Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 6/20/12

Vegas isn’t very impressed with the Browns, and now ESPN’s John Clayton is echoing the sentiments. Clayton doesn’t doubt that Weeden, Richardson and Mitch Schwartz will come in and start. He also recognizes the addition of Brad Childress to the coaching staff. In the end, it isn’t enough for the Browns to make what Mike Holmgren refers to as a “big jump” in the record books.

Despite these additions, there are some major doubts about whether the Browns’ offense will take the necessary step forward because of their wide receivers. Cleveland lacked speed and dependable hands (Cleveland was tied for the most drops in the NFL) at this position last season, and the Browns did very little to change that.

There is some good news for Browns fans if you think the opinion of AFC North writer Jamison Hensley means anything. While he agrees with Clayton’s assessment of the W/L record, he seems to think the way the Browns lose this year will be of an improved nature.

Clayton is spot-on with four wins, although I will put an asterisk by it. The Browns will be a much better team despite not improving on last season’s win total. A challenging schedule, a tough division and a lack of playmakers in the passing game will lead to the fifth straight season of at least 11 losses.

As I’ve stated time and again, I think predicting W/L records is nearly impossible with all the moving pieces and question marks, not just in Cleveland but all over the league. What is encouraging, at least on paper, is that most think the Browns have improved the team year-over-year even if they can’t see the Browns winning a ton of games within an admittedly scary-looking schedule.

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