The popularity of NFL football and the growth of the internet, coupled with social media, has allowed for an entire cottage industry of NFL bloggers, draftniks, and analysts to emerge. Fantasy Football has also given an outlet to those football fans looking to climb inside the War Rooms of the NFL, and their success has brought with it visions of taking that knowledge to the next level.
I love speaking with NFL fans enamored by the intricacies of the game and constantly looking for avenues to better understand our great sport of professional football. The availability of NFL games via NFL Rewind and highlights on YouTube have opened up an entirely new angle of outside evaluation on players and teams.
All 32 NFL clubs have their own websites that run parallel to the many columns and articles of other major NFL internet sites. Satelliting around these well known sources of information are dozens of other fan-based sites that aren’t quite as at the forefront as Fox Sports Net, CBS Sportsline, or ESPN. But rest assured these writers know they’re football, and in many cases they know it even better than those overpaid for personal opinion and gunning to be the first to break a waiver wire transaction on Twitter.
Such is the case of Brendan Leister, editor for DraftBrowns.com. Brendan and I have exchanged messages and he introduced me to some of his highly detailed analysis of the Cleveland Browns. Having recently been through a rather strong debate about the state of the Browns franchise and where they might fall in 2013 with another follower on Twitter, I thought Brendan’s insights would be the best regarding some of the directions the Cleveland Browns are taking and some of the directions they should take. It’s a lengthy article but well worth the read. Perhaps that’ll get me out of hot water with Hiram!
Making the Case for the Pistol
By Brendan Leister – Editor, DraftBrowns.com
During the 2012 season, the Cleveland Browns struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball. With rookies at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and right tackle, consistency from the unit was rare and touchdowns were difficult to come by. The team ranked 30th in third down conversion rate at 31%, 29th in first downs per game at 17.4, and 24th in points per game at 18.9. To the surprise of no one, Browns’ head coach Pat Shurmur was let go at the conclusion of the 2012 season. His record during his two-year tenure was 9-23 (5-11 in 2012).
Heading into the 2013 season, the Browns have a new coaching staff, led by head coach Rob Chudzinski. In the past, Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner have employed aggressive, vertical passing attacks that put stress on defenses down the field. On top of that, Chudzinski and Turner have each enjoyed their fair share of success through running the football throughout their coaching careers. When you consider that the Browns’ two first round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft were used on an extremely talented running back in Trent Richardson and a confident, big armed quarterback in Brandon Weeden, the pairing of Chudzinski and Turner looks to be a great fit. However, if these two coaches wish to get the most out of their talented tandem, it may take some creativity.
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