2. The O-Line not meshing
Everything seemed to be there for Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns in 2019. Freddie Kitchens play-calling the final eight games of the prior season was nothing short of brilliant and the offense added Odell Beckham, Jr. to a team that already consisted of Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, and David Njoku. They even added Kareem Hunt for good measure, giving them one of the most fearsome running back stables in the NFL.
As impressive as the skill players were in Cleveland, there was a huge issue — the offensive line struggled mightily. Left tackle Greg Robinson was fine in the final eight games of 2018, but he didn’t look anywhere near the same caliber player in 2019. Then there was Chris Hubbard, who just never seemed to be a great fit after landing his big contract the year prior.
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At right guard, they had just as many issues as it turned out to be a revolving door.
Austin Corbett was expected to be in the mix but that never happened and he finished the season with the Los Angeles Rams. Eric Kush, Justin McCray, and Wyatt Teller all had their turns as well, with Teller winning the battle eventually.
Teller looks set to return as the starting right guard and while he’s expected to solidify the spot, they were much more concerned with fixing the tackle positions. Cleveland signed Jack Conklin in free agency and then drafted Jedrick Wills out of Alabama at No. 10 overall, giving them their new starters.
Now, all they need to do is make sure the line meshes together. The problem is, the uncertainty of COVID-19 has taken away all the offseason programs and could affect training camp. That’s not great news for an offense trying to work in two new starters while also learning a new system.
Again, this isn’t something that cannot be overcome, but there are issues to work through. And we all saw last season that if O-line isn’t right, the entire offense struggles.