ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

2015 NFL Season Preview- Cleveland Browns

Updated on July 10, 2015

2014 Review

After a start that offered much hope, the team's finish gave Cleveland nothing but heartaches and anger.

The team started the year 6-3, but lost six of their final seven games to finish 7-9.

Brian Hoyer started the year as the starting quarterback and went 7-6 before inconsistent play towards the end of the season pressured the coaching staff to make a change. Rookie Johnny Manziel was no better as his first start ended in a 30-0 blowout at the hands of Cincinnati. Rookie running backs Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell combined for over 1,200 yards on the ground but both had issues with their fundamentals. Prized free agent running back Ben Tate was released midseason because of attitude issues over playing time. Wide receiver Josh Gordon caught 24 passes for 303 yards in five games after returning from a 10 game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Andrew Hawkins, Taylor Gabriel, and Travis Benjamin all showed they could stretch the field. Tight end Jordan Cameron dealt with a severe concussion for much of the season and only caught 24 passes. The running game had the third best yardage total in the league but after Alex Mack broke his leg in the fifth game, the rushing yards fell to 17th.

The defensive line was a mess as many key starters missed a significant amount of time because of injuries. The linebacker corps was strong both inside and out as Paul Kruger lived up to his free agency price tag and Karlos Dansby led the team in tackles before being injured late in the year. The secondary is the strength of this defense as Joe Haden was the teams shutdown corner and safety Tashaun Gibson was leading the league in interceptions before injuring his knee with five games left in the season.

The team had four pro bowlers in left tackle Joe Thomas, cornerback Joe Haden, free safety Tashaun Gibson, and strong safety Donte Whitner. Thomas proved why he's one of the best tackles in football by making the pro bowl for the eighth straight year. Haden covered the opponent's best receiver each week. Whitner was the vocal leader of the team and finished with a team leading 106 tackles.

The rookie class had a mixture of good and bad performances. Cornerback Justin Gilbert didn't give enough effort to please teammates or coaches and Johnny Manziel was an embarrassment. However linebacker Chris Kirksey showed a nice transition to the pro game and guard Joel Bitonio stepped up after injuries to the interior lineman.

Browns 2014 Rankings

Passing Yards
Rushing Yards
Opponent Passing Yards
Opponent Rushing Yards
Total Offense
Total Defense
216.6 ypg
108 ypg
224.5 ypg
141.6 ypg
324.6 ypg
366.1 ypg
NFL Rank- 20th
NFL Rank- 17th
NFL Rank- 8th
NFL Rank- Last
NFL Rank- 23rd
NFL Rank- 23rd

2015 Offseason

After going 7-9 in his first season as head coach, Mike Pettine looks to have the right mentality and attitude for the city of Cleveland.

After offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan left for Atlanta, he was replaced by former Oakland Raiders quarterback coach John DeFilippo.

On January 25, it was announced that wide receiver Josh Gordon was facing a year-long suspension following a fifth failed drug test, this time for alcohol. This follows a 10-game suspension in 2014 for testing positive for marijuana. On February 3, the league imposed the suspension without pay for at least one year, possibly indefinitely. His earliest return would be training camp for the 2016 season.

On February 3, quarterback Johnny Manziel voluntarily entered a rehab facility for dependence on alcohol. He left the facility two months later.

On March 30, it was announced that general manager Ray Farmer was suspended for the first four games of the season without pay and the Browns were fined $250,000 for sending text messages to coaches and coordinators during games during the 2014 season, a violation of NFL rules.

Notable Additions- QB Josh McCown, QB Thad Lewis, QB/WR Terrelle Pryor, WR Dwayne Bowe, WR Brian Hartline, TE Rob Housler, DL Randy Starks, DB Tramon Williams, P Andy Lee

Notable Departures- QB Brian Hoyer, WR Miles Austin, TE Jordan Cameron, NT Ahtyba Rubin, OLB Jabal Sheard, CB Buster Skrine, SS Jim Leonhard, P Spencer Lanning

Browns 2014 Highlights

Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State
Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State

2015 NFL Draft

Going into the draft, Cleveland held the 12th overall pick and the 19th overall pick from Buffalo after they traded up in the 2014 draft to select Sammy Watkins. The Browns had many positions to address including quarterback, wide receiver, and defensive tackle.

Johnny Manziel showed no reason the Browns should have faith in him this season. They acquired Josh McCown, but he is nothing more than a journeyman at this point.

Josh Gordon will likely be suspended for the entire year after another failed drug test and Jordan Cameron is now in Miami. The Browns need a dominant receiver.

Cleveland finished dead last against the run last year and they have given up more than 2,000 yards rushing in 14 of the past 16 seasons. The defense needs a dominant run stopper in the middle.

The Browns ended up selecting Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton with the 12th overall pick and Florida State offensive lineman Cameron Erving with the 19th overall pick. Shelton was seen as the best run defending defensive tackle in the draft but doesn't have the technical skills of a pass rusher. Erving was praised for his versatility as he played almost every position on the offensive line in college but he isn't very consistent with his footwork or hand technique.

Cleveland also notably selected Utah defensive end Nate Orchard in the second round, Miami running back Duke Johnson in the third, and Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu in the seventh. Orchard had one of the quickest first steps of any defensive end in the draft but he has a lean fram and lacks the muscle definition needed for the position. Johnson had one of the best acceleration speeds of any running back in this draft but he lacks the ideal size for a three down running back at the pro level. Ekpre-Olomu was the best playmaking cornerback in the draft but fell to the seventh round after tearing his ACL in preparation for Oregon's Rose Bowl match against Florida State.

Danny Shelton Highlights

What to Expect

The path of Cleveland's season will be paved by the play of the quarterback.

Whether it's Johnny Manziel or Josh McCown, the quarterback can't put the team in a compromising position if Cleveland is expected to win. All the other pieces on this team are in place. The quarterback has to show up and make good decisions.

This team can either be a playoff caliber team or the worst team in football. Which one will it be? I have no idea.

Best record they can hope for: 8-8

Browns 2015 Season

How will the Browns fair this season?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Kevin Goodwin 

      3 years ago

      Their running game is horrible. If they are thinking of signing Ray Rice you know how bad things must be.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Browns showed promise at times last year, but really looked poor towards the end of the year.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)