Adios Kyle and Dowell
You knew this season was too good to be true; clearly the Browns are not allowed to have the same offensive coordinator for more than one season in a row (it’s been since 2008 since Rob Chudzinski returned for his second year in that spot). He had his upside and tumult in 2014, but let’s remember the Kyle Shanahan offense.
Mike Shanahan’s son had a prominent role in working to improve Matt Schaub in Houston. The team had a few seasons with victories in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. However, once his dad was hired in Washington, Kyle was brought along to groom signal callers for success. Kyle’s first project there was Robert Griffin III – a rookie quarterback who led his team to the playoffs. Shanahan pared down and focused the playbook on the read option with a deep passing threat. While bringing success initially, Griffin’s knee injury has led to the detriment of his career. One bad year in Washington, and the Browns picked up the released offensive coordinator.
Following the draft, many NFL experts predicted Johnny Manziel to have similar types of output (to that of RGIII) in his first season. However, it was Brian Hoyer who won the starting job and was victorious in seven of his eleven games. When the rookie finally got his chance, he floundered terribly. While the offense was not spectacular – fault does not lie entirely on the coordinator. Injuries, alleged in fighting between who should be the quarterback, and also alleged play call recommendations from the front office did not help the offense of the Cleveland Browns. At the end of the day, Kyle wanted out – I’m sure the real reason why will become apparent soon.
We all remember where we were when Manziel was drafted. As the story goes, the signal caller texted quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains saying, “let’s wreck this league”. While that excited this fan base, this could not be any further than what actually occurred on the field in 2014. Loggains could not help either signal caller improve. Brian Hoyer started great, hit a rough patch and regressed the remainder of the campaign. Meanwhile, from July to November, Manziel had ample opportunity to be prepared (at least a little bit) to be a professional quarterback but that was never the case. Loggains came from Tennessee and one could debate the success of his tenure there, as Jake Locker will likely be replaced in a few months. Once again, the quarterback coach is looking for work.
Conclusion: In what could be the first of several dominoes to fall – change is in the air of Berea (again). I’m interested to see where the team goes from here but hopefully the rumors about the dysfunction are false (but let’s be serious Browns’ fans). As is usually the case, the offseason brings more bad press for this team.