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www.wmfd.com - The Browns have an abundance of talent on their 2014 roster, but may be without their biggest star for the entire season. }}" />

   
 
 
Browns camp full of talent, but may lose biggest star

Story By: Brian Skowronski

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 7/31/2014

A record number of fans continue to turn out for Browns training camp in Berea, as the team has generated a buzz around the league.

The biggest story line surrounding Cleveland's camp has no doubt been the quarterback battle between veteran Brian Hoyer and polarizing rookie Johnny Manziel. The 22nd pick in this May's NFL Draft has struggled at times during the teams first week of training camp, acknowledging at Thursday's morning practice that, "it's me against the playbook right now."

Despite Manziel's battle with the playbook, the voice of the Browns, Jim Donovan, says Johnny Football has helped bring an excitement to Cleveland the team hasn't seen since 1999. Donovan says the biggest difference between the two training camps however, is the level of talent on the field.

In '99 Donovan says the Browns were "a true expansion team that was building right from the basement up". This season, Donovan believes the squad has "legitimate talent" and have a number of playmakers on both sides of the ball.

Cleveland's top threat on offense from a season ago may not be available for the entire season however, as Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon faces a year-long ban from the NFL. The 3rd-year pro led the league in receiving yards with 1,646 in 2013, but failed his third drug test last year that is up for appeal on Friday.

Even if Gordon loses his appeal and the Browns are without him for the entire season, analyst and former Cleveland offensive tackle Doug Dieken, believes the team can still be successful without him. Dieken says the team can "take the emphasis off the passing game" with the additions of running backs Ben Tate and talented rookie Terrance West.

He also says wide receivers Nate Burleson and Andrew Hawkins, who the Browns landed in free agency, "give them some options" in the passing game. But the one player Dieken says can make up for the loss of a player like Gordon, is tight end Jordan Cameron. The 4th- year pro is "a special talent", according to Dieken, and can give the team options with his versatility in the passing game.

Cleveland would love to have Gordon back, of course, after the 3rd-year break out star accounted for nearly 30% of the Browns offensive production last season. With or without him, the team certainly has an upgrade in talent from last years 4-12 squad and will continue to remain in the media limelight throughout the preseason.

   
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