Alex's 32 Teams in 32 Days: Team 30—Cleveland Browns

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Alex's 32 Teams in 32 Days: Team 30—Cleveland Browns
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

I originally had another team in this slot but after doing the research I realized they're not going to be as bad as I originally thought.  Therefore the Browns slide into 30th.

2008 Record: 4-12

2008 Season Review:

Coming off of an impressive 2007 season, expectations were extremely high for the Browns.

However, things did not turn out as expected.

The top 10 offense from 2007 did not show up in '08.  In fact, their average points-per-game dropped more than 19 points, and their average yards-per-game took a hit of more than 100 yards.

Derek Anderson no longer looked like the '07 Pro Bowler he was.  His quarterback rating dropped from 82.5 to 66.5, an awful number.  The Browns were just 3-6 in Anderson's nine starts.  Eventually his dismal play resulted in him losing the starting job to second year man Brady Quinn.

Quinn was not much better. In three starts, he was 1-2.

Both Quinn and Anderson were placed on IR due to injuries.

Ken Dorsey started the last four games.

The offense ranked 30th in points scored and 31st in yards gained.

The defense was in the middle of the road in 2008.  They ranked 16th in points allowed and 26th in yards against.

The 2008 season was truly a dud.  As a result, head coach Romeo Crennel lost his job.

Eric Mangini was hired to replace Crennel.

 

Key Additions

LB Eric Barton, C Alex Mack (draft), WR Brian Robiskie (draft), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (draft) TE Robert Royal, DE Kenyon Coleman, S Abram Elam, OL John St. Clair, LB David Bowens, CB Rod Hood, CB Corey Ivy, WR David Patten, CB Hank Poteat, LB Bo Ruud, WR Mike Furrey, G Floyd Womack

Key Losses

TE Kellen Winslow, WR Joe Jurevicius, OT Kevin Shaffer, CB Terry Cousin, QB Bruce Gradkowski, S Sean Jones, OL Seth McKinney, CB Travis Daniels, RB Jason Wright, LB Andra Davis

2009 Preview

The 2009 season is a time for change in Cleveland.

The Browns have a new coaching staff.  New head coach Eric Mangini brought in new assistants such as Brian Daboll as offensive coordinator, Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator, and new special teams coach Brad Seely.

Mangini has quickly set the tone and let the players know how it's going to be.

In May the rookies were sent on a "voluntary" 10-hour bus ride to Connecticut to work Mangini's football camp.  They were then sent home the same night.

"It's voluntary, but it's not really voluntary," one league source told the Plain Dealer. "These players are fighting for starting jobs and playing time. What are they supposed to do, say 'No, I'm not going?' "

Players were very upset by the experience.

One of the most watched position battles in football this summer will be the quarterback competition in Cleveland.

Quinn and Anderson will both be competing for the right to start under center.  They each have a lot to prove.

Quinn will need to finally prove he was worth the 2007 first round pick the Browns spent on him.

Anderson will need to show he is worthy of the sizable contract extension he received after the '07 season.

Quinn is the favorite to win the job.

Who will be catching the football in Cleveland?

Braylon Edwards was recently placed on the Non-Football injury list. He is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.

Edwards struggled in 2008 after having a career year in '07.

He led the league in dropped passes and his numbers took a significant hit.  He caught 25 less balls than in '07, his yardage total dropped more than 400 yards, and he hauled in 13 less touchdowns.

With Donte' Stallworth suspended indefinitely, tight end Kellen Winslow now in Tampa Bay and veteran Joe Jurevicius no longer around, the Browns selected two young receivers in April's draft.

Rookies Brian Robiskie and Mohammed Massaquoi will need to get on the field right away to help whoever starts at quarterback.

The offensive line was greatly improved this offseason.

With Pro Bowler Joe Thomas already anchoring the left side, the Browns brought in center Alex Mack (draft), and free agents John St. Clair, and Floyd Womack to help out.

Mack is expected to start from day one and give the Browns a dominant force in the middle of the o-line.

The defense didn't see too many improvements.

The Browns will need young players like safety Brodney Pool, linebackers Kamerion Wimbley and D'Qwell Jackson and cornerbacks Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald to step up their game and reach their potential if the defense is going to be anything more than mediocre.

Bottom Line:  In this rebuilding year I don't see the Browns improving too much on their four win season from a year ago.  Look for somewhere between four and six wins in '09.

 

Previous Rankings

32. Detroit Lions

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Be sure to check in tomorrow for the unveiling of team 29. 

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