Chad O'Shea is a master when it comes to maximizing the production of talented wide receivers.
O'Shea, who joined the Browns in February after he was offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins last season, spent 10 years with Bill Belichick in New England as a wide receivers coach. He was an integral piece of the historically dominant offense piloted by Tom Brady, who built his legacy teaming up with receivers Julian Edelman, Wes Welker and Randy Moss.
Now, O'Shea, who has three Super Bowl rings from New England, is looking to maximize the talent in the Browns receivers room, led by Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. The two receivers have combined for eight Pro Bowls but are looking to take a leap above their production last year, which ended with the Browns going 6-10 and falling short of the playoffs.
The duo will have to be successful for the Browns to make the jump into the postseason, and O'Shea believes he can help make it happen.
"We've spent a lot of time together as a receiver group," O'Shea said. "Those guys have worked extremely hard, and when we're in a room together and we're talking about the offense and learning together, I think that over time you'll start developing both a working relationship and a personal relationship."
The first step for Beckham and Landry's offseason, however, was to get healthy. Both receivers underwent surgeries for injuries that nagged them for most, if not all, of 2019. Beckham, who totaled 1,035 yards and four touchdowns in 74 receptions, suffered from a core muscle injury, and Landry — who led the Browns with six receiving touchdowns, 1,174 receiving yards and 83 receptions — played through a hip ailment.
The numbers aren't bad, but they can go higher. Healthy seasons from both wideouts will go a long way toward accomplishing that. It's unknown when Beckham and Landry will be back at 100 percent, but O'Shea hopes both will still have a smooth training camp and carry a heavy role in the Browns' Week 1 plans.
"They've really taken advantage of the opportunity, I think, of the pIan our department put in place for them," O'Shea said. "Our athletic training staff and strength and conditioning staff has done a great job of putting a plan in place for them. They've made a lot of progress. I don't want to predict on where they're going to be, but I just know that they've made a lot of progress thus far."
Coach Kevin Stefanski has implemented a more run-heavy system to the offense in his first year in Cleveland, but Beckham and Landry will still very much play a crucial role in the Browns' plans.
O'Shea believes both receivers fully understand that. The offense is built to kickstart the Browns' top weapons, and an increased rushing attack doesn't mean Beckham and Landry won't receive a sizable amount of passes each week.
If anything, a heavier rushing game should put a defense more on its toes, and that could mean more deep balls for the two receivers.
"We're very fortunate, offensively, to have some players at each position that have a lot of strengths," O'Shea said. "In everything we do and every decision we make, we're going to try to put the team first and try to put winning first. I think they realize that and they embrace that. I think they're also aware that there's players in other positions that can help us win games. Everyone's role is what you make it, and as a coach, I see it as a real good problem to have when you have a lot of opportunities and a lot of players who can help us win."
Beckham and Landry are certainly at the top of that list, and with O'Shea's lengthy pedigree of success, the two receivers should be in good hands.
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