NFL Update: The Cleveland Browns 2014 Schedule and Status Report Post-2014 NFL Draft
How Far Can a Young Browns squad go in 2014?
2014 NFL Off-Season
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2013 Recap: With a 4-12 record, the Cleveland Browns missed the playoffs for the 11th straight season. Finishing dead last in the AFC North, the Browns lacked offensive consistency and ended their season with seven straight losses. The good news is that the Browns did prove they have a promising defense that was ranked eighth in the league against the run. It’s really about getting the offense on the right track in order to change this franchise around.
Key Losses: The Browns released linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who led the team last season with 141 tackles. The Browns also lost defensive back T.J. Ward, who was second on the team with 112 tackles. Offensively, the Browns didn’t lose much besides wide receivers Greg Little and Devone Bess, a duo that combined for 83 receptions and four touchdowns last season.
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Key Additions: The Browns needed offensive help and got some with the additions of running back Ben Tate and wide receiver Miles Austin. Tate is a physical runner who has almost 2,000 rushing yards in his three-year career. Austin hasn’t been a good receiver for the last two years or so, but he could be a steal for the Browns if he can stay healthy. The Browns also did a wonderful job of locking up cornerback Joe Haden by extending his contract.
Draft: Maybe you heard of some guy named Johnny Manziel? He’s only on ESPN every 23 seconds and won the Heisman trophy a couple of years ago. Manziel is expected to be the Browns future at the quarterback position. Besides Manziel, the Browns drafted a solid cornerback in Justin Gilbert and a running back in Terrance West who has great potential to make the team and become a contributor eventually.
2014 Outlook, So Far: Even with some nice young pieces in place, the Browns are still the Browns until they prove otherwise. We’re talking about a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2002. With that said, the Browns are going to surprise some people and win games you probably thought they shouldn’t. This is a competitive team that’s eager to prove it’s turning the corner. However, it’s going to take some time before the Browns can catch the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens. Rome wasn’t built overnight.