The Cleveland Browns were the dominant NFL team in the 1950s and a consistent playoff team in the '50s, '60s, and '80s.
Since returning to the NFL in 1999, Cleveland has recorded the second worst record in the NFL, trailing only the Detroit Lions.
Cleveland has also scored the fewest points and has been shut out 12 times, by far the most in the league in that time span.
Will the Browns continue this trend or return to their glory days?
Here is what I gathered from the Browns’ 2013 OTA’s:
10) Return of Offensive Guard Jason Pinkston
Pinkston last played on October 14, 2012 where he left the game due to flu-like symptoms. He became very ill over the next weeks and doctors discovered a blood clot in his lung.
This sidelined Pinkston for the rest of the season and his career was put in jeopardy. He was put on blood thinners and had a very strict diet and now he’s back on the practice field with the second-team offense. Look for Pinkston to earn his starting spot back during the offseason.
9) Patience of Barkevious Mingo
The first round draft of the Cleveland Browns has not been practicing with the first team defense, but fans shouldn’t be worried-it’s only May.
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton and the rest of the Browns’ coaching staff are going to be patient with Mingo and make sure he is learning and digesting all of the defensive schemes clearly. Mingo will be an explosive player for the Browns who most likely will be starting once the first game rolls around.
8) Change of Venue for OL Shaun Lauvao
Offensive guard Shaun Lauvao has spent the first three years of his career on the right side of the line, but has switched over and practiced on the left side during OTAs. Pinkston could slide into the right side and Lauvao is versatile enough to make the transition to the left side.
7) All Eyes on QB Brandon Weeden
Weeden’s passes have been on mark during OTAs and he has operated the offense with more of a tempo and pace. Coach Rob Chudzinski and Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner will look to put Weeden in a shotgun spread offense that attacks downfield. This will suit Weeden well and give him the best chance to succeed.
6) Welcome Back Running Back Brandon Jackson
Jackson signed with the Browns in 2011 as a free agent and only played in two games last season. He has been hindered by injuries in his years in Cleveland, but he will try and put that behind him and become a contributor in third downs out of the backfield and on special teams.
5) Flipping Sides
Outside linebackers Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard have been switching between left and right sides.
The Browns want to make sure both players are getting reps at each side because it could benefit them during the season and give offenses a different look.
4) Hometown QB Brian Hoyer
The Saint Ignatius alum is back in his hometown city of Cleveland most likely as the third string quarterback.
The media has been paying a lot of attention to Hoyer because of his hometown roots with the Browns and the fact that he played under Bill Belichick in New England.
Hoyer will get some serious looks if Weeden struggles early.
3) Return of Jim Brown to the Front Office
Legend running back Jim Brown is back in Cleveland as a team advisor under new owner Jimmy Haslam. Brown will be involved with player relations and the community.
2) Richardson Injured Again
RB Trent Richardson has been sidelined due to a strained muscle in his lower right leg. The Browns and Richardson are being cautious about the injury so it is not a lingering problem. Expect the Browns to get Richardson back sometime during mini-camp.
1) New Front Office and Coaching Staff
The Browns are under leadership of new owner Jimmy Haslam whose company, Pilot Flying J, is under federal investigation for rebate fraud. The rest of the office is made up of GM Mike Lombardi and CEO Joe Banner.
Head coach Rob Chudzinksi will try to lead the Browns back to relevance along with offensive coordinator Norv Turner and defensive coordinator Ray Horton.