5 things the Cleveland Browns must do to find success in 2015

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Dec 7, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns inside linebacker Craig Robertson (53) celebrates with inside linebacker Chris Kirksey (58) after recovering a fumble for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

The numbers are a bit staggering when you take a look at them.

Heading into the 2015 NFL season, the Cleveland Browns have had:

  • Only two winning seasons since returning to the NFL in 1999 – and none since 2007.
  • No more than three wins in the AFC North Division since the NFL went to the current division alignment in 2002.
  • Only two playoff appearances since 1989 and no playoff wins since 1994.
  • Double-digit losses in a season six times in the past seven years, and 10 times in the past 12 seasons.
  • More players suspended by the NFL since 1999 than playoff wins.

But that is all old news and we’re trying hard to get past the history and look to the future as it relates to the Browns.

Every time there has been a regime change in the halls of Berea, we’ve always tried to remind Browns fans that you can’t hold the news guys responsible for what preceded them, but you can hold them accountable for fixing those problems.

Heading into their second season working together, general manager Ray Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine have kept busy in trying to turn things around. Through two drafts and a pair of free agency periods, Farmer and Pettine have tried to pain over the sins of the past.

The margins have been filled in and the bigger picture is starting to take shape as to what the Browns will be on the field come Sundays in the fall.

Have they done enough – or had enough time – to transform the Browns into a competitive team on a weekly basis? We will all know soon enough, but they appear to be moving in the right direction.

To that end, here are five things the Browns simply must do this fall if they want to build on last season’s 7-9 finish and find success.

Next: Protect the Quarterback