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Accolades upon accolades will likely befall the Cleveland Browns as media turns their attention fully to the 2021 season. The Browns made the playoffs with a suspect defense, a new head coach, and significant limitations due to COVID-19.
The 2020 season established the three most important parts of a successful NFL team:
Andrew Berry is a very good GM.
Kevin Stefanski is a very good head coach.
Baker Mayfield is a franchise-level quarterback.
Those three statements can be argued to some extent but, given the information available at this point, are accurate.
The Browns didn’t rest on their success this offseason. Instead, the team took a hard look at that suspect defense and made major upgrades. Adding John Johnson III, Troy Hill, and Greg Newsome II to the secondary, Anthony Walker and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah to the linebacking group, and Jadeveon Clowney, Takk McKinley, Malik Jackson, and Tommy Togiai to the defensive line.
The offense stayed much the same with the addition of all-world speed receiver Anthony Schwartz.
Not only did the Browns add players but they have a number of players expected to contribute while returning from injury or opting out for COVID-19. Odell Beckham Jr., Greedy Williams, Grant Delpit, Andrew Billings, and Drew Forbes all return in 2021 with only Beckham playing any snaps in 2020.
All of that is a lot of added firepower to last year’s roster leading ESPN’s Marcus Spears to declare the Browns the best roster, on paper:
Spears makes it clear at the start of the video that he still believes the Kansas City Chiefs are the favorites in the AFC.