The Cleveland Browns finished their 2012 season with a (5-11) record, which was good enough for dead last in the AFC North division. Two of those losses came at the hands of your Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
The Browns have made a few changes since the conclusion of last season, including a new Head Coach in Rob Chudzinski, Defensive Coordinator in Ray Horton, and some guy named Norv Turner instilled at the Offensive Coordinator position.
I am not sure if coach Chudzinski can add some new legs to Quarterback Brandon Weeden, as he was the offensive coordinator for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers the past two seasons, but he definitely has his work cut out for him.
Weeden was sacked 28 times last season for a total of 186 yards lost.
The main focus for the Browns right now is obviously their quarterback position, but they should be excited about 2nd year Running Back Trent Richardson. The only worry as of now is the shin injury Richardson has, which he is ominously not really discussing at any of the press conferences. The Browns plan on holding their star running back out until August – beyond that, we’ll see.
Look Out: DEFENSE
The offensive side of the ball may not be all that flashy for the Browns, but they do have a pretty good defense. Yes, the Browns did lose 11 games last season, but surprisingly eight of those games were only lost by two touchdowns or less. Chudzinski and Horton have a lot of young talented players, but they will have a tough task this season, as they attempt to switch a 4-3 defense to a 3-4.
Not so Hot: QUARTERBACK
We could talk about the struggles for the Browns at this position for days, but it’s going to come down to training camp and who they feel gives them the best opportunity to win. As it sits right now, Weeden can expect to be the starter, but backup QB Jason Campbell is also in the running.
The Raven Edge
Just like every other season, the Ravens will be playing the Browns twice: September 15, the home opener in Baltimore and November 3 in Cleveland. The edge for the Ravens this year will have to be on the defensive side of the ball. Last season the Ravens held Weeden to zero touchdowns while picking the ball off three times in those two games.
That name had to be mentioned sooner or later. Kruger will be stepping into a new situation and I wish him the best of luck. But I will also be looking to see if he will live up to his new contract. Thank you Paul for all that you did, but you are now THE OPPOSITION.