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Jason Askew - What to expect from the Browns offense

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Jason Askew - What to expect from the Browns offense

Unread postby Prosecutor » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:07 am

http://www.theclevelandfan.com/clevelan ... ms-offense

I just wanted to highlight this column on the home page and say I thought it was very well done and extremely interesting. It really got me fired up for some Browns football this year. It was longer than the usual column, but well worth the read IMO. Thanks, Jason.

Here are his Final Thoughts:

After watching the Rams ability to execute with a Rookie QB and marginal weapons I really have a new level of respect for Pat Shurmur’s ability as a football coach. The offense was smooth, balanced, and well-paced.

Shurmur showed he can control a game with his short passing and still run the ball effectively when needed and I think his ability to get the QB and WRs in the flow of the game early and pounding the ball with a big running back late really highlighted what the WCO is all about.

Coaching sometimes gets overlooked when players become professionals but in watching the Rams offense flow with the quality of talent (or lack thereof in many cases) they were working with clearly showed me the difference it can and did make.

After watching the Rams 2010 offensive season I am really excited about seeing the WCO in Cleveland. I love the way Shurmur was able to find a way to move the ball using both young and inexperienced players. The fact that he did it all with a Rookie QB is even more impressive and after seeing the coach’s offense in action I am absolutely on board with him calling his own plays. In fact, I think it would be a huge mistake if he didn’t.

I am not sure how Pat Shurmur will ultimately handle all the duties and responsibilities of being a head coach in the NFL. But after watching the film I have the utmost confidence that the Browns have at least found themselves a hell of an offensive coach.
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Re: Jason Askew - What to expect from the Browns offense

Unread postby peeker643 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:44 am

The guy watched the entire Rams season. I think he may be just a bit touched in the head. ;-) ;) :wink:

But yes, he puts in a ton of time and has a lot of insight to offer in regard to the blood and guts of personnel, schemes, etc.

I've gotten quite a few responses on his draft stuff as well as these past few articles. I know he's breaking down the roster on both sides of the ball so that'll be coming when he's finished with it. He'll probably also do weekly columns examining the prior week's game and analyzing upcoming opponents in terms of personnel and schemes too.

Glad you enjoyed it Pros and appreciate you pointing it out.
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Re: Jason Askew - What to expect from the Browns offense

Unread postby googleeph2 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:16 pm

Excellent article- I spread the link far & wide
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Re: Jason Askew - What to expect from the Browns offense

Unread postby Prosecutor » Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:26 pm

I don't know if anybody is ready to talk about the Browns yet, but I'll give it a shot. Here's the part of that column that jumped out at me:

The Rams were 7th in the league in offensive plays run but only 26th in the league in yards gained, which shows the lack of big play makers on the team. Another stat that backs up the lack of explosion the Rams were dealing with was the fact that they only had one play that went over 49 yards (catch from Steven Jackson). That’s actually shocking.

Bradford still finished with the 12th most passing yards in the league yet no WR on his team had more than 689 yards. That indicates it wasn’t a stellar group of playmakers the Rams employed in that offense. That’s also backed up by Bradford’s meager 18td passes.

To take it a step further, no player even had more than 3 receiving TDs which is shocking for an offense that puts the ball in the WRs and TEs as much as this one did.


The Rams were outstanding at inching the ball down the field and maintaining possession. According to Jason, they could complete a 5-yard pass just about any time they wanted to. No wonder they were 7th in offensive plays. Their weakness was no big plays and very few TDs. It's shocking that no one had more than three TD receptions.

Like the Rams, the Browns don't have that true #1 receiver or anybody that can beat you deep. They also don't have the small, quick receivers that can get separation on short routes. The Million Dollar Question for me is whether these big, relatively heavy receivers like Massa, Robiskie, Little, Mitchell, and the tight ends will be quick and agile enough to create separation on the short routes.

OTOH, the Browns receivers should have a huge advantage over the smurf receivers in the red zone. We've all seen the Jordan Cameron dunking tape. Just lob it up for him, Colt. How is a 5'11" safety going to stop that?

Another question is the quarterbacking. McCoy will not exactly be a rookie next year, but in terms of God-give talent he's no Sam Bradford. There's a reason Bradford was a #1 overall pick and McCoy was still there in the 3rd round.

Also, I love Peyton Hillis but he's no Steven Jackson. However, it's great to hear that he should thrive in this offense. I think McCoy will continue to utilize his pass catching skills and RAC ability.

One big difference is that the Rams used the 3-wide receiver formation as their base offense. After Massa and Robo, I'm not seeing a legitimate 3rd receiver on the Browns. Little? He's a rookie who didn't even play in college last year. Stuckey? No, thanks. Cribbs? He's a running back and kick returner in my book. Mitchell? He's a 6th round pick who rarely even suited up last year.

I'm thinking the Browns will use their TE's a lot more than the Rams used theirs. Watson had a career season last year and Evan Moore is a converted WR. I also read the Browns plan to use a lot of two-back sets with Hillis and Hardesty, so that should be really interesting. I can also see Josh Cribbs being utilized more in this short-passing offense than he was in whatever it was that Mangini was trying to do.
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Re: Jason Askew - What to expect from the Browns offense

Unread postby jta1975 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:12 pm

Pros all good stuff and I agree on the WR point in particular. The one type of guy not on the roster is the slot player with elite quickness. I wonder if Norwood will get a shot but I really think a player like Lance Moore or Danny Amendola would blow this offense right open and allow the physicality and YAC of the big WRs to be a factor.

The promise of a trips formation with Little, Cribbs, and a player like Lance Moore would be a nightmare for secondaries.

There is no doubt in my mind Shurmur will get the ball in Cribbs hands more this year.

**I think fans will be floored when they get to see the hands and after the catch ability of Greg Little.**

On the Hillis thing, I think your right about a Steven Jackson 2-3 years ago but this 3.8 yac version that only had a long run of 44 yards has lost a step and Hillis isn't faroff and actually may be better.

Hillis averaged 4.4 yac and had 11tds and 61 catches....Jackson 3.8 yac 6tds and 46 catches. Jackson is going into his 8th season and has almost 1900 carries. Watching the Rams season, he looks much slower than in years past. He is getting really close to that magical RB cliff.

I also read that about the two back formations and am not really buying that. I do think there is a possibility that the Browns go back to the root of the WCO and bring back some of the halfback formations you saw run in San Fansisco by Bill Walsh but I just don't see the I formation being that much of a factor for us in our division.

When you have a big and bruising back like Hillis, it can be easier to punish defenses by spreading them out and then dropping the hammer much like the titans used to do with Eddie George.

Clearly the way to beat the Steelers is to spread them out and the Ravens after drafting Cody last year and having Ngata may be in the same category also.

Will we see some Craig and Rathman formations I say yes but expect to see Hillis back there by himself more times than not based on what the Rams did last year.
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Re: Jason Askew - What to expect from the Browns offense

Unread postby HoodooMan » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:14 am

I'm a little late to this, as someone just recently gave me a heads up on this piece's existence (I don't check the front page very often).

If it had been me watching the entire 2010 season's worth of Rams offense, far and away the one question I would have wanted answered would have been: What was up with Bradford's YPA?

Jimmy Clausen was the only starting QB in the league with a worse YPA than Sam Bradford, and Bradford's YPA (6.0 overall) only improved marginally over the second half of the season (6.16 in his final eight games)--the closest you seem to come to an explanation in your article is that the Rams lacked playmakers on offense. I have a difficult time believing that can account for very much, seeing as how Colt McCoy by comparison managed a 7.1 YPA with, it seems to me, a comparable level of talent surrounding him. Bradford's completion % was somewhat meh, especially if, as you say, it was bolstered by frequent quick-throws to the WRs at the LOS--were his receivers dropping an inordinate number of passes? Was he having any difficulty reading defenses and repeatedly settling for late-play dumpoffs? Did you sense any extra caution in Shurmur's playcalling due to the fact that he was working with a rookie QB?

Or could it be that it was just the result of a young QB struggling with the complexities of the WCO? (McNabb had a pretty slow start in the offense, Hasselbeck had a year of poor production before taking off a little more with it...but Favre was pretty good right away and Aaron Rodgers was basically awesome from the start--though he had the advantage of sitting and learning for a while.)

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Re: Jason Askew - What to expect from the Browns offense

Unread postby Prosecutor » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:38 pm

I'll be very disappointed if the Browns average 6.0 yds/completion this year. I'm not expecting Marino to Clayton and Duper, but I'm hoping for more than quick throws to receivers at the LOS and 100 dump offs to Hillis.

I like the idea of being able to consistently string together first downs and keep the defense on the sidelines while getting into scoring position. I think Cribbs, Massaquoi, and Little will be able to break some tackles and get more YAC than the Rams receivers were getting. But that remains to be seen.

Should be an interesting season and the schedule looks favorable. Can't wait to see this team in action, although I know it will be a developmental year. A lot will depend on how aggressive they decide to be in free agency. They may use most of their cap space to extend the core players they have now, which won't improve the team this year.
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Re: Jason Askew - What to expect from the Browns offense

Unread postby jta1975 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:13 pm

Great points by both about the yardage...I think the offense you saw in St.Louis was created by a number of variables including young players at both the QB and WR positions.

The patterns go more horizontal than vertical but it is up to the WRs to make plays when the ball is in their hands. The guys the Rams were forced to use after Avery and Clayton got hurt don't do that well at all.

Players like Cribbs, Little, and Mitchell all have a history of creating YAC....I am confident Colt will get the ball in their hands...It will be up to them to make something happen.

Once they get that reputation, it will be a lot easier to go up top....I expect the passing game to progress down the field as the offense gains chemistry and DBs get drawn up to the line of scrimmage worrying about the short passing game.
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Re: Jason Askew - What to expect from the Browns offense

Unread postby mattvan1 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:43 am

jta1975 wrote:Great points by both about the yardage...I think the offense you saw in St.Louis was created by a number of variables including young players at both the QB and WR positions.

The patterns go more horizontal than vertical but it is up to the WRs to make plays when the ball is in their hands. The guys the Rams were forced to use after Avery and Clayton got hurt don't do that well at all.

Players like Cribbs, Little, and Mitchell all have a history of creating YAC....I am confident Colt will get the ball in their hands...It will be up to them to make something happen.

Once they get that reputation, it will be a lot easier to go up top....I expect the passing game to progress down the field as the offense gains chemistry and DBs get drawn up to the line of scrimmage worrying about the short passing game.


Actually, Bradford ranked 6th overall in the NFL in YAC by QBs, behind only Rivers, Schaub, Brees, Brady, Manning. He was also 3rd overall in attempts after Brees and Manning. 60% completion, while not bad, was far behind the top guys, so his YPA looks poor by comparison. The only thing I can reason without having paid any attention to the Rams, is that they ran a very short passing game where the wideouts managed some YAC - say maybe a 3 yard completion and 5 yard run after.

The Rams ofense may have had a good flow or balance or whatever you want to call it, but EOD is wasn't all that much better than what we saw under Mangini.

http://hosted.stats.com/fb/leaders.asp?year=&type=Passing&range=NFL&rank=230

And I really have to disagree with Cribbs as a WR. The sooner that experiment is over the sooner we can get him focused back on being a return guy.
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