This is the second article of a two-part series. The first part is located here.
The second target I'd like to turn my attention to this offseason is the atrocious play calling. All season, it appeared that the Browns lost their identity.
Colt McCoy was among the worst in average yards per attempt at 5.9, and even when Chris Ogbonnaya (who actually played with Colt McCoy at UT, little fun fact) was managing to have a decent day, Shurmur insisted on calling pass plays.
Now, I understand that the West Coast Offense is a scheme where the pass sets up the run, but at some point, you have to cut your losses and just do what your team does best.
Even once head coach Pat Shurmur began to understand this, he ran the ball TOO much and it led to some goofy clock management.
New offensive coordinator Brad Childress will most definitely help in this area. Even if he doesn't get the play-calling abilities, Childress helped coach the Philadelphia Eagles' offense to four NFC championships. The fact of the matter remains, the team is in transition.
Now, we can't blame the play calling exclusively for the offensive woes; there was a clear lack of talent as well. With the Browns not picking up the tab on Lawrence Vickers (and him getting snubbed for another Pro Bowl) the run game was certainly not as good.
This, however, had more to do with the injuries to Hillis, Jackson and Hardesty than anything else. Nobody expected any sort of production to come from a fourth-string guy that we signed from the practice squad of another team, and yet Ogbonnaya exceeded all expectations.
I don't think that the struggles of the offense can be attributed to Colt McCoy, either. It is estimated that he had only about a third of the time of the average quarterback before he was running for his life.
The average QB has about three to five seconds to realistically get the ball out on time. Five seconds in the pocket being generous and three seconds being around average.
Given that McCoy had about on average two seconds to make a decision, he did pretty darn good, throwing for about 2,500 yards and completing over 50 percent of his passes. In his 13 games, that's good for just under 200 passing yards/game.
The other reason McCoy looked bad is the sheer amount of drops that the Browns receivers made. They led the league in drops with 40 drops, and while Greg Little was the basis for quite a few of these, the rest of the receivers weren't much better.
Is it McCoy's fault that he played in such an awful offense? He may not be the quarterback of the future, but how can we possibly know? I think any quarterback, especially a rookie quarterback learning a new system (like say... Robert Griffin III) would do just as badly.
With that being said, I don't see McCoy as a top 10 quarterback in the league anytime in the near future. Most Browns fans would be okay with a guy that helps the offense move and score and, ultimately, win football games even if he isn't the best (much like like Tim Tebow this season) rather than what they've been seeing.
I don't know what's on the horizon for the Browns soon. The facts remain the same, the team is a little ways off from serious contention. However, what's important is that the Browns have a clear offensive system and a front office and coaching staff that have real NFL experience within that same system.
Whether you love or hate Holmgren, he's produced Super Bowl winning seasons with each of his three former employers and that's more than we can say about anybody else that Randy Lerner has brought in since 1999.
This team has a direction and it continues to move that way, fans will hate, beat writers will continue to sprinkle their opinions needlessly into their articles, and Holmgren is content to just wait it out and continue to improve the franchise.
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