|
|
The Suburbanite
  • Browns notebook: Oregon's offense was rolling ... until Stanford came to town

  • In 16 games this season, the Browns scored 354 points. In seven victories to start his Pac-10 season, head coach Chip Kelly’s Oregon Ducks scored 386 points. What happened to Kelly’s offense in the loss that knocked him out of the national title game? The Browns will ask him in Arizona this weekend.

    • email print
  • If it’s continuity you want, here’s the best the Browns have to offer:
    Their offense is always ranked near the bottom of the NFL.
    Becoming a winner with an attack that actually works has led the Browns to Oregon.
    It would be a huge help to the Browns if 2012 first-round picks Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden could prove themselves as long-term assets.
    Toward that end, one theory has it that Oregon head coach Chip Kelly might be the best bet to unlock their potential.
    Kelly has been a curiosity for Browns fans for months as the Pat Shurmur regime wound down. Now he is in the forefront, with his Ducks facing Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl tonight, and Kelly scheduled to meet with the Browns in or near Tempe, Ariz. this weekend.
    Kelly is 45-7 as Oregon’s head coach, with a 1-2 record notable to Ohioans because it includeS a Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State. He is 33-3 against Pac-12 competition.
    In a bowl preview, The Oregonian captured the buzz around Kelly by calling him “one of the most innovative offensive minds in the game,” adding:
    “Kelly didn't invent the no-huddle offense, or the spread-option attack, or the idea of playing fast. But nobody has put all three elements together with such dizzying success.”
    Kelly’s team tore through a series of head-spinning pinball wins after the conference season began (opponent’s rank going into game indicated):
    • 49-0 over No. 22 Arizona
    • 51-26 at Washington State
    • 52-21 over No. 23 Washington
    • 43-21 at Arizona State
    • 70-14 over Colorado
    • 62-51 at No. 18 USC
    • 59-17 at Cal
    After the Cal game, Kelly was in basically the same position as Weeden at Oklahoma State the previous year, needing two wins for a guaranteed berth in the national championship game.
    The finishes were very similar. Weeden’s Cowboys lost a stunner at Iowa State. Kelly’s offense went AWOL in a 17-14 loss at Stanford.
    Weeden’s team rebounded with a blowout win over Oklahoma. Kelly’s finished the regular season with a 48-24 win at No. 16 Oregon State.
    Kelly may not be the Browns’ top candidate, although owner Jimmy Haslam claims he didn’t have such a thing coming off the firing of Pat Shurmur.
    Yet, this scenario seems plausible: If the Browns can’t come to terms with one of the big names, Nick Saban, Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher, Kelly could emerge at the top of the next line of candidates.
    Saban and denial protocol
    An NFL.com columnist wrote on Nick Saban Wednesday:
    “He ended his tenure in Miami with the now-infamous “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach” line weeks before accepting the job in Tuscaloosa. And while perhaps the itch to move on and prove he can coach at the highest level might fester, this time when he says he isn’t going to change jobs, we actually believe him.”
    Page 2 of 2 - We don’t.
    It is standard business for college coaches considering a jump to the NFL to protect their program and their recruiting with whatever language is necessary prior to actually agreeing to take an NFL job.
    Cleveland is well familiar with the routine. In 2001, Butch Davis said in emphatic terms that he was staying with the Miami Hurricanes. He was hired by the Browns.
    The No. 23 Browns
    One sign NFL types are telling media types Cleveland’s roster isn’t half bad:
    The Browns are 23rd in Pro Football Talk’s final 2012 team rankings, just behind No. 20 Miami, No. 21 San Diego and No. 22 Buffalo.
    Behind them: 24, Tampa Bay; 25, Tennessee; 26, New York Jets; 27, Arizona; 28, Detroit; 29, Philadelphia; 30, Oakland; 31, Jacksonville; 32, Kansas City.
    Other side of Griffin
    Peter King, a magazine and TV reporter with some clout around the NFL, presented the Rams as his so-called Smart Team of the Year, based partly on getting so much out of the Robert Griffin III trade.
    The Redskins traded for the No. 2 overall pick and took Griffin. The Rams received a first-round pick this year (No. 14 overall), two 2012 Round 2 picks, a Round 5 pick, a first-round pick in 2013 and a first-round pick in 2014.
    King acknowledged that his agent, Marvin Demoff, also represents Rams head coach Jeff Fisher.
    The Browns frequently are blistered for failing to beat Washington to the punch for Griffin.