Friday, August 16, 2013

NFL 2013 Preview - Cleveland Browns

CLEVELAND BROWNS                                                         

Head Coach: Rob Chudzinski

2012 Record: 5-11-0 (4th in AFC North)

New Players: WR Davone Bess; QB Jason Campbell; DL Desmond Bryant; LB Paul Kruger; K Shayne Graham.

Gone Elsewhere: WR/KR Josh Cribbs; K Phil Dawson; QB Colt McCoy; WR Mohamed Massaquoi; TE Ben Watson; S Usama Young; DL Frostee Rucker.

Offense: Quarterback Brandon Weeden (3,385 passing yards with 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions) went through his rookie season as the starter and will be the man once again in Cleveland. Colt McCoy is gone and Jason Campbell is now the backup quarterback.
QB Brandon Weeden (3) and RB Trent Richardson make the Browns offense move.
Trent Richardson (950 yards rushing and eleven rushing TD) is the workhorse in the backfield and is joined by Montario Hardesty (271 yards) and Brandon Jackson, who gained 54 yards in very limited action.
The receivers are Greg Little and Josh Gordon, who both played well in their new roles as starters. Little made 53 receptions for 647 yards and four touchdowns while Gordon had 50 catches for 805 yards and five touchdowns.
Davone Bess comes over from Miami this season after making 61 receptions for 778 yards and one score. Another wideout is Travis Benjamin, who had 18 receptions for 298 yards and two touchdowns.
The tight end is Jordan Cameron (20 grabs for 226 yards and one TD), who takes over the starting spot after Ben Watson left in the off season.
The line has big Joe Thomas, one of the best in the business at left tackle, starting along with Mitchell Schwartz (right tackle), center Alex Mack and guards Jason Pinkston and Shaun Lauvao.
Cleveland finished 25th on offense (314 yards per game with 99 rushing per game and 215 passing) last year while averaging just under 19 points per game.

Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson
Defense: The Browns employ the 3-4 look and have Phil Taylor at the nose tackle along with ends Ahtyba Rubin and Desmond Bryant. The linebacking unit will see starters Jabbal Sheard (seven QB sacks),  D'Qwell Jackson, Paul Kruger and Craig Robertson in 2013.
The secondary has corners Joe Haden (three interceptions) and Chris Owens. The safties will be T.J. Ward and Tashaun Gipson. Serving as backups are Buster Skrine, Johnson Bademosi and rookies Leon McFadden (San Diego State) and possibly Jamoris Slaughter from Notre Dame. Another rookie pick is linebacker Barkevious Mingo (LSU), who will get a chance to play as well.
The Browns had 38 QB sacks last year while giving up 364 yards per game to go with 29 takeaways. Opponents scored 23 points per game last season.

OUTLOOK: New Head Coach Rob Chudzinski will have a veteran presence on his coaching staff in Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner, who was San Diego's Head Coach the previous six years.
Turner is well respected as an OC and should be a benefit to the young quarterback Brandon Weeden, who played decent in the starting role during his rookie season.
Improving on last season's mark (5-11) is a realistic goal for the Browns as they continue to improve and look to compete in the AFC North.
If running back Trent Richardson continues to improve along with Weeden and the young receivers, then the Browns will see an improved offense to go with a pretty good defense that likes to go after the football, evidenced by the 29 takeaways in 2012.
Getting off to a good start this season would do wonders for the team's confidence as well. The schedule is favorable early on and the young team just might start believing more and more each week if they learn to win on a consistent basis.
An 8-8 season is not out of the question as the Browns look to improve and compete in the AFC North this season and beyond.


Sept. 8- vs. Miami
Sept. 15- at Baltimore
Sept. 22- at Minnesota
Sept. 29- vs. Cincinnati
Oct. 3- vs. Buffalo
Oct. 13- vs. Detroit
Oct. 20- at Green Bay
Oct. 27- at Kansas City
Nov. 3- vs. Baltimore
Nov. 10- BYE WEEK
Nov. 17- at Cincinnati
Nov. 24- vs. Pittsburgh
Dec. 1- vs. Jacksonville
Dec. 8- at New England
Dec. 15- vs. Chicago
Dec. 22- at NY Jets
Dec. 29- at Pittsburgh

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