With 2023 NFL training camps set to kick off the week of July 24, it's time to get up to speed on all 32 NFL teams. Eric Edholm has the lowdown on position battles, key players and notable subplots across the AFC North:
Catch up on the Cleveland Browns' offseason and 2023 outlook below ...
Training Camp Dates/Information
- Players report: July 19 (rookies); July 21 (veterans)
- Location: CrossCountry Mortgage Campus | Berea, Ohio (fan information)
Notable Roster Changes
|2023 Draft class||Selection|
|WR Cedric Tillman||Round 3 (No. 74 overall)|
|DT Siaki Ika||Round 3 (No. 98)|
|OT Dawand Jones||Round 4 (No. 111)|
|DE Isaiah McGuire||Round 4 (No. 126)|
|QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson||Round 5 (No. 140)|
|CB Cameron Mitchell||Round 5 (No. 142)|
|C Luke Wypler||Round 6 (No. 190)|
- Hall of Fame Game: vs. New York Jets | 8 p.m. ET (NBC) on Thursday, Aug. 3
- Week 1: vs. Washington Commanders | 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 11
- Week 2: at Philadelphia Eagles | 7:30 p.m. ET (NFL Network) on Thursday, Aug. 17
- Week 3: at Kansas City Chiefs | 1 p.m. ET (NFL Network) on Saturday, Aug. 26
2023 Schedule Notes
- Seventh easiest strength of schedule in 2023 based on their opponents' 2022 win percentage (.460).
- Only team with four of their first five games at home.
- Three of their first four games are against AFC North foes (vs. Bengals, at Steelers, vs. Ravens).
-- NFL Research
Subplots To Track
1) Last season was not the kind of debut Browns fans expected from Deshaun Watson after Cleveland acquired him in a massive trade and signed him to a fully guaranteed $230 million contract. He struggled after returning from an 11-game suspension for violating the league's personal-conduct policy, averaging fewer than 200 yards passing per game and posting the seventh lowest passer rating (79.1) of any quarterback with 150 or more attempts last season.
Can he regain the form that earned him three straight trips to the Pro Bowl from 2018 to 2020?
The Browns have added playmakers at receiver, and another year in the system should help Watson, but there's major pressure for him to prove his value after receiving one of the richest contracts in league history.
2) Is Elijah Moore the missing ingredient? The Browns made a prudent trade last year, landing Amari Cooper from Dallas. Also, they appeared to find a steal in 2020 sixth-round pick Donovan Peoples-Jones. But the receiving unit was still missing something last season: a target who can catch a short pass and take it a long way.
Enter Moore, who never found consistent footing with the Jets despite flashing some exciting ability. He was dealt to the Browns in what could end up being a steal if Moore develops as a slot weapon this season.
3) Replacing Joe Woods at defensive coordinator is long-time assistant Jim Schwartz, who has developed a reputation of providing quick improvement on D in his first year at previous stops.
Schwartz will be tasked with cutting down on the coverage lapses the Browns suffered a year ago, as well as generating more big plays defensively. Despite Myles Garrett recording 16 sacks by himself, Cleveland had just 34 as a team last season (ranked 27th in the NFL). The unit also only generated 11 interceptions (21st) and 11 forced fumbles (22nd).
There's talent at all three levels of the defense, but Garrett and the newcomers at edge rusher (Za'Darius Smith, Ogbo Okoronkwo and rookie Isaiah McGuire) must set the tone. There are still questions about depth at defensive tackle, linebacker and safety. Still, this could be a very good group in time.