Normally talking about offensive/defensive coordinators is not worth my time but here’s a second case now I’m doing it. I feel obligated too; this story has a chance of actually meaning something. I’m talking about Kyle Shanahan becoming new OFC in Cleveland and what sort of role he should have. I’m intrigued which direction he’ll go with a stagnate offensive and for once, a place where his opinion may be heard. He may have had six years of being an offensive coordinator under his belt but two years were under Gary Kubiak and four under Papa Shanahan; guys known for being in control of the play calling and overseeing all decisions made on both sides of the ball. He’s got wiggle room with Mike Pettine.
Now I don’t want to jump the gun and say something ridiculous like “Prepare for Manziel and the Spread offense!” That just doesn’t seem likely from Shanahan. His offenses haven’t wandered to far away from his dad. I do however want to mention some things you might be surprised to hear about Kyle and his style. I feel we have a good scope on it now that he’s been around football for a half a dozen years.
Under Kyle’s offenses, his number one wide receiver has averaged 1,197.5 yards in a season and the number two guy has averaged 622.3 yards. #2 is right around 55% of the yards #1 gets. This should bode well for 2013 breakout star Josh Gordon because it means Kyle is going to give the rock to his main man often. It’s also encouraging to know this because Josh is going to have a lot of question marks around his name with a lot of new players and coaches around him this offseason. You have to assume they’ll snag a QB as fast as they can from the NFL draft come April, one of their mid-round picks or offseason moves will be to grab a starting RB, and like I said, newly appointed Mike Pettine will have his say here and there. Seems to overwhelming to think Gordon can repeat his phenomenal season. However, as long as Shanahan stays in charge of the offense, we could see a modern day “Marshall in Denver” kind of scenario. (Insert monster-like references to Marshall’s 23 catch game here.) I also mentioned that the second wide out got right around 625 yards a season, this may keep Greg Little on the depth chart because of this, and even though Shanahan isn’t accustom to using a TE as often, he may recognize that Jordan Cameron has more potential than Little and may make him that unofficial #2 wide out.
Also noticeable in Shanahan’s offense is a pretty stout running game. In his six seasons as OFC, Kyle’s worse rushing yds/game season average was 92, and his best was 169 (where that year, he was ranked #1 in the NFL.) Surely a key note to remember for your fantasy sleeper picks next season. As a Cleveland fan, you have to be excited that Kyle can run a good offensive clipboard, especially if you were indeed disappointed in the selection of Mike Pettine in the first place. Even more so if he ruins your 973 picks he has in this years coming draft. The Browns may have a chance to climb the AFC North ladder with a declining Pittsburg Steelers team and a suddenly suspect Cincinnati Bengals team. Don’t go crowning them division leaders just yet though…they’re still the Browns at the end of the day, but shockingly the best acquisition they may make this offseason was signing a talented OFC coordinator. Ain’t that the damndest thing…