It seems like fans and analysts outside of Northeast Ohio aren’t expecting much from the Cleveland Browns this upcoming season.
They have one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL in Deshaun Watson who is ready to play a full season, not to mention a four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver in Amari Cooper, an excellent pass rusher in Myles Garrett, and arguably the best running back in the game in Nick Chubb.
Still, it seems not too many are predicting an appearance in the playoffs for them.
Yet Browns analyst Tony Grossi seems to have fairly high expectations for the team, and he feels they also had an outstanding offseason and must compete for the division crown.
"I'd be close to an A, definitely a high B or a low A… there's no excuses this year for anything less than competing for a division title," – @TonyGrossi.
— ESPN Cleveland (@ESPNCleveland) July 17, 2023
Last season seemed to be the same old story for Cleveland, as they won just seven games and missed the playoffs.
Although Watson was suspended for 11 games, forcing backup Jacoby Brissett to fill in, defense was the big problem, as the team finished 20th in points allowed and had trouble stopping the run.
To that end, the Browns brought in Jim Schwartz to be their new defensive coordinator, and they added pass rusher Za’Darius Smith and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson.
With all the talent across the AFC, becoming a solid defensive team will be key to the Browns’ hopes this fall and winter.
Winning the division may be unlikely, as the Cincinnati Bengals are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.
But the Browns certainly have more than enough talent, at least on paper, to make the playoffs in 2023.