The Cleveland Browns have expressed principles regarding the construction of a team. Among these principles are building through the draft, hiring the right coaches, and being an aggressive team.
The Browns began a strong free-agency campaign by landing Paul Kruger and Desmond Bryant, which led many to believe that perhaps they would change gears and add a plethora of free-agents to the roster. These players, along with Quentin Groves, give the Browns some help in building an aggressive defensive front. That style of play coincides with defensive coordinator Ray Horton‘s goals. The Browns hired Horton to coach an effective defense and to help him accomplish this the Browns added young talented players that want to be a part of that. The acquisitions stayed in line with the hirings which reflected what the front office wants to put on the field.
The Browns added players to fill out depth at the tight end position and brought in Chris Owens to provide a sure defender for the slot. What they did not do was use up all their cap space. They plan on Kruger and Bryant being effective in the defense for years to come, and with cap space they will have the opportunity to extend the contracts of players that will become free-agents over the next two seasons. The front office worked hard to bring in free-agents for a visit and you do that to help your chances of landing players you want. They did not go against their desire to build through the draft, and they added talent to the team in areas that they have said from day one would receive attention.
With a two-year contract, the Browns added quarterback Jason Campbell to push incumbent starter Brandon Weeden, as they said they would. Weeden was handed the starting role early in 2012 without much consideration to Colt McCoy. The current Browns staff will have an approach that involves checks and balances to ensure that the team is performing at a high level, and the quarterback situation is one that they want to address now. They have expressed support for Weeden; it is up to him to hold on to the starting spot.
Over the first three months of the offseason, the Browns front office’s actions have supported what they said they wanted to accomplish. The team has a lot of good parts with which the front office knows they can build. The 2013 NFL draft could erase any lingering doubt and answer any remaining questions about the direction of the team.