5 biggest challenges awaiting the Cleveland Browns in 2021
2. Getting all the new talent to jell
To say the Browns roster, especially the defense, underwent a makeover this offseason is an understatement. Here is a list of players who could have legitimate roles who either didn’t play the majority of the 2020 season or who were just brought in:
Demetric Felton, Odell Beckham Jr., Anthony Schwartz, Drew Forbes, James Hudson, Andrew Billings, Malik Jackson, Marvin Wilson, Malik McDowell, Tommy Togiai, Jadeveon Clowney, Takk McKinley, Curtis Weaver, Anthony Walker, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Troy Hill, Greg Newsome, Greedy Williams, Richard LeCounte, John Johnson, and Grant Delpit.
That is an absurd amount of talent to incorporate in an offseason, and it will be a good test for this coaching staff. Thankfully, COVID-19 protocols have been significantly relaxed, and there has been a good deal of face-to-face instruction over the offseason.
The preseason will also be important for these new players to get some game action with their teammates. However, it will likely take the defense a few weeks to really gel. That’s fine though, because the offense, assuming a more vertical passing game, should be more than able to shoulder the load.
The defense has the potential to be one of the league’s best units (yes, seriously). It’ll just take some time to get there.