There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the Cleveland Browns as the team prepares to head to training camp. The team’s roster has improved since the end of last season, but the franchise needs to have success on the field to get respect from the national media.
Profootballtalk.com, a subsidiary of NBC Sports, ranked the Browns 22nd in its preseason rankings.
The website points to the question mark at quarterback, as well as the uncertainty regarding Josh Gordon‘s status as reasons the Browns could stumble.
These are fair criticisms, as Brian Hoyer still has a lot to prove, starting just two games for the Browns in 2013, and four starts in his five-year career. As for Manziel, it’s a no-brainer to deny his college greatness, but he is an unproven NFL commodity.
Obviously the loss of Gordon creates a hole that will be hard to be replace.
Here’s a vignette from the PFT story:
“…The Browns (again) don’t have a clear-cut starting quarterback, with veteran Brian Hoyer and rookie Johnny Manziel set to battle it out. They are also in danger of losing wide receiver Josh Gordon to yet another NFL suspension. The Browns also must adjust to their third head coach (Mike Pettine) in three seasons.”
If the team can make a run at the playoffs, the defense will probably be one of the reasons. The unit is expected to be one of the strengths of the team, and PFT agrees.
“The Browns have a deep and skilled defense. Only the Seahawks and Bengals allowed fewer yards per opponent play a season ago. Moreover, Cleveland was strong against the run and the pass, ranking in the top 10 in yards surrendered per rush and pass. Pettine has worked with talented, stout defenses with the Ravens, Jets and Bills, and it would be a surprise if the Browns didn’t field an above-average “D” this season.”