AFC North: Greg Jennings

Can Browns mimic the Packers?

February, 8, 2011
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Colt McCoy is no Aaron Rodgers.

[+] EnlargeColt McCoy
Frank Victores/US PresswireColt McCoy threw for 1,576 yards in his rookie season.
Browns receivers Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi certainly don't stack up to Green Bay counterparts Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. And bringing receivers off the bench like Jordy Nelson also isn't an option in Cleveland.

Therefore, can the Browns successfully mimic the Packers' West Coast offense next season?

The Packers had success against the Steelers' vaunted defense in Green Bay's 31-25 victory in Super Bowl XLV. The blueprint of how to beat Pittsburgh is now on tape for all to see.

No team currently runs the West Coast offense better than Green Bay, and Sunday's game should have garnered a lot of interest from Cleveland's brass. The Browns are switching to a similar West Coast scheme under first-year head coach Pat Shurmur, and if run properly, the Packers proved opponents can have success against the reigning AFC North champs.

Green Bay used precise throwing, great timing and route running to beat Pittsburgh. Rodgers threw for 304 yards, three touchdowns and was the Super Bowl MVP.

But there is a huge difference in personnel between Green Bay and Cleveland, and that's where the Browns have to improve. Catching up to Pittsburgh probably won't happen for the Browns in 2011. But at least Cleveland knows, thanks to Green Bay, that a well-run West Coast system can potentially do damage in the division.

Morning take: Ike Taylor ready?

February, 3, 2011
Here are the most interesting stories Thursday in the AFC North:
  • Pittsburgh Steelers No. 1 cornerback Ike Taylor will have a big responsibility covering Green Bay Packers receivers Greg Jennings and Donald Driver in Super Bowl XLV.
Morning take: Taylor has had another solid season and will be a free agent after the season. A big Super Bowl will go a long way in increasing his chances of returning to Pittsburgh.
  • Speaking of free agency, the Baltimore Ravens could be in search of a new fullback.
Morning take: Le'Ron McClain may go elsewhere to get more carries next season. Fortunately for the Ravens, there is a deep class of fullbacks available in the draft.
Morning take: The Bengals have a lot of problems. But it appears they are at least making an effort to get some things rectified for next season.
  • Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Colt McCoy expects to be the starter in his second season.
Morning take: The Browns have made every indication that's the case. McCoy showed some nice things as a rookie and must build on that with a solid offseason.