The Cleveland Browns finished the 2012 season with a 5-11 record.
In the offseason, the Browns underwent an entire front office change which included hiring a new head coach, Rob Chudzinski.
The Browns also brought in a number of players this offseason, including linebackers Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves, defensive tackle Desmond Bryant, tight end Gary Barnidge, wide receivers Davone Bess and Donald Nelson, and quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer.
Quarterback Colt McCoy, tight end Ben Watson, kick returner Josh Cribbs, kicker Phil Dawson and a few other small name players who were on the Browns 2012 roster will not be back with the team in 2013.
With a new front office and head coach, it’s a new era for Browns fans. Here is Cleveland’s 2013-2014 season preview.
Rob Chudzinski and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner come to a team that desperately needs some help on the offensive side of the ball.
Quarterback Brandon Weeden had a decent rookie season, but it wasn’t anything special. Weeden is in an interesting situation though, as he is entering his second NFL season but will turn 30-years-old in October. He doesn’t much more time to develop into a solid,
consistent NFL quarterback before the Browns go looking for someone new. Norv Turner is known as one of the best offensive coaches in the league, and it’ll be interesting to see how he handles his “relatively young” QB.
Trent Richardson had a very good rookie season last, rushing for nearly 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’ll be the Browns starting back again in 2013 and if he can stay healthy, should be in for a big year.
Josh Gordon was the Browns leading receiver last year as a rookie, and even though he has had a controversial offseason and will be suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season, should be productive again in 2013. Greg Little had another solid year in 2012, and is quietly putting together a strong start to his career. Davone Bess will be the teams slot receiver, and Weeden will love having a player like Bess to throw to this year. Look for Bess to rack up a bunch of reception this season, and be Weeden’s favorite third down target.
The Browns offensive line was decent last year, and the whole unit is returning in 2013.
Cleveland’s defense wasn’t good last season, finishing in the bottom half of the league against the run and the pass.
The new players Cleveland brought in this offseason should really help make this a better defense.
Ahtyba Rubin, Phil Taylor, and new comer Desmond Bryant make up Cleveland’s defensive line. Taylor was a first round pick a three years ago, and had a
disappointing 2012 season after having a very solid 2011 season. Cleveland is hoping he’ll return to his 2011 form this season. Bryant is a run stuffer, but can also get after the QB a bit (4 sacks in 2013).
The Browns recorded 38 sacks in 2012, which ranked 11th in the NFL last year. Cleveland really bolstered their pass rush this offseason by signing Paul Kruger and Quentin Groves and drafting Barkevious Mingo with the 6th overall pick in the NFL Draft. These three players added to the Browns current pass rushers, Jabaal Sheard and Jaqua Parker, should give the Browns a solid pass rush. Cleveland returns their two middle linebackers from 2012, D’Qwell Jackson and Craig Robertson, who were also the teams two leading tacklers last season. The Browns linebacking unit is the Browns deepest position.
For the secondary, Joe Haden and Buster Skrine hold down the two corner back positions and these two form one of the more underrated CB tandems in the league. Skrine had a breakout year in 2012, recording 85 tackles and defending 11 passes. TJ Ward and Tashaun Gipson play the two safety spots, and neither of these two played particularly well in 2012. Gipson was a rookie last year and only played limited time, and Ward had 123 tackles in the 2010 season, but only has 107 tackles combined over the past two years. The Browns will need Ward to play much better – and stay healthy – in 2012 to solidify the back part of their defense.
2013 Prediction: 5-11
Not even the offensive genius of Norv Turner and Rob Chudzinski can overcome Brandon Weeden’s mediocre quarterback play. The Browns should have a good defense in 2013, but should also have one of the NFL’s worst defenses.
Wins: Buffalo, @Minnesota, @Kansas City, Baltimore, Jacksonville
Losses: Miami, @Baltimore, Detroit, Cincinnati, @Green Bay, @Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, @New England, Chicago, @New York (Jets), @Pittsburgh