The Browns are the darlings of the AFC North. They're a perfect rags to riches story. Like a phoenix, they will rise from the ashes and dethrone the Ravens and the Steelers atop the division. Right? Well, I've heard it a lot.
There are reasons for optimism. The Browns added OBJ, Olivier Vernon, and Sheldon Richardson in the offseason. Their quarterback just had more touchdown passes than any rookie has ever thrown. I get why Cleveland is excited.
I just don't think they'll be better than the Steelers.
Continuity on the offensive line matters. Greg Robinson is listed as the Browns starting left tackle, and he's played a combined 14 games the last two years. Their listed starter at center, Austin Corbett, has started one game in his NFL career.
Meanwhile, the Steelers are returning their entire offensive line. Alejandro Villanueva was a Pro-Bowl player last year. Ramon Foster has been a solid starter since 2011. Maurkice Pouncey is a seven-time Pro-Bowler. David DeCastro has made it four times. Matt Feiler was the starter for the majority of 2018.
The Steelers are better up front than the Browns are. I don't care how much skill position talent you have, you need to be able to protect the quarterback.
The Steelers also have continuity from an organizational standpoint. The Rooney's have owned the Steelers since the dawn of time. Mike Tomlin is entering his 13th season as the man in charge. Kevin Colbert has been the GM since the year 2000. Ben has been under center since 2004.
Meanwhile, the Browns have a first year head coach. Not just in the NFL. No, it's Freddy Kitchens' first head coaching job EVER.
The Browns have a bunch of talent, but I'll take the team with continuity over the one that's always in flux.