Browns to change their uniforms in 2015, but what can they do?

Mike Lawrie

The Cleveland Browns are going to make the color brown "cutting edge." Really.

The Cleveland Browns are going to undergo a change in uniform ... in the future. Team president Alec Scheiner gave the news on Tuesday, saying that the Browns were going to roll out new uniforms before the 2015 NFL Draft. In other words, that means it's not going to happen in time for next season.

Scheiner was being asked about the new uniforms unveiled by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and said that he doesn't want to speak about those, but that he's really excited about "our direction." He went on to say that the team has been working with the NFL and Nike "for almost a year now."

Most importantly, Scheiner claimed that the uniforms would be "cutting edge," and that they would "link back to our history." This means that Scheiner actually believes the Browns will attempt to take the colors brown, orange and white and somehow coax you into saying "cutting edge" while looking at them.

He didn't give any more details on how things might look, but said that he would be "very surprised" if fans didn't love the new-look uniforms, and that the Browns are "headed down a really cool path." Finally, he said they don't exactly know when they'll be unveiled.

So if you needed to catch up on that, the Browns will have new uniforms at some indeterminate point in the future that very probably will be before the 2015 NFL Draft. We don't know any other details about them beyond that, save that owner Jimmy Haslam was talking about changing the uniforms back in 2013, after taking over the team.

At the very least, it's interesting to note Haslam was talking about something like that so soon after taking the reins. Clearly, he feels strongly about this, though it is worth noting the involvement of Nike. They've redesigned the uniforms of five teams since 2012, and will put far more influence into the new design than Haslam.

But what is there to expect at this point?

Well, first we need to take a look at the changes the Browns' uniforms have gone through over the years. Cleveland's uniforms actually haven't done that much changing. From 1975 through 1983, the team went with brown jerseys and orange pants with a brown stripe down the side. In 1985, the team made a change that would last another decade, making the orange and white sleeve stripes smaller and eliminating the orange pants entirely.

They were replaced with white pants that had brown and orange stripes down the side, and wore the same pants for away games as before. Those are the two most popular iterations of said uniforms. The team added throwback jerseys here and there, and a rather hideous orange number in 2005 that included an orange jersey with brown and white stripes. That was not well-received in the slightest.

Earlier on, the team went with white jerseys. That happened through much of its early history. The orange jersey only surfaced in 2005, thankfully. The lettering hasn't changed too much over the years. There were Brown pants introduced in recent years, but they weren't used until 2009, and only in the preseason and for road games. This past season, they used the brown jersey and brown pants -- the brown-on-brown -- in the regular season.

Full disclosure: I actually liked the brown on brown but I've been informed by those with better taste and with balanced brain chemistry that I am, in fact, a dirty peasant with no taste.

As to what they can change ... it's honestly hard to be terribly inventive. They've been working on this for a year and have another year ahead of them -- there's plenty of time to come up with something. But they don't have much of a logo to work with, and then there's just the colors, of course. With the Browns, it will all be about the color combination and, at this point, the lettering.

We've already mentioned Nike a couple of times and for good reason. Nike has done a lot of ... different things with uniforms in recent years. Samuel Lam did note one trend on four of the five redesigns they've been in charge of: asymmetry. With the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there are multiple aspects of asymmetry used in the designs.

When it comes to the Browns, it will be interesting if that kind of thing shows up again and if it does, what form it will take. There's not an easy logo for the Browns to slap on a portion of the jersey, so we'll likely see the text logo of either the team or city name. One thing you'll also notice on the examples from Lam's piece: the lettering/numbering is widely varied. One way the Browns could look to distinguish things would be to establish uniqueness in that aspect.

Then again, most of the jerseys designed by Nike employ different methods of matte shading, so perhaps we'll end up with a brown jersey and ... slightly darker brown sleeves. Cutting edge!

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