Okay, so if anyone was waiting on my thoughts for the new Browns uniforms, here they are.

Short answer: Overall not bad, but still a step down

Long answer – Hold onto your butts it’s time for another Dave long winded chat about designs
Overall this could have gone far worse (cough cough Bucs cough cough Jags Helmet cough cough) and in some respects I actually like what Nike did. As is the usual with Nike’s new duds though, some of their ideas are great and some are very questionable, and usually both types of ideas are mashed into a uniform leaving me with mostly puzzled feelings overall.

First, things I like:
I LOVE the CLEVELAND written over the numbers. That looks badass and reminds me of college jerseys in a good way. I miss the era when jerseys would say where they were from and this looks fantastic to me. The Browns uniforms have always had this air of classic old school football to them (Which is why I liked them) and this change actually feels right at home with that vibe for me.

I actually really like the white away jerseys. Something about the previous white jerseys always bothered me, and I couldn’t put my finger on why. Something about the stripes, the brown was too dark, too many stripes, something bothered me. Not that much, but the shoulder stripes bothered me. This new version does not. Maybe it’s because the stripes feel more balanced and the brown feels softer next to this new, darker orange.  I can’t explain it, but I like it. I also really like the White jersey on White pants combo, outside the BROWNS on the leg but I’ll get to that.

The Orange jersey is actually pretty nice. I expected it to be complete garbage but it actually looks pretty snazzy to me. It’s not a good idea for a main jersey, but as an alternate jersey? Almost perfect. Alternate uniforms are frequently the experimental weird uniforms, and as far as that goes, this is a pretty good alt. It’s on the same level as the Ravens black unis. It’s not gross like the Seahawks grey ones (They look like dirty wet white jerseys) or as good as the Cowboys blue star alternates. But they work.

I like the orange pants on all the unis. honestly all 3 colors work well as pants.

I like the new helmet. I’m not a big fan of Matte finishes as I like my football helmets shiney, but the new Browns helmet is good.

The length of the shoulder stripes. They feel like they come in a touch too far. Most uniforms have that one section on the shoulder where the stripes go, but the stripes here reach in almost to the collar but not quite. It’s an awkward middle distance and it makes the player look narrow shouldered instead of broad-shouldered. But it’s not that bad, just a little questionable. I’m curious to see it in motion.

The drop shadow. I would have preferred a complete outline instead of this upward drop shadow, especially on the orange numbered Brown jersey. But the upwards drop shadow is unique and doesn’t offend me, so I think I’m actually okay with it.

The orange numbers on the brown home uniform look bad. Those colors are a little too close and blend together and make it kind of difficult to read at a distance. In motion I expect it to be almost impossible. This might have been mitigated somewhat if they did a white outline instead of just a drop shadow, because drop shadows only highlight part of an outline. The numbers feel too close. I would have preferred white numbers, maybe with an orange shadow if they need to have a shadow. The Orange and Brown are just too close in tone.

The BROWNS on the pants is too big. I don’t mind the idea of putting BROWNS on a pant leg, but they are HUGE LETTERS. It’s like those sweatpants from victorias secret that say PINK on the ass. It looks trashy and trendy instead of classic, which goes against the Browns. Since the BROWNS essentially forms the bottom of the pant stripe, at quick glance it looks like the stripe breaks up into weird shapes. You know it says Browns, but in motion it won’t look that good. Reading something standing still from the right angle is one thing, seeing it in motion from an above angle during a game is another. Keep regular stripes and put BROWNS in white in the middle stripe in a much smaller font. That makes it a nice detail instead of trendy garbage.

If the BROWNS was toned down and the home jersey numbers turned white, this might feel like a true sidestep or possible improvement to me. The new away jersey is pleasing, the alt is pleasing, the helmets are good, and outside a couple questionable ideas overall this is a solid output. But it’s the tiny details that take it down. Someone on a forum said they look like knockoff jerseys, and I think they nailed it. They look good, but not quite right.

You know in TV shows when a character wears a jersey, but it’s obviously not an official jersey because clearly the producers didn’t have permission to use an actual jersey? (My best example is The League. It’s obviously meant to be a “Bears” jersey but it’s also obviously not an actual Bears jersey) Or when you go into a thrift shop and see a jersey that catches your eye but upon closer inspection seems to have the details wrong? That’s what this jersey feels like to me. The shoulder stripes coming in too far, the weird drop shadow going up…it feels like what you’d see on a knockoff. So even though it’s official, it still feels off.

As for me on a deep personal level, the Browns old home uniforms were my absolute favorite uniforms in the NFL. They weren’t the flashiest, or the most interesting, but they felt the most classic. They just felt like old school classic football to me. So this new Orange numbered bullshit makes me sad, because they took my favorite uniform and made it worse, and the solid away uniform can’t fix that hole in my heart. Best home uniform in my heart is now officially the Raiders.