This coming season could be the one in which the Cleveland Browns turn the page and start to establish themselves as a team that, more often than not, at least competes hard for a playoff spot.
They have assembled an impressive roster that includes three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson, four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper, and arguably the NFL’s best running back in Nick Chubb.
But it is the defensive side of the football that has fans more excited than anything else.
For starters, they have a new defensive coordinator in Jim Schwartz, and a video shows him exerting his leadership to motivate his players.
Coach Schwartz put his defensive dawgs to work during minicamp 🐶 🔊 pic.twitter.com/3b0qjr7CPa
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) June 20, 2023
Even while Watson served his 11-game suspension last season, defense was the Browns’ biggest problem.
They were 20th in points allowed last season, and in particular, they had lots of trouble preventing opponents from gaining yardage on the ground.
To that end, Cleveland brought in defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, who was with the Minnesota Vikings the last two seasons, in the hope of shoring up their run defense.
Another newcomer is pass rusher Za’Darius Smith, who will help star defensive end Myles Garrett pressure opposing quarterbacks.
The AFC will be very, very competitive this coming season, but for once, the Browns appear to have the horses needed to finish with a win total in the double digits and clinch a playoff spot.
If all goes well, perhaps they will also make some noise in the playoffs and perhaps give one of the conference’s top contenders a big scare.