5 Most Irreplaceable Players For The Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns' 5 Most Irreplaceable Players
The Cleveland Browns have been a struggling franchise for many years. They have a 23-57 combined record for the last five seasons. It has been a struggle to say the least. That being said, the Browns have some nice young talent on their roster and things may be looking up for this franchise.
Cleveland hired a new head coach this offseason in Rob Chudzinski, who was the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers last season. Chudzinski is a first time head coach but he surrounded himself with great assistants in offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who has head coaching experience and defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who is considered one of the best young defensive minds in the game. This coaching staff will be looking to use the young talent on the Browns and make them a competitive team.
Offensively, the Browns have some very talented skill position players like Trent Richardson, Josh Gordon, Greg Little and Jordan Cameron that Chudzinski and Turner are going to try to use in different ways. I think they will be creative in getting their dynamic players the ball in space. Quarterback is a huge question mark for the Browns. Last season's starter Brandon Weeden was unimpressive, but I could see him being better under the new coaching staff this year. If not, Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer are solid options backing up Weeden.
The Browns also have some nice talent on the defensive side of the ball, and I think Horton will improve the defense tremendously. Basically, it all comes down to QB play. If the Browns can get solid production out of one of their quarterbacks, this team could be very dangerous. I am not sure if they are ready to take the next step into the playoffs this season, but crazier things have happened. If they are going to take that next step, their explosive talent must stay on the field. Here are the five most irreplaceable players for the Cleveland Browns during the 2013 season.
Gordon was a big-time play-maker for the Browns during his rookie year in 2012. He is an explosive deep threat that will surely command a lot of attention from opposing defenses. Gordon is suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season due to a failed drug test. When he returns, Gordon must stay healthy and out of trouble as he is a huge key to Cleveland's success in 2013.
Joe Haden is one of the best cornerbacks in the league. He is one of the few corners that you can put on an island and more often than not he will lock-down his receiver. A guy like Haden is huge for a defense because he can help plug some other holes on the team. Obviously, a pass rush is very important, but a guy like Haden will help hide an average pass rushing team.
Paul Kruger was the biggest addition for the Browns in the offseason. They signed him away from their division rival Baltimore Ravens where he was one of the leaders on a great defense. Kruger will be a huge key to the Browns defense as they try to transition to the 3-4. He has experience lining up as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 and will be playing that position for the Browns. If Kruger continues to be great, the Browns defense will be much improved.
I hate to say that a running back is irreplaceable, because it is the most replaceable position in the league. Teams are starting to wait in the draft to take running backs and just plug guys in. This strategy has worked for many teams, but Richardson is one of the exceptions. He is such an explosive talent that he is irreplaceable. He showed off that talent in his rookie season of 2012, but he just struggled at times to stay healthy. The Browns need Richardson to stay on the field and be a focal point of the offense if they expect to compete in 2013.
Joe Thomas is one of, if not the best offensive lineman in the NFL. He is a great pass protector and run blocker. He will be a huge key to the success of the Browns' passing attack as he protects the blindside of Weeden or whoever else is taking the snaps. Thomas will also be a huge key in the run game as I am sure the Browns will continue to run Richardson right behind his massive left tackle. Thomas is a very important piece for the Browns and him being on the field is essential to their success.