Good news: The Browns have a lot of great players on offense. Bad news: The game still calls for only one football.
And so how will the Browns spread that one football among the likes of running back Nick Chubb, running back Kareem Hunt, receiver Odell Beckham Jr., receiver Jarvis Landry, tight end Austin Hooper, and tight end David Njoku?
“I actually went over that with the offensive staff this morning, just talking about carries, touches and what that looks like,‘’ Stefanski said during a Thursday videoconference, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “It’s definitely on our mind. We know, having been on different teams with different offensive players, sometimes you have a great running back, great receiver or great tight end, and certainly, you have to be mindful and intentional about how you want to go about that while understanding that each week calls for a different game plan.”
In other words, some weeks will involve more running and less passing. Some will involve more passing. Some will involve more opportunities for Beckham. Some will involve fewer.
“We’re fortunate enough to have players at each of those levels that can affect the game, but it’s definitely on our mind of how you divvy that pie up and how you design plays,” Stefanski said.
The challenge will be getting players to buy in. The easiest way to accomplish that is to win. Without victories, players who aren’t getting the ball as much as they’d like to get the ball can easily convince themselves that, if only they got the ball more, they’d be winning.
That’s exactly what happened last year. As the Browns struggled to live up to unrealistic expectations in 2019, Beckham (and some teammates) became more and more vocal about his lack of targets and touches. That created stress on the offense, on the coaching staff, and on quarterback Baker Mayfield.
One of the biggest challenges for Stefanski will be to ensure that players set aside their desire to get the ball in their hands and let the offense unfold based on the circumstances of a given game. If they win, it will work. If they lose, Stefanski will have to spend extra time explaining to whoever isn’t getting the ball as much as he’d like to get the ball that the secret to winning doesn’t flow from forcing the ball to that specific player more frequently.