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Cleveland Browns: 2014 NFL season key additions

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Cleveland Browns cleaned house within its coaching staff by firing 1st year head coach Rob Chudzinski, who should of had more time to build his own team. It looked like he got fired for losing with someone else players. Also both coordinators, Norv Turner(offense) and Ray Farmer(defense) left for same positions with other teams. The Browns had one of the most productive offenses in the league until their quarterback Brian Hoyer went down with a season ending injury. The defense was in the Top 10 and had plenty of youth. They just didn't have enough pieces to win close games.

In 2014, the Browns will be led by new head coach Mike Pettine, formerly the defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills. The defense brings back many of last year's starters with the exception of safety T.J. Ward who signed with the Denver Broncos. He will be replaced by former San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner. The offense is what will make or break the Browns 2014 season. Wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron had break out seasons in 2013. Gordon has failed another illegal substance test and will more than likely be suspended for the entire 2014 season bringing the question of who will replace his production. Several players were added in the off season to correct some of 2013 problems. Look below at key additions.

Johnny Manziel - quarterback
Johnny Manziel - quarterback David Maxwell/Getty Images

Johnny Manziel - quarterback

Johnny Manziel, known as Johnny football, was drafted in the 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft to be the future franchise quarterback for the Browns. Manziel brings a certain excitement and interest that have the fans of Cleveland thrilled about the future possibilities of the team. He had a sensational college career at Texas A&M where he won the Heisman Trophy. Manziel is great at keeping plays alive with his legs and has a strong enough arm to make all of the throws. He needs to work on becoming more of a pocket passer and giving a play time to develop before scrambling. He has had several off the field incidents and if he can get control of that he could make Cleveland football exciting for the fans again. 

Ben Tate - running back
Ben Tate - running back Bob Levey/Getty Images

Ben Tate - running back

Ben Tate was signed away from the Houston Texans during free agency. He has the size, playing strength, and some starting experience to carry the load. Tate's career so far has been a question mark. We got glimpses of what he could do at times, but has had an injury plagued career limiting his playing time in Houston. If he can stay healthy for an entire season he is capable of producing over 1,000 yards rushing. Tate is also capable of catching the ball out of the back field. 

Justin Gilbert - cornerback
Justin Gilbert - cornerback Jason Miller/Getty Images

Justin Gilbert - cornerback

Justin Gilbert was drafted with the 1st of two first round draft picks that Cleveland had in the 2014 NFL Draft. He has good length and speed to mirror receivers around the field. His change of direction needs to be more fluid, but he can recover with his foot quickness well. He has very good ball skills and good hands to pluck the ball out of the air. He is best at press man coverage using his size and length to steer the receiver to his help. Gilbert will be a good compliment playing opposite of star Joe Haden down the road once he polishes his techniques. 

Miles Austin - wide receiver
Miles Austin - wide receiver Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Miles Austin - wide receiver

Miles Austin may end up being the savior for the receivers group. Starter, Josh Gordon will more than likely be suspended for the entire 2014 season with a repeated failed drug test. Austin brings veteran leadership from his time in Dallas. He has had some hamstring injury problems the last couple of years, but when healthy he is still capable of producing on the field. His veteran presence should help rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel if he is named the starter. 

Joel Bitonio - offensive tackle/guard
Joel Bitonio - offensive tackle/guard David Maxwell/Getty Images

Joel Bitonio - offensive tackle/guard

Joel Bitonio was selected in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft to help bolster the offensive line. He is a versatile lineman capable of playing several positions along the offensive line. He started at left tackle at the University of Nevada and had a late 1st round grade by some scouts. He has a good motor and foot quickness to kick slide and wall off speed rushers. He has the ability to get to the 2nd level and block on the move, that is one reason many see him playing guard well. He would do well in a zone blocking scheme. Cleveland needs an upgrade in the interior of the offensive line and Bitonio looks to fit the part. 


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