The 2017 Cleveland Browns preview. Where to begin? Well the best place to start is at the top, which is the coaching staff. A coaching staff that went through some changes during the off-season, of course. What kind of an off-season would it be without some type of coaching change, but unlike years before these changes seem to have already paid off and might have jolted this rebuild.
Head Coach/Offense: Hue Jackson. Jackson is entering his second season with the Browns, as we all know. Last season's 1-15 record doesn't do him justice. He basically did all he could. Multiple injuries at key positions, quarterback, offensive line, and receiver, didn't truly allow him to call the type of games he wanted too. Going into the 2017 season the Browns are expected to be a run heavy team.
Along with Wylie, the Browns brought in David Lee to coach the quarterbacks. Last year's QB coach Pep Hamilton left the Browns to take the offensive coordinator position at the University of Michigan. Lee also bring in a ton of experience to the staff. Lee's been a coach in College and the NFL for over 40 years.
Overall Offensive Outlook: The Browns will be a ground and pound football team this season. No matter who's taking the snaps behind center. Its not crazy to predict guys like Isaiah Crowell to have monster years. Plus, with a vastly improved defense the Browns should be able to "Feed the Crow" and protect the quarterback from games where they must throw the ball over 30-35 times.
Defensive Coaches: The defensive side of the ball is headlined by new Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams. Gregg Williams comes to Cleveland as arguably the best defensive coordinator in the League. He's coached five top five defenses in the league, won a super bowl with the New Orleans Saints in 2009. Yes, he was part of bounty-gate but don't ask him about it...The last three seasons he was with the Rams, and helped them rank in the top 10 in defense during his tenure. Everywhere Williams goes the defense improves, and Cleveland shouldn't be any different. Williams is known for running a 4-3 base defense but he's all about playing to his players strengths. So we should see him using multiple fronts and a bunch of different combinations in the secondary. Williams brought in an entire new staff with him to Cleveland, headlined by two time All-Pro defensive end Clyde Simmons.
Overall Defensive Outlook: The defense is projecting to be the most improved area on this team. For many seasons it been our Achilles heel. The lack of run defense has forced the offense into becoming one dimensional. If the defense can force timely turnovers and keep deficits manageable, it would be hard to see how this team won't be one of the most improved teams in the NFL. But it starts on the defensive side of the ball.