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The news that keeps us Onward On!
Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Cleveland Browns Season Preview

Flickr, Jack Kurzenknabe
Nick Chubb will continue to be an offensive threat on the ground for the Cleveland Browns, but his capability has to matched by trust from Quarterback Deshaun Watson.

After an underwhelming start to the “Deshaun Watson Era” of Cleveland Browns football last season, new faces within the coaching staff and positions of need have lit a spark of excitement in Northeast Ohio for the 2023 football season.

The issues of the Browns last year were glaring. Quarterback Deshaun Watson struggled after missing more than half the season due to a suspension and the front seven couldn’t stop a nosebleed.

After completing 58.2 percent of his passes, good for a 79.1 quarterback rating, Watson would lead the Browns to a 3-3 record to finish the year, putting them in last in the AFC North, again.

However, the tide seems to be changing with the former all-pro QB, which is credited to his tremendous performance in the final preseason game versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Even though it was the preseason, Watson looked to somewhat return to his former self, throwing for 92 yards and a touchdown, even while only playing one quarter. Watson’s fantastic afternoon concluded with a dime touchdown pass to tight end, David Njoku, and then another touchdown drive set up with a huge 50-yard bomb to star wide receiver, Amari Cooper.

The talent on offense is undeniable, it’s all up to QB1 to put it all together. If Cleveland can become cohesive, the Browns could be looking at a top-five finish offensively.

Last year, the Brown’s defense was very hit-or-miss. For one game they would allow only 10 points and then, a week later, they would give up 200 yards on the ground and lose by 20. Newly hired Super Bowl champion defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz, is looking to change the narrative around Cleveland’s defense.

Schwartz’s defensive scheme relies heavily on the pass rush. While having all-pro defensive lineman Myles Garrett helps, it’s even better to bring in three-time Pro Bowler Za’Darius Smith on the other side. When fully healthy, Smith consistently racks up double-digit sacks; he and Garrett are going to be giving teams nightmares each week. General Manager, Andrew Berry, also brought in Smith’s teammate, Dalvin Tomlinson, to clog up the middle of the defensive line to hopefully fix the issues the Browns had against the run a year ago.

In the secondary, the Browns return elite corners, Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome II. Ward currently sits in concussion protocol, making his availability questionable at this point. But, Newsome III and the promising Martin Emerson Jr. should be able to combine their talents to give opposing QBs headaches week in and week out.

A question mark in the defense lies in the very thin linebacker room. With Anthony Walker and Sione Takitaki both returning from season-ending injuries last year, the Browns are counting on them to be able to step up and produce right away. Third-year vet, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, has a bright future ahead of him, but he’s a little undersized and sometimes fails to make crucial tackles. However, many fans, including myself, are expecting a breakout season from JOK after his electric performances in the preseason.

The 2023 Cleveland Browns season relies on three crucial things; health, defense, and most importantly, the play of Deshaun Watson. If everything hopefully swings the Browns way, for once, not only could Cleveland be looking at a division title, but a Super Bowl isn’t too far out of reach either.

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