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|Though he passed away in 1991, Paul Brown is still influencing the NFL game.|
"The possession passing game and the balance he brought to the offense. It really was when he went to Cincinnati that you saw that you can pass the ball five or six yards and that's a good play that moves the chains and keeps the down and distance in your favor. Passes don't have to be 15 to 18 yards down the field where it's either a big gain or an incomplete pass. Then you had a lot of second-and-10s. He was able to use his backs in the passing game, which is such a trademark of the West Coast offense.
"And using the tight ends on the short intermediate routes, too. Like I said, not always the 12- to 15-yard routes, but being able to get them the ball. The whole catch-and-run principles. We're in those drive routes, those underneath crossing routes. It's a 2- or 3-yard pass, but you get the ball in the hands of a good player and they can make 15 out it. The possession timing passing game and the utilization of the backs and tight ends, as well as the receivers in the passing game. Being able to attack all areas of the field, the width of the field, the inside part of the field, the deep part of the field, plus in conjunction with the running game, the balance that he had offensively was again so far ahead of it's time. Even going back to Cleveland, you saw a lot of that back in that day, even with the toss sweeps that they used to run, as well as the inside running game, they did a good job of getting the ball down the field, as well. It was expanded to a different level, certainly one that's more familiar to the current NFL was when he went to Cincinnati in the late-60s and implemented what's now the West Coast offense, but to me is Paul Brown's offense."