Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Browns head coach Pat Shurmur discusses strategy with quarterback Brandon Weeden
Creative play calling is definitely an area where head coach Pat Shurmur and offensive coordinator Brad Childress can still improve on through the remaining schedule.
Taking away Sunday's match-up against the Chiefs, it had been a long time since the Dawg Pound had seen much outside-the-box thinking on offense.
Two wildcat formations for Josh Cribbs, a double reverse featuring a Travis Benjamin rush, and receiver Greg Little lining up at halfback were a breath of fresh air in the win over Kansas City.
Those schemes, along with the surprise touchdown punt return by Benjamin, clearly threw the visiting defense off track and showcased how versatile this Browns attack can be.
All too often, Shurmur's decisions have been predictable during this 2012 campaign.
Does a right-side screen pass to Chris Ogbonnaya or Trent Richardson sound familiar? It did to opposing teams as well and in part have contributed to the Browns' 31 percent conversion rate on third down.
The simplistic strategy is mainly due to the number of rookies playing at key positions.
First-year starters at quarterback, running back, right tackle and wide receiver does warrant a gradual introduction to this squad's west coast system.
However, the training wheels need to come off.
Greater responsibilities must be thrust upon QB Brandon Weeden and Co.
From deciding on audibles at the line to variety of calls worked into a drive, 13 games in means that the rookie card is no longer valid.
The brain trust should want to see what they truly have, and a good way to go about that is to make things more complicated.
Players like tight end Alex Smith certainly thought that stirring the pot was a good idea yesterday.
“I was all for it. You can’t run the same plays all year long,” Smith told ESPN Cleveland. “I think (the coaches) break up (the season) into quarters. They always go back and do a little summary of what they’ve done and make changes."
Formidable opponents in Washington, Denver and Pittsburgh finish up the schedule.
From a development and entertainment standpoint, hopefully the creative itinerary used vs. the Chiefs was not a one-off.