POSTON: Browns are improved but have a ways to go

Eric Poston

Another Browns season is upon us once again whether you are ready or not.

The 2016 season is one everyone wants to forget, but the question is if winning is in the cards for 2017. Before you get too excited about the Browns winning all four preseason games, keep in mind it was preseason and means nothing.

Starting the season will be rookie DeShone Kizer at quarterback, the 27th quarterback since 1999. Yes, I said 27, I can’t believe it either. Another rookie to the start the season at quarterback because lets face it, the Browns still don’t have a franchise quarterback. Kizer has his work cut out for him with a lot of new faces on the roster.

In addition to a young roster, the Browns face three division games in the first four weeks of the season. Nothing comes easy for the Browns, that is for sure.

The Browns’ front office wants to win games this season I am sure, but one has to wonder why they won’t spend the money or put the players in place to do so. Lost this offseason was John Greco, offensive lineman and tight end Gary Barnidge. Terrelle Pryor left through free agency yet he was the leading receiver on the team last year. Some of these moves that the front office has allowed makes you scratch your head and wonder why.

Even Joe Haden left the Browns recently. He hasn’t been at his prime and to make matters worse, he went to the dreaded Pittsburgh Steelers.

While it isn’t all bad news for the Browns, it sure seems their receiving core is weak along with the offensive line. The Browns are famous for having tons of draft picks, yet they didn’t have enough to fill all the gaps.

There are signs the Browns are a better team this year than last, but they still have a long way to go. The defense seems better, but the offense is up for debate.

You would think a franchise that has brought so much losing would finally put the right pieces in place, but that remains to be seen. Kizer will bring a spark if he can have time in the pocket to make a quality throw. The coaching staff currently is solid and what isn’t there to like about coach Hue Jackson.

Some of the pieces are coming together, but it seems the Browns are at least several years away from being in the playoffs. Maybe the Browns have a plan to win a lot of games this season, but it just seems there are way too many holes to succeed.

Only time will tell if the offseason moves were the answer for the Browns. It won’t be easy, but anything more than one win will be an improvement from last year. Winning at least four games seems like a safe bet, but I could see six wins maybe.

For now I will play the middle of the road and predict a 5-11 season for the Browns.