amount of time as part of the newly established. “Hats Off To Our Heroes” fund.
Photos via the Cleveland Browns.