3 reasons Browns will win AFC North in 2023, and 2 they won’t

The Cleveland Browns have a shot at winning the AFC North, but it won't be easy. Here are 3 reasons they can do it and 2 reasons they could fall short.
Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout
Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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Why the Browns will win the AFC North: New special teams coach

A lot of noise was made when the Browns decided to move on from Joe Woods and eventually replace him with Jim Schwartz. A veteran defensive coordinator, Schwartz is well-respected and even won a Super Bowl in this same role with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017.

His presence should be a huge boost for the franchise but there's another coaching hire that's been slightly overlooked.

In addition to Schwartz, the Browns also added Bubba Ventrone to the coaching staff. Ventrone replaces Mike Priefer as the special teams coordinator and it's clear a change needed to be made.

As DPD's Josh Brown pointed out, the Browns were near the bottom of the NFL in Rick Gosselin's annual special team ranking. Even when they improved in 2022, they were still in the lower half of the league.

" In 2020 they ranked 28th on the list. 2021 was even worse, as they ranked 30th overall. With the addition of Jerome Ford and the move to put Donovan Peoples-Jones as the punt returner, Cleveland did jump to 18th in Gosselin's 2022 rankings. "

Brown, DPD

As for Ventrone, he saw steady improvement in those same rankings. He took over the role for Indianapolis in 2019 and the Colts were 29th but then finished top-10 in each of the next three seasons landing fourth in 2020, second in 2021, and eighth in 2022.

His presence should give Cleveland a huge boost and there's no denying a game or two could come down to special teams. This year, the Browns should feel confident whenever that happens.