NFL offseason programs kick off for 7 teams

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

NFL offseason programs started today for seven teams who are hoping for best results than what transpired in 2013.

The National Football League has barely been in the offseason for two months. The time has seemingly zoomed by, with the NFL Combine, free agency period and draft talk dominating the airwaves in that span.

Now, teams are actually back on the field with the beginning of offseason programs for seven teams. Per league rules, franchises with new coaches can get back in action two weeks sooner than others. The coaches are limited to classroom settings and may conduct meetings, but that is all. Players may use the weight room and do on-field conditioning, but only without coaches.

Here's a look at the seven teams breaking in new coaching staffs, as well as the notable additions they've made on the player side.

Cleveland Browns

For the third consecutive season, the Browns will begin their offseason program with a new head coach. After firing Rob Chudzinski following a 4-12 campaign, Cleveland is hoping former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine can turn around the franchise. Since rejoining the league in 1999, Cleveland is without a playoff win.

Head coach: Mike Pettine

Offensive coordinator: Kyle Shanahan

Defensive coordinator: Jim O'Neil

Notable roster additions: LB Karlos Dansby, S Donte Whitner, OL Paul McQuistan, RB Ben Tate, WR Andrew Hawkins, WR Nate Burleson, TE Jim Dray, OT Paul McQuistan

Cleveland added a plethora of veterans, headlined by Dansby and Whitner on defense. Whitner replaces the departed T.J. Ward, while Dansby takes over for D'Qwell Jackson. On offense, Tate gives the backfield some punch while Hawkins gives Josh Gordon a threat on the other side. Now all the Browns need is a decent quarterback, perhaps filled with one of their two first round picks.

Detroit Lions

The Lions have long been a pick of many experts to finally break out and reach their full potential of a Super Bowl contender. However, Jim Schwartz could never get them past the first round of the playoffs. After last year's late-season flameout, Jim Caldwell was hired to coach the Lions to the next level.

Head coach: Jim Caldwell

Offensive coordinator: Joe Lombardi

Defensive coordinator: Teryl Austin

Notable roster additions: WR Golden Tate, S James Ihedigbo, QB Dan Orlovsky

The signing of Tate to a five-year contract will be a major help to Calvin Johnson, who over the past couple of seasons has been without a legitimate threat across from him. However, the Lions did not add much in the secondary outside of Ihedigbo, who is coming off an 100-tackle season. They can still address some of those needs in the draft, sitting with the No. 10 overall pick.

Houston Texans

No team suffered through a more incredibly horrific campaign than Houston. The Texans were supposed to compete for a Super Bowl after two straight playoff appearances. Instead, Houston started 2-0 before losing its final 14 games. Now, with a new coaching staff and unsettled quarterback situation, the Texans begin the climb back.

Bill O'Brien performed admirably at Penn State over two seasons, posting winning years despite being under some of the harshest sanctions in history because of the Sandusky scandal. It appears O'Brien has another challenging project on his hands.

Head coach: Bill O'Brien

Offensive coordinator: N/A

Defensive coordinator: Romeo Crennel

Notable roster additions: FS Kendrick Lewis, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, S Chris Clemons

The Texans have decided to build almost exclusively through the draft, and with the top overall pick that is not a bad option. They did add Fitzpatrick in the wake of Matt Schaub's departure and added depth in the secondary with Lewis and Clemons.

Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota made the playoffs as a wild-card team in 2012, but faltered brutally last season with a 5-10-1 mark. The disappointment cost Leslie Frazier his job, a bit of good news for Mike Zimmer. Zimmer, who had long been rumored for head coaching jobs, finally gets his chance.

Head coach: Mike Zimmer

Offensive coordinator: Norv Turner

Defensive coordinator: George Edwards

Notable roster additions: CB Captain Munnerlyn, DT Linval Joseph, DT Corey Wootton

The Vikings were relatively quiet during the offseason, letting Jared Allen walk but giving Everson Griffen an extension to soften the blow. Munnerlyn comes in to stabilize the secondary, a group that allowed the second-most passing yardage in the NFL last season. Joseph will provide push up front, giving Minnesota a nice rotational piece.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Under Greg Schiano, the Buccaneers suffered through a miserable campaign in 2013. Tampa Bay won only four games despite expectations of a playoff berth. Now Schiano is out and Lovie Smith is in, the former linebackers coach in Tampa Bay under Tony Dungy in the 1990's.

Head coach: Lovie Smith

Offensive coordinator: Jeff Tedford

Defensive coordinator: Leslie Frazier

Notable roster additions: DE Michael Johnson, CB Alterraun Verner, QB Josh McCown, OT Anthony Collins, C Evan Dietrich-Smith, G Jamon Meredith, CB Mike Jenkins, DT Clinton McDonald

The Buccaneers were very active in free agency, inking multiple starters. McCown has already been named the starter over second-year quarterback Mike Glennon. Up front, Tampa Bay revamped the offensive line by acquiring Dietrich-Smith, Collins and Meredith, while jettisoning Jeremy Zuttah, Carl Nicks and Donald Penn. Verner is perhaps the most underrated signing this offseason, giving Tampa a nicely priced top corner.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans were respectable under Mike Munchak, but never made the playoffs in his three seasons. Whisenhunt comes in charged with finding out whether Jake Locker is the quarterback of the future or a first round pick wasted. Tennessee has talent, and the infusion of a proven head coach might make all the difference.

Head coach: Ken Whisenhunt

Offensive coordinator: Jason Michael

Defensive coordinator: Ray Horton

Notable roster additions: RB Dexter McCluster, RT Michael Oher, KR Leon Washington, LB Shaun Phillips, LB Wesley Woodyard, QB Charlie Whitehurst

McCluster gives Tennessee a multi-purpose weapon. McCluster amassed the fourth highest single-season total for punt return yardage in 2013, along with over 500 receiving yards. The Titans say he will be used as a running back. Phillips and Woodyard provide solid play on the second level of the defense, something lacking outside of Zac Brown last season.

Washington Redskins

Washington is coming off one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history. After winning the NFC East in 2012 with rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, the Redskins came apart at the seams to finish 3-13. The results cost Mike Shanahan his job and gave Jay Gruden his opening. Gruden is without a first round pick, traded for Griffin.

Head coach: Jay Gruden

Offensive coordinator: Sean McVay

Defensive coordinator: Jim Haslett

Notable roster additions: WR DeSean Jackson, OG Shawn Lauvao, DL Jason Hatcher, WR Andre Roberts, CB Tracy Porter, LB Akeem Jordan, DE Clifton Geathers, S Ryan Clark, QB Colt McCoy

Jackson gives the Redskins a major threat downfield, something the team hasn't had since the prime of Santana Moss. Roberts is a nice weapon as a possession receiver as well, working underneath routes. On defense, the signings of Jordan and Porter provide capable veterans. Hatcher is one of the better defensive ends in a 3-4 scheme, capable of getting pressure.

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