by Matt Soltysiak
The Browns went from 10-6 in 2007 to 4-12 last year. The problems started at quarterback, but encompassed the running game, receiving corps and defense. The most notable departures from last year’s squad include head coach Romeo Crennel and tight end Kellen Winslow. Donte’ Stallworth may also be unavailable for the season due to legal issues. To help with the passing game, Cleveland brought in David Patten and Mike Furrey.
In the draft the Browns used their first pick on center Alex Mack. With three second round picks Cleveland grabbed two wide receivers and a defensive lineman. Cleveland would like to see Brian Robiskie and Mohamad Massaquoi make a quick impact in an unexpectedly depleted receiving corps.
What to watch for in training camp
Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn will battle for the starting quarterback position. It’s anyone’s contest to win. Both have potential to be good fantasy quarterbacks, but have to be on the field to put up some stats. The receiving position looked great before the start of last year, but Braylon Edwards took a big step backwards in his development, Winslow was traded and Stallworth is probably gone too. Watch the rookies battle for the number two spot along with David Patten. Mike Furrey could be a great slot guy, but that of course will depend on the success of the quarterback. The running game last year left a lot to be desired. Jamal Lewis managed to get 1,000 yards, but it was a very quiet season and he only scored four times all year. His job should be secure because the team didn’t bring in much help this off-season, but his productivity (as well as that of the entire offense) remains to be seen. By the way, Cleveland gave up 356 yards a game and only managed 17 sacks all year in 2008. The Browns could be forced to throw quite a bit if they’re playing catch-up.
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