Speculation has been furious, but after about 2 weeks of waiting, the Cleveland Browns have found a new offensive coordinator. Rumors have recently surfaced that Kyle Shanahan was going to be named the next Browns offensive coordinator and those rumors were proven true when he was hired earlier today.
Now where did Shanahan come from? Well, most recently, he was the OC of the Washington Redskins, and before that the Houston Texans.
Shanahan is the ultimate “sink or swim hire” as I like to call it. In other words, with Shanahan leading your offense, it’ll either be a great success or a horrible failure; there is no medium ground.
The general consensus that I’ve picked up is that, while Shanahan is a great football mind, he’s an absolute horror to work with.
To quote a former member of the Washington Redskins organization from a couple months ago “Kyle is a problem there. He is not well liked.”
Another member of the Redskins was quoted as saying “He gets whatever he wants. And he has no relationship at all with (quarterback Robert Griffin III).”
So with an OC that seems to rub others the wrong way, it’ll be interesting to see if Shanahan can coexist with some of the other fiery guys within the Browns organization. This makes me especially nervous because I could definitely see him clashing with an emotional head coach such as Mike Pettine or an often-hotheaded quarterback like Johnny Manziel (if the Browns end up drafting him).
Now with all the off the field issues that have been reported about Shanahan, I have to admit, the guy is incredibly intelligent when it comes to the X’s and O’s of the game. One could even go as far as to say that he deserves most to all of the credit for transforming Robert Griffin III into the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year that he was.
If you also look at the offenses that he’s coached over the years, they’ve been extremely successful as an entire unit. As an offensive coordinator, 4 of the 6 offenses that he managed finished in the top 10 in total offense. Even during this most recent tumultuous season in which the Redskins finished 3-13, Washington finished with the ninth total offense in the NFL.
Shanahan is known for his innovative offensive style that involves a read-option offense that is primarily built for mobile quarterbacks, such as Griffin III in Washington. So with Shanahan in Cleveland, all signs would logically point to the Browns targeting Manziel in this April’s draft. He is the ideal running threat at the QB position that would seem to work best in Shanahan’s system. At the same time though, as I previously mentioned, I would be worried with how the two would clash when tempers flare.
Another concerning aspect of this hire is whether, much like their head coach, the Browns settled once again. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Shanahan turned off the Browns in the initial interview yet several days later they reconsidered. This report makes it seem as if the Browns only came back to Shanahan because they found out that they really had no other options.
Regardless of the hiring, the rebuilding of the Browns franchise will not be a one-year process, so I’ll be interested to see how Shanahan can coexist with others in the organization if things go south. There are tons of worse hires that the team could’ve made, and if Shanahan can handle himself behind the scenes, this could be an excellent and underrated hire. If things go awry off the field though, get ready for a football soap opera like you wouldn’t believe.
If you liked this, please read my post about the top ten QBs on the Browns’ list this offseason.