Cleveland Browns: Road map to a division crown

The Cleveland Browns have made a lot of changes but will it be enough to take them to a division crown?
Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout
Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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The Cleveland Browns have changed nearly everything but their head coach since the playoff win against the Steelers (love to say that) back in 2020.

Jim Schwartz is now running the defense. Bubba Ventrone is the new special teams coach. Deshaun Watson now leads the offense at quarterback. There's no Jarvis Landry, OBJ(injured), Austin Hooper, or Kareem Hunt. The defensive side of the ball still has Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward starting. That's it.

All this to say, a lot has changed in just two years.

The hope is all of these changes will lead to another trip to the playoffs. In an AFC that seems stocked with talented teams, the division title may be the only way to get there. The first step taken was in the offseason, improving the roster and coaching staff.

Jim Schwartz and Bubba Ventrone

These two coaches bring both experience and success to their respective units. Schwartz has been to the playoffs as a head coach and a coordinator eight times and four more as an assistant. He also made two trips to the Super Bowl, one as an assistant with the Tennessee Titans and winning one as defensive coordinator of the Philidelphia Eagles.

Schwartz is a proven winner with a proven defensive system that should help take the talent the Browns signed and already have on the defense to another level. This is a big step to winning the division and getting back to the playoffs. 

Another area of weakness for the Browns since the start of the Kevin Stefanski era has been the special teams unit. Over his four seasons at the helm, former special teams coach Mike Priefer never finished higher than 14th in Rick Gosselin's special teams' rankings. 

Bubba Ventrone would start his tenure with the 29th-ranked special teams unit in 2019 per the same ranking and never fall out of the top 10 after. With Ventrone leading special teams, the hope is to take that unit into the top ten and another step toward being the best all-around team in the division. 

Adding these two coaches was a crucial step in upgrading the team and putting them on the level of the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens.