Find a quarterback: Veteran placeholder? Another rookie? More Hoyer? Someone who can corral Johnny Football? Yeah, pretty much every team in this list needs a quarterback and it’s probably the top reason they’re not playing in January.
For the Browns, the quarterback doesn’t need to be spectacular, just average. It seems like a simple enough search, but past experiences have told us that the difficulty level for this quest ranks right up there with finding Jimmy Hoffa’s body.
Create offensive line depth: When center Alex Mack started this season (five games), the Browns rushed for 146.4 yards per game. When he was sidelined because of injury (the final 11 games), the Browns rushed for 90.5 yards per game.
Injuries are going to happen, but with young running back talent the Browns can’t afford to ignore adding to the depth of this offensive line, which its starters — when healthy — are comprised of two first-round picks and two second-round picks.
Improve run defense: Since the team returned in 1999, they have played some awfully bad run defense, but it was among the worst we’ve seen in 2014. Shockingly, they were able to win seven games.
The Browns were last in the league in rushing defense as opponents averaged 4.5 yards per carry and 141.6 yards per game. As it stands now, Le’Veon Bell, Justin Forsett and Jeremy Hill can’t contain their excitement about facing this run defense twice next season.
Continuity is key: Yes, the team is again searching for a coach this offseason, but at least it isn’t the head coach. Hey, that’s progress! Since the end of the 2008 season, the Browns have had four new head coaches in six seasons. The Browns are looking for a new offensive coordinator, but the old OC, Kyle Shanahan, wasn’t head coach Mike Pettine’s pick.
Former team CEO Joe Banner selected Shanahan and now those are among the faction of ghosts of Browns coaches and front office personnel past. Talk about scary.