New coach, new QB, new legal troubles – but the question on everyone’s mind is, do the Browns have enough firepower now to make an impact?
The future is bright in Cleveland. LeBron James is back and the Cavs are the clear the favorite to win the NBA Finals. The Browns are a bit more complicated.
First-year head coach Mike Pettine takes over a defense that was ranked 9th in yards allowed, but 23rd in points allowed. On offense the team has had no luck at all, ranking in the bottom quarter of the league in each of the last 6 years.
Heading into camp there are only two questions that people really care about: Will Johnny Manziel take the reins at quarterback, and will All-Pro receiver Josh Gordon ever return to the Browns?
The QB position has been the hardest for the Browns to figure out since returning to the league in 1999. Johnny Manziel, one of the most decorated QBs in college football history was drafted in the first round but is slated to backup Brian Hoyer, who impressed in limited action back in 2013.
All-Pro WR Josh Gordon’s substance and legal problems have him facing a suspension – his very career may be in jeopardy. It is Gordon’s playmaking presence on the offense that made taking a QB high in the 2014 draft a risk worth taking – but with him gone, that only leaves TE Jordan Cameron as a legitimate offensive star.
The defense looks fine, but it’s doubtful that a Top 10 unit can do much to generate wins without an offense to give the ball to.
The Browns open training camp in Berea, Ohio on July 25th.