Cleveland Browns: 5 obstacles to success in 2018
By Joel W. Cade
Solidify Left Tackle
Left tackle has usually been a position of strength for the Browns. Joe Thomas has played Hall of Fame caliber left tackle for 11 seasons. His retirement hurts the Browns in a lot of ways.
He was the leader of the offensive line room. One of the remaining veterans will need to step up to lead the group. The logical person for that role would be left guard Joel Bitonio. He is the longest tenured Brown.
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Kevin Zeitler and J.C. Tretter have more NFL experience, but Bitonio has been through the wars in Cleveland. That leadership will be needed to help further along the career of Shon Coleman and newly drafted Austin Corbett.
Speaking of Coleman and Corbett, the Browns need to figure out who will be starting at left tackle on Sundays. It would be best if they could decide this early letting that person take all the first team repetitions in training camp this fall.
Splitting time between them or anyone else will not allow the starter to gel with his teammates which will lead to errors on the field. More than any position group, the offensive line needs settled early to build a cohesive unit.
The Browns need to resolve any issues around the starter at left tackle early in camp. They also need to identify a leader in the offensive line room. Failing to tackle this obstacle could create a lot of headaches on Sunday’s for Browns quarterbacks.
Second, the Browns need to address depth on defense