With the Browns being the focus of this years HBO’s Hard Knocks series even more attention has been drawn to them than in the past. Last year the Browns were just the second team in NFL history to finish a season 0-16. With the acquisition of general manager John Dorsey and free agents, Carlos Hyde, Tyrod Taylor, and Jarvis Landry, there is plenty of optimism leading up to this season. With all of the buzz surrounding the team 5 key items stand out.
Can Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon work together? Both of these receivers are used to being the number one receiver on the team. About halfway through the season, I will compare the stats of the two to previous seasons.
Will the three-headed running back system work? This offseason the Browns signed Carlos Hyde to a 3-year deal and also drafted Nick Chubb from Georgia. Combine these two along with veteran Duke Johnson and all of a sudden there are three running backs on the team. After the first few games of the season, I will post a blog comparing the Browns running game to other teams that have less than three running backs.
Will Baker Mayfield get his chance to start this season? Mayfield has been in the spotlight for years now. He was drafted first overall by the Browns with the intention of becoming the franchise quarterback. However, head coach Hue Jackson has said multiple times that Tyrod Taylor will be the starter. After week ten I will post a blog either showing signs that Mayfield will or will not play.
Will Hue Jackson be fired? In his first two seasons as the head coach for the Cleveland Browns, Jackson holds a record of 1-32. In previous years Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam have given new coaches very short leashes. They have publicly stated that they trust Jackson however. At the end of November, there should be indications by their record that show whether or not Hue will be another head coaching victim.
Can Josh Gordon stay clean? Gordon has been suspended multiple times throughout his career for violating the leagues’ drug policy. Many are surprised that he still has the chance to play for an NFL team. After going into rehab over the offseason it seems as if he is a changed man. One slip up, however, can cost him his career. Week five should be a good indication as to if Gordon really wants to stay in the league or not through his effort and performance on and off the field.