The one certainty amidst a whole lot of uncertainty concerning the Browns’ offense is that it’s going to undergo a makeover.
Gone is the deep-dropping passing attack, throw-to-set-up-the-run approach of former Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
In its place is a scheme, courtesy of new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, whose foundation is the running game.
The Browns will be employing what Shanahan calls an outside-zone rushing attack, in which linemen primarily block while moving laterally. For the most part, each running play begins with the back making his first move to the outside and then cutting inside through one of the seams created by the line’s lateral motion.
The offense requires linemen to have enough athleticism to move and enough size and strength to clear defenders out of the way. Additionally, they need to be able to get low enough to take the legs out of ends attempting to set the edge to stop the run.
Still, larger question marks loom elsewhere on the offensive line.
Are the Browns comfortable with sticking with right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, who is entering his third season after an up-and-down second year?
Can they find answers at guard, where there was considerable instability due to injury and performance issues?
Given the philosophical change, it would seem to make sense for the Browns to pursue specific zone-blocking help at guard and/or tackle in free agency and the draft.
Potential free agents are Baltimore’s Eugene Monroe, Oakland’s Jared Veldheer, Kansas City’s Branden Albert, and St. Louis’ Rodger Saffold.
The draft offers some elite tackle prospects, such as Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews, Auburn’s Greg Robinson, and Michigan’s Taylor Lewan. Possibilities at guard are Stanford’s David Yankey, UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo, and Mississippi State’s Gabe Jackson.
>>This Road to the Draft segment is driven by Liberty Ford.
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