Holistic Analysis to Improving the Cleveland Browns Offense

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Holistic Analysis to Improving the Cleveland Browns Offense
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

As the Browns' brass looks ahead to this 2012 offseason, it is inherently clear that the emphasis will be on addressing the woes of a dysfunctional offense.

In his first two drafts, general manager Tom Heckert has flashed moments of brilliance. There have also been blunders. He took Montario Hardesty and Owen Marecic, along with some questionable choices in unproven tight end Jordan Cameron or safety in T.J. Ward.

Many believed Ward could have been taken lower, but since the return (or expansion) of the Cleveland Browns franchise in 1999, it would be a difficult argument to make in claiming any GM has done a better job than Heckert so far.

Why do I bring this up?

Simply to establish that for the sake of this article, I will give Tom Heckert the benefit of the doubt on making player personnel decisions. He, not Mike Holmgren, is the person who can make the most impact on improving the level of talent on this roster.

And make no mistakes about it—there are glaring problems with this team.

While Dick Jauron's 4-3 defense was one of the best in the league in the most important category there is—points allowed per game—they were exposed on several occasions by teams with power running games, particularly against division opponents Cincinnati and Baltimore.

Since his hiring, Tom Heckert has shown a commitment to defense and he had a track record for it previously at Philadelphia. Despite adding young talent like Joe Haden, T.J. Ward, Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard, there are still needs on this side of the ball.

But as many of the playoff teams this year have proven, you don't always need a great defense to win football games in a high-octane, offensively driven league. The Browns have limited their opponents with an improving defense, but they can't win games if they can't score touchdowns.

In a crucial offseason, Heckert must look to commit to improving the offense. Many suggest taking playmakers like Baylor dual threat quarterback Robert Griffin III, Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon or even Alabama running back Trent Richardson will solve all the offensive problems.

However, the Browns must look at the offense holistically and seek to make economical decisions, given the finite opportunities to improve in the offseason. There are many needs, but they all play off of each other.

Let's take a look at how the offense could work.

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