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Why the Browns will have a run-oriented offense

Browns coach Hue Jackson is known for his tutoring of quarterbacks and has a track record of getting the most out of his signal-callers. But trust Cleveland wants to be a smash-mouth, run-first offense, something running backs coach and run game coordinator Kirby Wilson made clear Wednesday following the fifth practice of OTAs.

"I think when you look at Coach Jackson's background, he is a 'quarterback guru.' He has done a tremendous job over the years with that, but if you look at his record, in terms of running the football and the amount that he runs it, you're going to find out that he really, truly does enjoy running the football," said Wilson, who met with the local media for the first time since joining the Browns staff in January.

"We are going to be a run-oriented football team. Everything starts with the run game, our offensive line and our backs. As coach told us, we are going to be a physically dominant, running football team."

After all, the Browns struggled in the run game last season, finishing 22nd in the league. And Jackson — who recently called running backs Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson "as good I've seen" at the position — intends to use their talents accordingly.

"They haven't put on the pads yet and they haven't done it," Jackson said last month, "but I truly believe we have the potential there to be really good at the position."

In the meantime, the running backs are working with Wilson to hone in on those skills -- be it ball security, catching passes out of the backfield and picking up blitzes.

"It's a work in progress right now, we are going through the fundamentals, the technique that is involved with each fundamental," Wilson said, adding, "they'll be (ready) by the time the season starts."

The Browns took to the field as a part of the team's Organized Team Activities.

Wilson heads a unit he described as a "really young group, probably the youngest collection of backs that I have ever worked with." Crowell enters his third season, Johnson his second in a room where the average age is 23.6 years old.

"It's exciting because each one of them brings a different trait to the table. They are very eager, they all want to improve themselves and have a career in the National Football League, and that is a part of my job, developing backs," Wilson said. "If you look at my background as a coach, that is where I have done my best work, developing players that maybe weren't drafted or who weren't late-round guys into dominant players in the National Football League."

Crowell and Johnson, who carried the load in the run game for the Browns last season, are poised to play key roles next fall. Crowell led the team in rushing with 706 yards and four touchdowns while Johnson was a threat in the pass game, catching 61 balls for 534 yards and two scores.

"I feel like me and Duke both have what it takes to be a big threat on this level," Crowell said.

And for the Browns to be successful on offense in what Wilson called "probably the most physical division" in football, they'll have to be.

"We call it 'big boy football.' It is all about attitudes and it starts with the run game. You have got to be able to run it, and you have got to be able to stop the run on defense," Wilson said.

"We are going to take pride in that, being physically superior than our opponent."

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