But a few weeks into camp the bad news started piling up: First was LB Chris Gocong's season-ending Achilles injury, then news of Richardson being sidelined (the Browns are still hopeful he'll be available for the opener after arthroscopic surgery on his knee), then Joe Haden's possible suspension for violating the league substance abuse policy.
You thought all the love and optimism could last? These are the Browns, after all.
McCoy's best chance to find playing time is in Cleveland, not on another team where he'd be a forgotten back-up. "I feel like what we're trying to do is slowing down for me. ... I know where my guys are going to be," he said. "I think that's just part of a natural progression of playing quarterback and being a year in the same system and having an offseason. I think all those things are positives."
The Browns can't catch a break. They have the third-hardest strength of schedule, the toughest for a non-playoff team. Cleveland's opening stretch is the most brutal: after a home game in Philly, it plays three of the next four games on the road, and all against playoff teams (Giants, Ravens, Bengals). The finish? The Browns close the season on the road against Peyton Manning in Denver and Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh.