The Cleveland Browns’ 5 Biggest Red Flags Heading into 2014

Cleveland Browns' 5 Biggest Red Flags Heading into 2014

Cleveland Browns OTAs
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns did not have a quiet offseason. While the snakebitten franchise has reason to be excited for the 2014 season, there are some potential obstacles that could stand in their way of a winning record. Here are the five biggest red flags surrounding the Browns as the season approaches.

5. Josh Gordon's suspension

Josh Gordon OTAs
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

5. Josh Gordon's suspension

Josh Gordon OTAs
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The probable absence of Josh Gordon for the 2014 season leaves the Browns without a true top receiver. The team surprisingly cut Earl Bennett this week, so that means Miles Austin, Andrew Hawkins, and Nate Burleson will head the Browns’ receiving corps—not exactly an ideal crop of pass-catchers.

4. Looming quarterback controversy

Johnny Manziel Brian Hoyer
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

4. Looming quarterback controversy

Johnny Manziel Brian Hoyer
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Hoyer is the probable starter for Week 1, but his margin of error will be very slim in September. Browns fans will clamor for Manziel at the moment that Hoyer shows signs of struggling. Don’t be surprised if Hoyer and Manziel are entangled in a quarterback controversy by the season’s quarter-pole.

3. Lack of sack power

Jabaal Sheard Cleveland Browns
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

3. Lack of sack power

Jabaal Sheard Cleveland Browns
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns have put together one of the league’s best secondaries, but the team lacks a threat at pass rusher. Jabal Sheard led Cleveland with 5.5 sacks last season; somebody will have to step up and put up double-digit production for the Browns defense to reach the next level in 2014.

2. The first four weeks of the regular season

Cleveland Browns Pittsburgh Steelers
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2. The first four weeks of the regular season

Cleveland Browns Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It’s quite possible that the Browns won’t be victorious until October 5. Their first three opponents are the Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, and Baltimore Ravens before an unfortunate Week 4 bye. However, if the Browns are able to win one of those three games, they won’t be out of the AFC North title race.

1. Possibility of a Jordan Cameron sophomore slump

Jordan Cameron Cleveland Browns
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

1. Possibility of a Jordan Cameron sophomore slump

Jordan Cameron Cleveland Browns
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Cameron took the league by storm last year, pulling in 80 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns. However, much of that production was a result of the attention opposing defenses paid to Josh Gordon. Without Gordon, Cameron will be keyed in on more often, making him a prime candidate for a sophomore slump.


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  • Jim Rafferty

    How can Jordan Cameron have a sophomore slump when he’s been in the league for several years? He’s not a sophomore, last year was his first “break out” seasons, not his first season. SMH