7 Players the Cleveland Browns Will Depend on in 2012

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7 Players the Cleveland Browns Will Depend on in 2012
Jason Miller/Getty Images

"Teamwork is essential. It allows you to blame someone else."—Unknown Cynic

Though football stands as an example of the ultimate team game, the Cleveland Browns face a production deficit in three essential areas: the rushing game, the passing game and defensively against the run.

The Browns' 2012 draft class will need to hit on all cylinders when they arrive back in Berea this summer to prepare for a cruelly-conceived third-strongest-in-the-league schedule, according to ESPN.

Six out of 16 games automatically pit the Browns against 2011 playoff squads, as the AFC North featured three in 2011. But even the matchups against teams with losing records look dubious at first glance: Washington, Kansas City and Buffalo feature remade units with high-profile draft picks and free-agency signees galore.

Indianapolis has cleaned house from the Peyton Manning era and will enjoy the services of the draft's top prospect: quarterback Andrew Luck.

Browns Backers: Rolling with the punches is kind of our thing at this point, so before we get all huffy about how the NFL likes the Steelers better—they do, let's get over it—it's important we consider that no wins will come easy this year (not that they ever do.) and we need not worry about a 2007-like mirage.

If these Browns demonstrate they can compete this year, the quality of their competition will provide outstanding battle-testing.

Browns Backers, brace yourselves: We're going to see what we need to see, not what we want to see.


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