Not a ton of people outside of Northeast Ohio are bullish on the Cleveland Browns going into the 2023 season, but the team has a fairly impressive roster.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson will certainly benefit from a full season with his new teammates, and additions on both sides of the football should make the Browns a team that, at the very least, fights furiously for a playoff spot in the AFC.
Browns analyst Tony Grossi says that there are three main takeaways from the mini-camp the team held.
.@TonyGrossi's big takeaways from Browns mini-camp:
1. Deshaun Watson was very sharp
2. The WR group stood out
3. Jim Schwartz's impact pic.twitter.com/i9IhSp8rAX
— ESPN Cleveland (@ESPNCleveland) June 9, 2023
Watson Has Been Sharp
Watson is one of the NFL’s most talented quarterbacks, and after not playing for a year and a half, he looked rusty last season after returning from his suspension.
In 2020, his last full season, he led the league in passing yards, completed 70.2 percent of his pass attempts, and threw 33 touchdown passes.
He should be able to maximize Cleveland’s collection of capable wide receivers.
The Browns Have A Potent WR Corps
Last offseason, the team traded for Amari Cooper, a four-time Pro Bowler, and once the 2022 season commenced, third-year man Donovan Peoples-Jones started to emerge, posting 839 yards and three touchdowns.
They will be joined by Elijah Moore, a legitimate speed threat who was recently acquired from the New York Jets and should help make life easier for them.
Jim Schwartz Is Changing Cleveland’s Defense
Defense was the Browns’ big weakness last season — particularly their rushing defense.
But with the arrival of defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson and pass rusher Za’Darius Smith, they should be able to hold teams down.
Grossi pointed out that Schwartz is putting an emphasis on the defensive line, and the hope is that better pressure on opposing quarterbacks and running backs will result in more empty possessions for Cleveland’s opponents.