Brian Hoyer was named the starting QB today, but the play of Johnny Manziel will determine how successful the Browns are this year. And giving Hoyer the benefit of the doubt...assuming he plays his ass off...there are still 11 games on the schedule where the opposition has the advantage at the QB position. The teams I believe Hoyer can outduel due to their lack of QB depth are the Titans, the Jaguars, the Raiders, the Texans, and the Bills.
The play of Manziel becomes the pivot point on which the fate of the Browns will hinge. If he picks up the offense quickly, continues his ascending growth as a QB, and works the type of magic that makes 'Bama fans cringe, he will unequivocally unseat Hoyer as the starter and possibly become the hero of the 2014 season.
His line could be fierce...top ten in the NFL possibly. Alex Mack may be the best C in football. The tackles are bookends--all-pro Joe Thomas and 3 year starter Mitchell Schwarz. Schwarz may finally have a solid RG next to him in rookie Joel Bitonio. Jason Pinkston started 16 games at LG as a rookie and could win that job. John Greco is a versatile backup lineman, and Paul McQuistan provides some depth as well.
The skill players will need to play mistake free football, as their collective talent level and experience are mediocre by NFL standards. The names are Little, Hawkins, Burleson, Benjamin, Tate, West, Crowell, and Lewis. There is some talent there, but they all need to step up in a major way as Josh Gordon's availability is constantly in question.
Jordan Cameron could be a star at TE and needs to be for this offense to be dangerous. His backups are solid--Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray. Other players that may make minor contributions this season as specialists are Chris Ogbonnaya, Chris Pressley, and Marqueis Gray.
The Browns must feel pretty good about their roster talent on the offensive side of the ball with the exception of a glaring hole at WR1. The line could be great. The backs and TE's could be great. And the rookie QB could be great. The 2014 season may end up being converse narrative about the rise of a rookie and the fall of a star.