Cleveland Browns 2014 Season Predictions

Buffalo Bills v Cleveland BrownsFull disclosure, I am a life-long, die-hard Browns fan. I considered having somebody else guest write this article but decided against it. How can I trust such an important article to someone else! I promise to apply as much objectivity as a person who makes emotional decisions can generate. You can be sure that whatever bias I have will be balanced by a unique depth of knowledge. Now with that out of the way, on to the article.

It’s easy to make fun of the Browns for their chronic ineptness. More difficult is to predict a winning season. There are no clear signs that this team will have a playoff run in 2014. One can point to the new coaching staff, an unsettled quarterback situation, and a roster that has more unfilled potential than NFL success. However, there are signs of success percolating at last.

The Browns sent five players to the Pro Bowl in 2013. They signed Donte Whitner, Karlos Dansby, Ben Tate and Andrew Hawkins. They drafted Gilbert (CB), Bitonio (OG), and West (RB). All of these additions shrewdly help offset the impending loss of Josh Gordon. Even more helpful to the cause is Kyle Shanahan’s zone based run offense. An existing athletic o-line and newly acquired running back talent will help take the pressure off of the quarterback which will be Brian Hoyer to start the season.

This squad is better equipped to carry out this type of scheme than Norvell’s deep passing attack from last year. That system put too much pressure on the quarterback which neither Weeden or Campbell could operate with sustained success.

New Head Coach, Mike Pettine, seems set on infusing more competitive juice that sometimes was lacking under the previous regime. This added aggression will have the most positive impact on the defensive side of the ball. Like any team, though, it all comes down to the quarterback. Brian Hoyer has the mobility and accuracy to take advantage of a strong running game for which the team loaded up. And if Hoyer can’t get the job done, Johnny Manziel won’t be scared to line it up and ball. Prediction: Browns go 8-8 with fans talking playoffs heading into 2015.

Comments

  1. On paper, the Browns Defense could be at the top of the AFC North (and maybe in the entire AFC). Injuries (as with most teams) could be a reason for losses in 2014. However, the Cleveland Browns have some depth (for the first time since the 1980’s) at every position except WR. At WR, without Gordon on the field, there could be a problem. But, the Browns have veterans (while injury prone their later NFL years) add an A+ from Cinci slot WR, Andrew Hawkins with some rookies (picked up after the draft) that might surprise (as did Victor Cruz with the Giants). RB position looks to be very solid with Tate, West, Crowell and 2013’s kept RBs . TE is solid. QB is a question, not on how good, but more like, who will start. Hoyer may not be the next ‘Tom Brady’, but many believe that Hoyer could be ‘close’ to that Brady level (I am one of those that believe) — if Hoyer is given the chance (avoiding injury) with the proper weapons, coaching and play calling — Hoyer has a great O-line in 2014! Manziel is giving the fans a lot to hope and optimism… many think he will eventually deliver frustration to opposing defenses. Nice to have a Manziel in the wings and if needed, ready to play at mid season. Look for the Browns to loose a few close games, but end up with enough wins — 10 in the AFC North and the division, leaving Cinci in the dust, Baltimore singing the blues and Pittsburgh scratching their heads. I believe the time is now for the Browns!

  2. They need to keep Johnny football on the sideline as long as possible this year so he can learn the system. Let Hoyer control the offence he has been given. A true test right off the bat with the Steelers a great confidence builder if they can get over this hurtle. The young players need to step up and set a standard for winning not just playing another loosing system.

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