It's finally here. 

The Cleveland Browns open the eagerly-awaited 2019 season at home against the Tennessee Titans today.

The offseason, at times, has seemed to last three years.

Ever since Cleveland acquired wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants in March, the Browns' popularity has skyrocketed even more.

It started last year with the emergence of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The Browns added Beckham Jr. offensively to go with fellow wide receiver Jarvis Landry and running back Nick Chubb.

On defense, players like Olivier Vernon were brought in, in addition to already having defensive end Myles Garrett.

The Browns are such a hot commodity they'll be appearing in four primetime games.

The Sept. 22 game against the Los Angeles Rams will be Cleveland's first Sunday Night Football appearance since 2008.

Last season, Mayfield set the tone. He was inserted for the injured Tyrod Taylor against the New York Jets in Week 3 and didn't leave the field. 

Cleveland eventually finished 7-8-1 after going 0-16 in 2017.

Now what will happen in 2019?

County fans are excited and expressed optimism this season.

Larry Laurello, a St. John graduate, believes in success stems with having Mayfield leading the way.

"When you bring that many talented people in the room, you have to have someone who can control the egos," he said. "Mayfield has the strength to control the egos from top to bottom."

The worst case scenario is Mayfield getting injured, Laurello said.

Laurello, who has been tailgating since the 1970s, has held season tickets since the Browns returned to Cleveland in 1999.

This season, he and a friend from Dayton are planning on taking his second Browns-themed bus to all 16 games.

"I've contacted Browns backer's club," he said. "The New York tailgate there's 1,400 and Denver tailgate is 3,000. If Browns fans get their way out to these games, I'm inviting them to our tailgate parties."

The away games include the New York Jets on Sept. 16, Baltimore on Sept. 29, San Francisco on Oct. 7, New England on Oct. 27, Denver on Oct. 3, Pittsburgh on Dec. 1, Arizona on Dec. 15 and Cincinnati on Dec. 29.

Laurello's first bus — one from the old Harbor High School — finally gave way, so he found another one.

"Peeps candy was doing a promotion," he said. "I bought it an RV Center in Allentown, Pa. It's capable of driving across the country."

Laurello predicted a 10-6 record and "at least make the wildcard."

If that happens, the playoff appearance would be the first for the Browns since 2002.

Jeff Jones, a Harbor High School graduate, is also excited to see what transpires.

"I have been a season-ticket holder since 1984," he said. "I don't remember a Browns team with as many potential players."

His prediction?

"I see 10 wins with a division championship ... and maybe a playoff win," Jones said. "Icing on the cake? Sweep Pittsburgh."

Jones said having Mayfield brings him confidence.

"It is a quarterback-driven league and I think the Browns have a good one," he said.

Jones said his concerns are a rookie head coach (Freddie Kitchens) and the offensive line.

Ronnie Kalil thinks this is going to be a 'big season."

"After last season, expectations are high," the Edgewood graduate said. "I think they win the division at 10-6 and split with Pittsburgh.

"My only concern going into the season is with all the expectations. Can a first-year head coach live up to it? Overall, I am excited for the NFL season to kick off."

An even if the Browns don't live up to the expectations set, Laurello will still be with the team — like he's done in the past.

"I'm going to make a T-shirt that says 100 percent hope and 0 percent expectations and just enjoy the ride," he said. "I was down there tailgating when they were 0-16. If they win, it's all serendipity." 

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