There are going to be teams that come into the 2013 NFL season that will be expected to do great things. There will be other teams that just want to improve on how they did the year before. If there is one team that I believe will take the biggest step next season, it is the Cleveland Browns. The Browns will have a healthy Trent Richardson for a full season along with another year of Brandon Weeden at quarterback. Cleveland also signed Paul Kruger to a big contract which will improve the defense in a big way.
This is a Cleveland team that people shouldn’t be taking lightly. The Browns may have been 5-11 last season, but up until a three-game skid to end the year they were in a position where the playoffs were possible. Richardson rushed for 950 yards in 2012 along with 11 touchdowns, and I think he is on his way to a season where he gets over 1,400 yards. Weeden was getting better as the season went on, but the team still needs to look at other options for the future since he is already 29 years old and turns 30 during the 2013 year.
Cleveland has the real potential to finish 8-8 in 2013 if Richardson and Weeden each take the next step. The signing of Kruger is more important than anything especially when you take him from your division rival. I was a big fan of that deal, and he will shore up a Cleveland defense that was in the bottom half of the league. The season may be five months away, but fans should keep their eyes on the Browns in 2013.