Nobody knows the ins-and-outs of Kyle Shanahan's offense like Rex Grossman. The Browns signed the 12-year veteran quarterback on Tuesday and also waived Tyler Thigpen.
Grossman has spent the last five seasons with Shanahan; four years with the Redskins and an additional year with Houston back in 2009. The 33-year-old understands he isn't here competing for the starting job, but more to impart his wisdom on both Brian Hoyer and Duke Johnson Jr. in the class room, on the practice field and even during live action in the preseason.
"If anybody has any questions, or if I feel the need to help out, then I will," said Grossman. "I haven't shied away from that in the past. I'm to just help."
It's the specific details in Shanahan's offense that make it so different than any other in the NFL, according to Grossman. Every nook and cranny relates to each other. A certain call for an offensive line protection scheme has a ripple effect on the entire flow of the play call. But when the offense gels as 11 men working together all on the same page, the sky truly is the limit.
"When he gets in a rhythm calling plays, it's the best I've ever seen," said Grossman. "It's one of the biggest reasons I wanted to be here. Being around a coordinator that commands respect from all the players."
Grossman's expertise of the offense has been put to work before in a similar mentor role. Grossman tutored quarterback's Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins the last two seasons in Washington. The veteran said it wasn't big picture wisdom that he imparted on the youngsters, but more many little observations on how they could get better over the course of a season.
It appears as if it will be déjà vu in Cleveland. Manziel, Hoyer and Connor Shaw will have their note pad and paper ready to quiz Grossman on certain portions of the offense. Part of what he will tell them is simple: know yourself as well as you know the system.
"I feel like the longer I'm in [this offense], the smarter I am about not only defenses and the offense that I'm running, but myself," said Grossman. "Knowing my limitations and what I'm good at and how to play towards my strengths. I feel like my reads come a little bit faster that way."
"They've been working pretty hard, you can tell," continued Grossman about the Browns' other quarterbacks. "They've got the terminology down pretty much. They both look like they have real good command of the offense. I've just seen one practice but it looked pretty smooth to me."
Mike Pettine added it will be good for the Browns' fellow quarterbacks to see a different viewpoint than just the coaches.
"He knows the system as well as he does, and he'll be able to give them a quarterback's perspective instead of just the coaches' perspective," said the head coach.