The 2014 NFL Regular Season schedule was released Wednesday, April 23rd.
Mary Kay Cabot, from Cleveland.com and the Plain Dealer, discussed the Browns schedule and placed high importance on the second half of the season.
Here are some highlights:
Nathan Zegura: “The Browns have an opportunity at the beginning of the season to change the narrative and there will be no other way to do that than to go to Pittsburg and beat them right off the bat. I love what Mike Pettine said about his first game as a NFL coach and it being against the Steelers. It doesn’t get any better than that. The Browns schedule is mapped out to have a challenging starting stanza and a challenging closing stanza, but an opportunity in the middle of the season to really get hot and find out what this Browns team can really do. It also tells me that the likelihood of
Micheal Reghi: “You get the sense that everyone wants to change the culture and belief of this franchise and the way you do that is through toughness and relentlessness. What a better way to do that than with the Steelers on that first Sunday in September. As we know, Pittsburg is one of the franchises that don’t really believe in free agency. They are about building through the draft and that’s their M.O., so it’s going to be interesting to see the pieces they have to pick up and how quickly they can meld and get into that Pittsburg-system. To me, the first three weeks of the schedule are daunting. Two of the three teams did not make the playoffs last year, but we know that Pittsburg and Baltimore have been pertinent playoff teams in the NFL and they have been the measuring stick in the AFC North. That’s what the Browns are trying to attain and that’s what they have to kick their season off with. One of my mottos is that if you want to get to the playoffs and be relevant, you have to win your division. Yes, it looks daunting, but we know how much things change week to week, so I like it. If you are going on what we may forecast games to be, I see that there are a lot of opportunities to do some winning this season.”
Mary Kay Cabot: “One of the things that really stand out to me about the schedule is finishing two of the last three games with AFC North rivals. Those games are going to be really meaningful with all the pieces and parts (the Browns) have added this offseason. The Browns got off to a fairly strong start last year and things were looking good for them, until they fell apart. What I don’t like is having the bye-week so early and I think it could hurt the team injury-wise. I will say that what I’ve seen over the years is that it is far more important to hit your stride in the last six games of the season. It just doesn’t matter that much what is happening the first six games, so I think they really need to be coming all together, scheme-wise, with about five or six games left in the season. … I have been saying this from day one and I just haven’t waived from it: I think the Browns need to take a quarterback in the first round and if I were running the team, I would take him with the pick at four. If you have to overspend a little, that doesn’t bother me, so long as you think it’s a guy that will change the fortune of the franchise.