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2007 Cleveland Browns Preview

2007 Cleveland Browns preview from MadduxSports.com. Use an experts NFL picks this season to turn your normal losing seasons into point spread success.

Brady Quinn Overload
By Adam Barone

In case you live on a different planet or under a very large rock, the Cleveland Browns nabbed Brady Quinn in April's NFL draft. He's the flashy, muscular quarterback formerly of the little-known Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Quinn got more hype than Christmas from the start of the '06 NCAA season when he was the heavy favorite to win the Heisman trophy, right up until the NFL draft, when there was speculation that he would be a top three pick.

Last season the Browns were pretty much putrid across the board and had essentially nothing to be proud of. Coming into the draft they had more holes than a sponge and could only pray that things would go well. They knew that they had some high quality building blocks already in Cleveland - WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow Jr., as well as free agent signee RB Jamal Lewis - as a foundation for 2007 and the future, so one weekend in April could mean everything.

Because they signed Lewis to replace 2006 leading rusher Reuben Droughns, the selection of hard working OT Joe Thomas made the most sense simply because of the team's lack of quality offensive linemen. Last season the Browns gave up 54 sacks – good for third worst in the entire NFL. Number one was Oakland with 72 (yes, that's right SEVENTY-TWO), and number two was Detroit with 63. Recognize that order from anywhere? What a shock – if your quarterback is constantly getting smeared on the turf, your record will suck to a strangely corresponding degree. The Browns also signed free agent G Eric Steinbach to help shore up their blocking.
Brady Quinn slipped past Minnesota and Miami, the only other teams in the early part of the first round (aside from the previously mentioned grotesque three) that were in need of selecting a quarterback with such a high pick and the Browns traded ahead of Kansas City to take him at number 22. Quinn will compete with Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson for the starting quarterback job, but should start as soon as he is ready.

Competing in a division with defenses like Pittsburgh and Baltimore, not to mention an offense like Cincinnati's to keep up with, Brady will certainly not have an easy road to success. He was a quick study under former Super Bowl champion offensive coordinator Charlie Weis in college and should be equally as adept in the pros. The knock on Quinn though, is his accuracy and decision making ability. He may not be able to get the ball to the right place at the right time, especially with less time in the fast moving professional ranks. Expect Kellen Winslow, Jr. to see the ball flying in his direction many times in 2007, no matter who is playing quarterback, simply because of his ability to get open in the middle of the field and in the flat and provide a safe target for the young signal callers.

This offense will need to find a big play threat to supplement Jamal Lewis out of the backfield, find a right guard and stay healthy in order to have any hope for success for Quinn, Frye or Anderson.
Allowing 344 yards per game will almost certainly land you in the basement of any division, and that's just what it did in '06 for Brady's new bunch. Giving up 142.2 yards per game on the ground (4th to last in the league) will make it very difficult to be consistent defensively or offensively, simply because your offense will have fewer opportunities to take the field if the other team is holding the ball and running the clock.

The defense added UNLV CB Eric Wright in the draft, an extremely athletic defender whom the Browns were very high on, and still have monstrous Ted Washington at nose tackle to clog things up in the middle for their 3-4 scheme. If they can find a way to get pressure from their ends, Cleveland could see an improvement on defense simply because of their solid linebacking corps made up of Andra Davis, Kamerion Wimbley, and Leon Williams, lead by veteran Willie McGinest.

2007 Cleveland Browns Predictions

Sports gamblers will likely show the Browns as extreme long shots to even win their division in 2007, let alone go any further, which is entirely accurate. Until they can solidify the line on both sides and establish a ground game, they will have trouble making it to .500. With an inability to control either side of the ball, there is little chance they will get any respect from bettors and will likely be given big points by NFL oddsmakers. Watch for them to show a spark on either side in hopes of them covering a big spread in later weeks.

If you enjoyed reading our Cleveland Browns preview read up on the rest of the AFC North opponents like the Ravens, Steelers, and Bengals team breakdowns from Maddux Sports.

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2007 NFL Team Previews

As usual Maddux presents its anual 2007 NFL preview sorted by divisions. From each division you can find our predictions as well an individual team report of each National League Football Team. Click here to return to the main NFL season preview page.


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