Shanahan good option, not miracle worker

February, 3, 2014
Feb 3
10:30
AM ET
Given the options and the timing, it would be tough to think of the Cleveland Browns doing better than hiring Kyle Shanahan as their offensive coordinator.

Given the guy they had last season, the Browns were better with Norv Turner.

Given the state of the team, it’s tough to see Shanahan automatically making the Browns better.

All this is predicated on the fact that the Browns do actually hire Shanahan this week, which seems a fait accompli.

Not with this roster, not with uncertainty at the quarterback (spot) again and not with Shanahan bringing in an entire new system to run and throw the ball.

This is nothing against Shanahan, mind you. His running scheme comes from his father, and it’s one of the better run schemes in the league. It involves movement from linemen, trapping and pulling, and is far more than usual mush-push scheme used by a lot of teams.
That system has made many less-heralded backs into stars, from Terrell Davis and Mike Anderson in Denver with his father to Alfred Morris in Washington, a sixth-round pick.

That bodes well for the Browns -- once the players learn and are settled into the scheme.

In the passing game, Shanahan has done well with Matt Schaub and Robert Griffin III and struggled with Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman. As his quarterback goes, so goes Shanahan.

And no matter how easily coaches and players promise it will go, adjusting to new players and a new system takes time.

When the word that Rob Chudzinski might be fired, the thinking was the Browns might promote Norv Turner to maintain some continuity. The Browns chose not to do that and blew everything up. When word broke that Turner had stood up to Jimmy Haslam and Joe Banner at the farewell meeting, it became evident why.

Shanahan is a fine choice. With the options and the timing, his hire brings positives. He’s been there, done that, called plays and drawn up game plans. He’ll also have Dowell Loggains, a former Titans offensive coordinator, as his quarterback coach.

But an entire new staff means another reset and another restart. With possibly a new quarterback and running back and new interior of the line.

That’s a tall challenge for any team, much less one that has won 27 games the last six seasons.

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


Insider