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10 Reasons Why Cleveland Browns Fans Should Be Excited For the 2014 Season

10 Reasons Why Cleveland Browns Fans Should Be Excited For the 2014 Season

Browns fan
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For Browns fans, every year begins with a renewed sense of optimism only to end up being let down by a four-win year, as was the case in 2013. However, with changes across the organization from the front office down to players, the excitement is there once again in Cleveland. With that, here are ten reasons why Browns fans should be excited for the 2014 season.

10. General Manager Ray Farmer

Ray Farmer
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10. General Manager Ray Farmer

Ray Farmer
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In a shocking move, the Browns let go of first-year coach Rod Chudzinski and then front office contributors Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi in the offseason. But it was quickly discovered that new Browns general manager Ray Farmer would be promoted into Lombardi's role as to not lose him to another franchise. Farmer has been making changes across the roster and has shown that he has ability to make the correct decisions in 2014 and beyond.

9. Brian Hoyer Returns

Brian Hoyer
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9. Brian Hoyer Returns

Brian Hoyer
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Brian Hoyer gave the Browns something they hadn't seen since Derek Anderson's days in Cleveland — a true chance to win each and every game played. Although Hoyer went down after starting three times and guiding the Browns to three wins last season, those wins weren't against top-tier NFL teams. Hoyer expected to have top receiver Josh Gordon but will now need to rely on a new offensive scheme, tight end Jordan Cameron and the running game.

8. The Defensive Front Seven

Browns defensive line
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8. The Defensive Front Seven

Browns defensive line
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Throughout the 2013 season, the Cleveland Browns were searching for players to step up on both the defensive line and at linebacker. Even with names like Bryant, Mingo and Kruger, the front seven for the Browns struggled to control the line of scrimmage and stop opposing offenses. New defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil brings an attacking style of defense, which plays well into the aforementioned players' athletic ability.

7. Johnny Football

Johnny Manziel
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7. Johnny Football

Johnny Manziel
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Although it's already been mentioned by Mike Pettine that he has a long way to go before he would overtake Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel's electrifying style of play is too much to ignore. If Hoyer is chosen as the Week 1 starter he could be on a short leash, allowing Browns fans to get a view of the one who's created a media frenzy since being drafted into the NFL. It won't be surprising to Manziel hit the field this season and make an impact.

6. New Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

Kyle Shanahan, Johnny Manziel
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6. New Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

Kyle Shanahan, Johnny Manziel
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Another year, another head coach in Cleveland. With that comes new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and his ability to shape offenses around offensive personnel. Shanahan displayed this ability in Washington with RGIII's rookie season, creating an offense suitable for Griffin which ultimately led to a playoff appearance. With a Josh Gordon suspension on the horizon, Shanahan will need to focus on the running game and tight end Jordan Cameron.

5. Alex Mack Still Anchoring the Offensive Line

Alex Mack
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5. Alex Mack Still Anchoring the Offensive Line

Alex Mack
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A storyline that wasn't consistently mentioned this NFL offseason was the possibility of one of the league's best centers leaving Cleveland. Luckily for Browns fans, Mack will be in a Cleveland uniform in 2014 and will once again help lead whoever is taking snaps from him at QB. In a transitioned offense, Mack and his football IQ will help to solidify an offensive line that's had its struggles in recent seasons.

4. Better Odds of Winning the AFC North in 2014

Browns, Steelers
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4. Better Odds of Winning the AFC North in 2014

Browns, Steelers
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The Cincinnati Bengals won the AFC North in 2013 with 11 wins, and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens both went 8-8. Last season could possibly signify a declining division, giving the Browns a better chance of winning the North crown. There are plenty of reasons for Browns fans to be optimistic this season, but the opportunity to compete for the division title should be near the top of the list.

3. The Defensive Secondary

Joe Haden
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3. The Defensive Secondary

Joe Haden
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After a year in which the Browns' secondary struggled to keep the ball in front of them, Ray Farmer went out and signed safety Donte Whtiner for veteran presence as well as a tough style of play. Whitner's physicality will allow him to almost play as a fifth linebacker in large part due to Farmer's drafting of cornerbacks Justin Gilbert and Pierre Desir, who should supplant Buster Srkine as the starting CB alongside Joe Haden.

2. Running Back Ben Tate

Ben Tate
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2. Running Back Ben Tate

Ben Tate
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After the Browns traded Trent Richardson early in 2013, Cleveland struggled to run the ball and became a one-dimensional offense. Cleveland made sure to upgrade the running back position by signing top free agent Ben Tate to carry the load and provide the offense with a balanced attack. If Tate's able to stay healthy, he should benefit from his newfound featured role and Kyle Shanahan's carefully crafted offense.

1. New Year and a Fresh Start

Mike Pettine
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1. New Year and a Fresh Start

Mike Pettine
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Fresh starts are something that are all too familiar in the eyes of Browns fans, but this season has a different feel to it. From the signings of Tate, Whitner and Karlos Dansby, to the drafting of Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel, Browns fans are looking forward to 2014 and the future. The team has already proven with the latest transition that there is a strong dedication to doing whatever it takes to turn the franchise into a winner.