2007 season recap
Key camp questions
Can Jamal Lewis repeat his 2007 performance?
Bringing in Lewis from Baltimore last season proved to be a wise move, as he was the reason the Browns' running attack was one of the 10 best in the league. Lewis missed two games and still finished with 1,304 yards and 9 touchdowns. He'll be 29 when the season opens and the Browns hope he'll be a big part of their balanced, effective offense in 2008. Lewis likely won't see a lot of time in camp, and with little experience behind him, the Browns will have to see what they have in Jason Wright and Jerome Harrison, who combind for just 83 carries last season.
Did the Browns' defense line improve enough to make a difference?
Given the Browns' success last year despite owning the league's 30th-ranked defense, Cleveland's front office must feel the Browns are ready to make a deep playoff run. The club made two key (and costly) moves in the offseason to bolster a line that gave up nearly 130 yards per game on the ground, acquiring DT Corey Williams from Green Bay and Pro Bowl DT Shaun Rogers from Detroit. Getting those two acclimated to a new system is on the camp's to-do list.
Will the young corners come out of camp game-ready?
In order to get Williams, the Browns had to trade CB Leigh Bodden, one of the bright spots for the secondary in 2007. Daven Holly, expected to start this season, was placed on IR after injuring his knee in May, and the team released veteran Kenny Wright after a run-in with the law. The Browns will rely on two second-year men, Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald, to anchor the cornerback spots and they signed 12-year veteran Terry Cousin to add depth.
Key position battle
No. 3 WR -- Joe Jurevicius vs. himself: The job is Jurevicius' to lose, as he had 50 receptions and 3 TDs last year. But the 33-year-old underwent another knee operation in late June, an ailment that will likely land him on the Browns' PUP list to start the season, meaning he would miss the first six games. That leaves the door open for Josh Cribbs, Travis Wislon and lanky rookie Paul Hubbard to vie for playing time behind starters Braylon Edwards and newly acquired Donte' Stallworth.
LB Beau Bell: The Browns aren't interested in re-building -- so they traded their top three picks and chose linebacker Beau Bell in the fourth round -- a possible steal since other teams passed him up because he suffered a knee injury at the Senior Bowl. The UNLV product will have a chance to develop as an ILB in Cleveland's defensive scheme.
On the spot
GM Phil Savage: His team's situation is completely reversed compared to last year. The organization put the hopes of the franchise on Derek Anderson, signing him to a huge contract. Then the front office spent a lot of time convincing Browns fans it was the right decision. Some fans are still unsure about Anderson's ability. The NFL has no doubt -- they gave him five games in primetime in 2008. The Browns won't only be in the spotlight, they'll be under the microscope when camp opens in Berea.
WR Braylon Edwards: Edwards broke out with 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2007, so it's no surprise to see him ranked among the fantasy elite at his position. Once Randy Moss and Terrell Owens are off the board, Edwards will be one of the next wideouts drafted.