Training camp is an exciting time for NFL fans.
For the 31 teams that did not win the Super Bowl, it is time to stop thinking about last year and look ahead to the coming season.
Optimism is high in Cleveland heading into 2010 training camp. The Browns finished the 2009 season on a four game winning streak and they have managed to retain the majority of last year's playmakers. They have also added a load of talent via trade, free agency and in the NFL draft.
The addition of new Team President Mike Holmgren and GM Tom Heckert is expected to help reverse the recent losing trend of the Browns organization, adding a positive attitude, winning culture, and a foundation for the future.
2010 looks to be one of the most important seasons for the Cleveland Browns since the return of the franchise, and it all begins in training camp.
The following is a list of hypothetical situations that everyone may be talking about by the end of training camp.
When the Browns signed QB Jake Delhomme to a two-year contract in March, it elicited a groan from many Cleveland fans due to his poor play last season.
However, Holmgren has confidence in the 11 year veteran, not only to have a bounce-back season, but to transition the team into a winner, and to help groom rookie Colt McCoy into the quarterback for the Browns' future.
By the end of training camp and preseason, we should have a good idea which Jake Delhomme the team has on its roster—the version who plays like a former pro bowl and Super Bowl quarterback, or the 2009 version who resembles a "Jugs machine" tossing balls to the secondary in DB drills.
Cleveland's group of receivers is considered by many to be the worst in the NFL, but in reality, they are simply young and lack experience.
Mohammad Massaquoi had a respectable rookie season with 624 receiving yards and three TDs, but the rest of the group is unproven.
Will sophomore Brian Robiskie finally live up to the potential he came into the league with, when he was drafted in round two of the 2009 draft?
Will "do-it-all" athlete Josh Cribbs make the transition to full time receiver?
Maybe last year's mid-season addition Chansi Stucky will make big strides in his second year in the system, or perhaps rookies Carlton Mitchell and Johnathan Haggerty will make the jump to the NFL level and crack the starting lineup.
Whoever it turns out to be, expect one of the young receivers on the roster to entrench himself opposite Massaquoi in a starting role.
With the addition of former pro bowl CB Sheldon Brown, the drafting of rookie CB Joe Haden, safeties T.J. Ward and Larry Asante, the secondary looks to be much improved from 2009.
Safety Abram Elam and utility DB Mike Adams return along side three year starting CB Eric Wright.
It is essentially a three-player competition between Wright, Brown and Haden for two starting CB spots, not to mention both safety positions are up for grabs as well.
A lot will depend on how quickly the three rookies come along in their development. There is a possibility that all three could be starting on opening day.
Coach Eric Mangini has stated that the best players will play at every position, and by the end of training camp, we should know who the best players in the Browns' secondary are.
Perhaps the best path to offensive success in Cleveland will be to solidify the offensive line early.
With center Alex Mack , guard Eric Steinbach and all pro left tackle Joe Thomas, the left side of the line appears to be set for the foreseeable future, but the right side remains unsettled.
Former 49ers tackle Tony Pashos was brought in to compete on the right side, along with rookie third rounder Shawn Lauvao, YouTube sensation Joel Reinders and returning players Floyd Womack, John St. Clair and Billy Yates.
Look for the starting lineup to be set by training camp's end and the team to be focused on depth going into the start of the regular season.
Much of the blame for Cleveland's early offensive woes last season can be placed on the play calling of rookie OC Brian Daboll.
The offensive play calling was basic, bland and down right nonsensical at times, but an emphasis on the basics also led to a dominant running game to close out the season.
Perhaps Daboll was just channeling his inner high school coach, and telling his players to get the fundamentals down before running the fun stuff.
Mike Holmgren brought in former coordinator Gil Haskell as senior advisor to help develop Daboll into a competent play caller.
The Browns are expected to add elements of the west coast offense to the current offensive schemes. Look for Daboll to open things up a bit and to improve as a play caller in 2010.
When defensive tackle Shaun Rogers was arrested in April for bringing a loaded handgun into Hopkins International Airport, many assumed that the incident would result in an early season suspension.
With the emergence of Ahtyba Rubin at nose tackle, losing Rogers for a game or two didn't seem like the end of the world for the Browns' defense.
However, teammate and starting defensive end Robaire Smith apparently shares Rogers habit of losing track of his "gat."
Smith was arrested back in November for entering Bishop Airport in Flint, Michigan with a loaded gun in his carry on bag. The arrest was only recently made public, and Smith now likely faces the same league discipline as Rogers.
If two-thirds of the starting defensive line are suspended to start the 2010 season, details of suspensions should be known at some point in training camp. Look for the Browns to prepare accordingly, by finding players to fill in, and developing depth all along the defensive line.
Jerome Harrison finished the 2009 season as the NFL's hottest running back, amassing 561 yards in his final three games.
Harrison is expected to begin the season as the Browns' starter, being backed up by promising rookie Montario Hardesty. Peyton Hillis, Chris Jennings and last year's training camp phenom James Davis should be competing for depth.
In training camp, however, position battles often appear out of nowhere as players take full advantage of practice reps and push for playing time.
In all likelihood, a clear cut starter will present himself by the conclusion of training camp, but with a bevy of talented young backs on the roster there is a possibility that, just like in little league, everyone will get a chance to play.
Head coach Eric Mangini made it known that he has no problem starting two rookies at the safety positions.
Hopefully, he has no problem starting rookies at several positions because rookies are competing at almost every position on the field.
CB Joe Haden and safeties T.J. Ward and Larry Asante will try to earn starting jobs in the secondary.
Shawn Lauvao is a physical mauler of an offensive lineman and has at least a decent chance of being the opening day starter at right guard.
RB Montario Hardesty turned heads in minicamp and is showing the knowledge and maturity of a veteran. A strong training camp and preseason could push Hardesty into the starting role with Jerome Harrison becoming the change of pace back.
With no proven receivers on the roster other than possibly Masaquoi, rookies Carlton Mitchell and Johnathan Haggerty have just a good of a chance as anyone else of opening the season as a starter.
With the possible suspension of Shaun Rogers and Robaire Smith, rookie defensive end Clifton Geathers and rookie defensive tackle Kwaku Danso could find themselves filling in and starting in week one.
While all of these rookies won't be opening day starters, there is a chance that several could be in the lineup and the Browns' 2010 rookie class could be well on its way to being the best in recent memory.
Head Coach Eric Mangini proved that he had the respect of his players when they refused to give up on a 1-11 season and fought to win the final four games.
Now, if he could just get his players to like him.
Mangini has a reputation for being a hard-nosed, highly disciplined coach. However, many people have thought that he was went too far in the past, with stories of long bus rides and thousand dollar bottles of water.
Not to mention, he his habit of being tight-lipped and standoffish with the media.
Since the arrival of Mike Holmgren, Mangini's demeanor has been a bit looser and he has even been spotted smiling on occasion.
Perhaps he is relieved to no longer be shouldering all of the responsibility, or maybe Holmgren had helped him see that a happy employee is a productive one.
Don't expect to see coach Mangini playing games and joking with the media (he'll leave that to Rob Ryan) but, don't be surprised to see Mangini and the players actually having a bit of fun in training camp
One of the most important things that the Cleveland Browns can accomplish in 2010 training camp is to develop an identity for the team.
Will the team feature a run and stop the run style of play or will the secondary blanket receivers, creating a stifling pass defense?
Will the team continue to improve on the eighth best rushing attack and simply run the ball down opponents throats?
Or will Delhomme have a bounce back year and the receivers develop well, leading to an exciting and potent offense?
If the Browns want to win a lot of games in 2010, they're going to have to figure out just how the team is going to win them.
By the end of training camp, the team's strengths and weaknesses should start to present themselves and the team should begin to develop a signature style of play.
A team identity is something the Cleveland Browns have lacked for years, and finally gaining one should be a big first step in Cleveland's path back to relevance.