Ask Vic: Expect offensive improvement

Posted Nov 19, 2013

Senior Editor Vic Carucci answers fan questions from the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages, and

You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages, and Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say:

Wendy says: “Do you think the offense will show up next week against the Steelers?”

I say: I do, Wendy. And I don’t say that with any sense of sarcasm, as in, how could it get any worse than it was at Cincinnati on Sunday?

I fully expect the Browns to have success running the ball against the NFL’s 26th-ranked defense. And that should do plenty to help open up the Browns’ passing game. It certainly should go a long way toward taking pressure off of Jason Campbell and the Browns’ pass protection.

Although it would be a stretch to say the Browns had a major breakthrough with their running game against the Bengals, they did find greater success by incorporating the speed and explosiveness of Chris Ogbonnaya and Fozzy Whittaker, who were mainly responsible for the team’s 5.4-yards-per-carry average.

Campbell was dealing with sore ribs against the Bengals. Presumably, he’ll feel a little bit better by this Sunday. Coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner also will work with him to correct some of the issues he had in missing some open targets for big plays, including at least one touchdown, against Cincinnati.

Nicolas says: “The Browns would be contenders if they had a good LG, a decent QB, and another playmaker (besides Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron).”

I say: I agree, Nicolas.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that those areas are the Browns’ priorities for next year’s draft and free-agent signing period.

I fully expect this team to select a quarterback with a premium pick. In a perfect world, Brian Hoyer will make a full recovery from major knee surgery and compete with the rookie for the starting job. I don’t think the Browns would have any problem going with Hoyer as their starter for at least next season while a rookie quarterback develops.

I also think they will choose at least one receiver in the early rounds, and probably take a second somewhere in the middle of the draft.

Additionally, the Browns will pursue offensive linemen, probably a guard and a tackle.

It is fair to say that adding those components should allow the offense to become significantly better next season and beyond.

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