Individual Quarterback Workouts – Analysis of Browns’ tactics
In a long process that began with Derek Carr, the Cleveland Browns are on a journey to acquire as much knowledge as possible for each quarterback option in the upcoming draft. Many skeptics were concerned that the team was being thoughtless for not attending “pro days” nor investing highly in the scouting combine. However these individual workouts should provide the Browns with more information about the signal callers than the other outlets. Let’s take a look at the ways:
Kyle Shanahan is making the workouts realistic
On the field, signal callers must listen to and perform for the coaches working with them. This is a glimpse into the quarterbacks’ futures – they are unable to dictate the type of workout as they had done during their “pro day”. It was refreshing to hear that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan pressed quarterbacks in drills in order to uncover their responses in dire situations. This included multiple reps at a fast pace, leading to fatigue. The coaching staff continued this tempo throughout the workout; similar to the rigors of an NFL game. Obviously these workouts are not the be-all, end-all but hopefully it could leave an indelible impression on both the front office and the coaching staff.
Classroom comprehension is valued highly
Intelligence off the field has already been on display (whether it was through the scouting combine or on the Gruden QB television show) – but the Browns want to see more. Knowing the type of offensive formations, plays, and situations the team would typically come across in the fall – the Browns can hopefully get a glimpse into what future decisions will look like. This is expected to be a difficult portion of the job interview but it lends the team three things. Does this signal caller “get it” (meaning, does he understand what the franchise is trying to accomplish)? Can the athlete answer the questions correctly? Is he a quick learner – maybe the guy does not respond to all situations with ease but can adjust his responses in a timely fashion?
The time spent is all on the team’s watch
The third portion of the interview process includes the simple act of conversing with the team leaders. Browns’ management has/will have a sit down dinner with the interviewee; during which time ample questions and answers will take place. Afterwards, the NFL franchise should get a good gauge about the player and his personality – is he a leader, how competitive is he, and how much does he love football (to name a few)? This portion of the individual workout/interview ought to be scrutinized heavily, as all quarterbacks are physically dominating and most should succeed in the classroom. Where a guy can distinguish himself is by revealing what type of character he possesses and how genuine he comes across (think of the difference between Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf).
Conclusion: Although many were fretting about the lack of perceived interest in quarterbacks, clearly the Browns are doing due diligence, and on their terms. The team has expectations and is looking for certain qualities in potential leaders on the field. Hopefully the time they spend with these guys in April can lead to successful selections in May.