It is about that time of the year when NFL teams report to training camp and the hopes of fans hit fever pitch that this may very well be their team’s year to win the Super Bowl.
The NFL 2019 season is just around the corner and teams have assembled their pieces heading into training camp. Some look far better than others and it is reflected in their futures odds to win the Super Bowl.
Looking over the NFL’s 32 teams, it is easy to see which team has worked the hardest to improve this offseason and that is the Cleveland Browns. Will it be enough to win the Super Bowl? If it isn’t, at least they won the offseason.
No NFL team has had as good an offseason as the Cleveland Browns. Last season, the Browns turned the corner under rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield as they finished 7-8-1 and third in the AFC North.
The Browns played well in the AFC North compiling a 3-2-1 division record. It is that divisional record that has hopes high the Browns can win the AFC North and qualify for the playoffs.
A new coach
First and foremost, the Browns hired Freddie Kitchens as head coach. He takes over for 5-3 interim coach Gregg Williams who did well with the Browns after Hue Jackson was finally fired midseason.
Kitchens was the team’s offensive coordinator last season and now takes the step up to head coach. He still plans to have his hands all over the offense despite the hiring of new OC Todd Monken.
According to the NFL Network, there has already been some confusion in the offense at Cleveland’s OTAs. The good news is the confusion has occurred prior to the NFL 2019 season kicking off.
A new star on offense
The Browns front office, who were criticized for their player recruitment in the past by their own head coach, went out and traded for one of – if not the — best wide receivers in the NFL. The Browns acquired Odell Beckham Jr from the New York Giants giving Mayfield a No. 1 receiver to throw to each week.
Beckham played just 12 times last season after coming off of an injury shortened 2017. He still caught six touchdowns and accumulated 1,052 receiving yards on an awful New York Giants team. Beckham is a game changer that Mayfield can rely on in high-pressure situations to come up with an important catch.
Biggest question for the Cleveland Browns
The Browns do have big questions around their NFL 2019 season. The team do have a brand-new coach taking over for Williams. The interim coach was in charge for eight games last year and already had familiarity with the players.
Kitchens is also familiar with his players having been involved as the Browns’ offensive coordinator. Can he now make the step up to the head coach position?
In addition, the Browns need Mayfield to continue his progression to ensure they compete for a playoff position. If Mayfield can continue on his upward trajectory, he tossed 27 touchdowns last season, then the Browns will be the team to beat in the AFC North.