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Cleveland Browns 2017 Outlook

One team will also finish last and for the NFL’s AFC Central division that team has been the Cleveland Browns on a regular basis of late.

That trend is likely to continue as last season they finished 1-15 and have still not answered the lingering question of who their starting quarterback will be.

Brock Osweiler acquired during the offseason will start for the team’s first preseason game this week under center, but head coach Hue Jackson has said the he has not selected the starter for the opening game..

Six different players played quarterback for the Browns last season and this season besides Osweiler there will be Cody Kessler, who started eight games last season, and rookie DeShone Kizer battling for the signal caller job.

Cleveland did invest in its offensive line with the signing of free agents JC Tretter and Kevin Zietler and giving a long term extension to Joel Bitonio. The anchor on the line remains Joe Thomas their All-Pro at left tackle.

A better offensive line will allow the team to commit to its running game and could help to take pressure off the quarterback. Leading the running backs this season should be Isaiah Crowell. He ran well for the Browns last season and showed he is a capable NFL running back.

Kenny Britt was signed as a free agent wide receiver to take the place of departed Terrelle Pryor, while the team will look to Corey Coleman its first round pick from a year ago to step up.

Defensively, the Browns fired Ray Horton their defensive coordinator and brought in Gregg Williams. The Browns used their first two picks in the draft to shore up the defense. Myles Garrett could become an elite pass rusher but is only 21. Jabrill Peppers is a strong safety but has played linebacker and could play the nickel back position as well.

Both Peppers and Garrett will need to learn the NFL quickly, but both bring much needed athleticism to the Brown defense.

Jamie Collins returns at linebacker as the defense’s anchor, and the team hopes Christian Kirskey a fellow linebacker improves his play. On the defensive line, look for Emmanuel Ogbah and Danny Shelton to stop the run.

Joe Haden is expected to take a leadership role in the secondary, while Jamar Taylor looked strong late last season.

While the roster is improved from last season, the Browns will be playing for the future this season and likely remain in the AFC Central cellar.

Cleveland Browns odds

AFC Central – 33 to 1

AFC Championship – 100 to 1

Super Bowl LII – 300 to 1

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Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 2017 NFL

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