Off-Season Position Analysis

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Browns 2020 position preview: Analyzing the quarterbacks

The virtual work is complete and training camp will be here sooner than we know it.

From now until then, we're going to devote some time to the different position groups that dot the Browns' roster. There's been plenty of change since the Browns last took the field, and we're examining all of it with an eye toward the 2020 season.

We're continuing with a position that doesn't need any further explanation of its importance.

The Quarterbacks

Check out photos of the quarterbacks the Browns will be bringing into training camp

What we know: The 2019 season carried big expectations for Mayfield, but he ultimately struggled with inconsistency and turnovers. The offense never really found its rhythm, and some porous pass protection put the quarterback in plenty of unfortunate circumstances. That's all in the past, of course, and new Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has vowed to create an offense that brings the best out of Mayfield's skills and puts the third-year signal-caller in much more comfortable situations. That went a long way toward Kirk Cousins having one of the best seasons of his career in 2019 (3,606 yards, 26 TDs, 6 INTs, 107.4 QB rating), and the Browns believe the same can happen with the former No. 1 pick. Mayfield has already proven he can be deadly accurate and also appears to thrive when he's operating on schedule and the offense is moving at an uptempo pace. Stefanski and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt have done plenty of film review of Mayfield's first two seasons and enter with confidence he can excel within the system.

What we don't know: The spring and early summer are vital times for a quarterback to establish chemistry with his receivers. Tack on the installation of a new offense, and it becomes even more important to get on the field and work out the kinks as much as possible. All of that, of course, has yet to happen, and that adds an extra wrinkle to the challenge Mayfield and the Browns face entering 2020. Mayfield organized a session earlier in the spring with a handful of receivers, but the group did not include Odell Beckham Jr. or Jarvis Landry, both of whom were recovering from offseason surgeries at the time. It's a long way of saying the Browns will really need to hit the ground running when they're able to participate in on-field workouts, and Mayfield will be at the forefront of ensuring a smooth transition from the system the team operated last year to the one Stefanski and Van Pelt are installing for 2020 and beyond. Stefanski on Thursday said he and Van Pelt were discussing whether or not the offense would need to be scaled back because of this lack of on-field reps. "We are going to wait to see what the framework of the practice schedule and meeting schedule looks like, but it is definitely something that is on our mind," he said. "We're making sure that we are covering all of the things we need to cover and then being very mindful about how we do that."

X-Factor: Keenum - Signing the veteran was a priority acquisition for the Browns. He not only brings years of starting experience, but also in-depth knowledge of the offense Stefanski and Van Pelt will be installing. It also doesn't hurt Keenum had a career year when Stefanski was his quarterbacks coach. He'll be an invaluable resource for Mayfield while also providing a reliable option off the bench in the unfortunate event Mayfield is unable to play. Keenum has embraced his new situation and understands his role within the Browns' otherwise young quarterbacks room. "I have come into situations where there is a competition, and I know this is not one," Keenum said in March after he signed his contract. "We knew finding a situation where there was an attractive backup job was going to be our priority, and we did that with the Browns. I know what my role is, and that's nice."

The biggest number: 93.7 - That was the quarterback rating Mayfield had as a rookie. If he would have hit that number in 2019, he would have ranked 13th in the NFL. If he exceeds that level by just a couple of points in 2020, that would likely put him in the top 10. Cousins, for what it's worth, posted the fourth-best rating in the league last year.

Says it all: "I have a different approach to this year. I think everybody who has been interviewed on our team has hit the nail on the head over and over about it is time to work. It is time to do our thing, instead of talking about it … It is just time to go do it. Right now, it is kind of moving in silence, which is fine with me. That is how I used to do it before getting on a bigger stage so I am happy to get back to those roots and like I said earlier, get back to the fundamentals to where I can accomplish the goals when the season comes around." — Mayfield

How many were kept on the initial 53-man roster last year?: 3

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