The Cleveland Browns football team has not had a great road since inducted back into the National Football League after a three year hiatus leading up to 1999.

With a lackluster 54 wins since the team posted back in Cleveland, there is much to be desired for the franchise.

Obviously, stats lead us to know that there is no reason to revisit what Cleveland has not accomplished in that time. But instead, look forward to this season and see what is in store for the Dawg Pound.

With that being said, it seems like the Cleveland Browns will have a tough season. There are three key items to look at that will define the Cleveland Browns this season. So let's get to it!

1. Age of starters in key role positions. First of all, take a look at three skill positions on the offensive side of the football. Under center this season is Brandon Weeden. Weeden seems to have the basic skills necessary to uphold the starting position for the Browns.

As we all know, Weeden was a pitcher in the New York Yankees farm system. He has the experience in professional athletics to help the team.

After a record breaking season in the NCAA throwing passes for the Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-1 record and Fiesta Bowl win) there is work to be done for Weeden to step into this role in the NFL. He shows promise, but simply has not had the time under center at this point.

In the back-field, workhorse Trent Richardson will handle the carries. Richardson will be trying to prove he is a three-down back. But as a rookie in the league, there will be a learning curve and an advancement in defensive speed he is not yet accustom to.

Lastly on this issue, the Cleveland Browns have not drafted well in the football-catching department. The receiving core of the Cleveland Browns is young. With players such as Greg Little and supplemental addition Josh Gordon lining up to the outside, there is much room for improvement in this area as well. 

2. Injuries. The Cleveland Browns have been plagued with injuries this offseason as well as during camp into preseason.

The Browns' top overall pick in last years draft, Phil Taylor from Baylor, is out until further notice with a pectoral muscle tear. Going down the list of injuries, it looks more painful for Browns fans.

According to Dawgs by Nature (Browns insiders), 15 players missed practice earlier this week. Playmaker Mohamed Massaquoi went down hard in the first pre-season game against Detroit. Massaquoi is listed as out with a concussion.

Chris Gocong, D'Qwell Jackson, Benjamin Watson, and Travis Benjamin are also more notables who missed practice. More importantly, possibly most important of all injuries, is the knee issue that 3rd overall draft-pick Trent Richardson is facing. Richardson is rehabbing from a previous knee injury that surgery was performed on recently.

3. Off-the-field issues. The difference between this issue and the first two stated is that this is controllable. Unfortunately, the Browns have not controlled this issue very well in the off-season.

Compared to a team like the Detroit Lions, with a league high (seven court related) issues in the offseason, Cleveland has been substantially more mild. But that does not mean they have been problem-free.

Linebacker Scott Fujita faces a three game suspension in his involvement in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal. And more recently, star defensive back Joe Haden failed a drug screening. And this has not been the first time.

With a new owner in Jimmy Haslam, it seems like there might finally be some light at the end of the tunnel. But looking only at this season, Cleveland fans had better buckle up.