Cleveland Browns: A Coach's Way to Fix the Offense

Bill Smith@NNRonDSNAnalyst INovember 6, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 28: Running back Trent Richardson #33 takes a handoff from quarterback Brandon Weeden #3 of the Cleveland Browns during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 28, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Chargers 7-6. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images


The offense has stumbled and struggled. The passing game is inconsistent and the running game fails to get critical yardage.

There are a number of things that can and must be done to fix the offense. It is the job of a coach to put his players in the best situation to be successful and the existing Browns staff has failed to do that on a regular basis. As the young defense develops, a small improvement in scoring can have a dramatic impact on the team's record.

It is clear that, despite new ownership, the team is not going to bring in a veteran WR or a blocking FB. Those changes would have helped a lot.

The first move that should be made is to take the play-calling away from Pat Shurmur. I have resigned myself to the fact that he is not going to be fired this week. That is a major disappointment. But at the very least, the play-calling needs to be put in the hands of someone else—anyone else. 

Offensive coordinator Brad Childress would be a logical choice. The streamlining of the play-calling will reduce the number of late calls and forced timeouts.

The second move is to limit the personnel packages. This is not PeeWee league, not everybody has to get the same number of plays. Time and time again, the team has been forced to call timeouts to prevent the play clock from expiring. Most of these unforced errors are caused by the staff overthinking the matchups.

The team should limit the wide receiver group to four key guys. QB Brandon Weeden needs to have as much experience with his WRs as possible. The team has rotated WRs, which is a mistake. The starters should be Greg Little and Josh Gordon. Mohamed Massaquoi has talent, but is fragile. He should be the fourth WR. Josh Cooper should be the slot receiver in the three WR set.

Jordan Cameron should be plugged in at tight end and Alex Smith at halfback. That gives the running game the best chance to succeed. Owen Marecic is a failure. He should be cut and TE Brad Smelley should be brought in to replace him.

The playbook must be simplified. Way too much time is spent by the brain trust trying to outsmart the opposition. The only thing it has accomplished is to outsmart the Browns. The offensive line has overcome the injury to Jason Pinkston and is ready to take on the rest of the schedule. The new book should include more tosses to the outside and BOB plays off-guard. 

Trent Richardson is the best weapon the team has. Why Shurmur has called passes so often on 3rd-and-short is a mystery.  Why he called so many passes to a stone-handed Marecic is an even bigger mystery. The team should run for the first down.

Will these changes get the 2012 Browns to the playoffs? No, but they will make the team more competitive and give the team and the fans some hope. Right now, that would be a major step in the right direction.

That’s what I think. Tell us what you think.


Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams and edits He has also published several novels on

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