As for the zone-read ideas, this again is something that several NFL teams already employ. Obviously, the Redskins have utilized Robert Griffin III’s unique skills by crafting a zone-read offense around him. Throughout most of the season – even during the Redskins’ earlier 3-6 start – the offense has been run first, but has featured enough play action and misdirection to create downfield passing opportunities.
Fubar’s comments are beyond helpful, as most Browns’ fans who will become acquainted with Kelly will likely focus on the Browns not having an athletic, “running” quarterback – which Kelly has featured at the college level. And although RG3 and Russell Wilson to an extent have proven to be successful mobile quarterbacks, this is one of those areas in which Kelly’s Oregon offense will not directly translate to the NFL.
More importantly, Browns’ fans should not zero in on Colt McCoy being the guy to run such an offense – at least based on his mobility. (Because I GUARANTEE this will be the thinking if Kelly gets hired and will be REALLY ANNOYING.) Fubar is right in that both Weeden and McCoy could operate a Kelly-NFL offense, mainly because they both have decent mobility. However, in terms of making downfield plays, we would probably regress into 2011 and 2012 meaningless QB debates – which in a potential Kelly era, should never, never, never, never be allowed to exist.
Certainly, Weeden would be an intriguing option in a new offense and it was painfully obvious that Weeden struggled in trying to become a 1993 QB for Pat Shurmur. (And yes, a similar case can be made for McCoy in 2011.) However, Weeden thrived in a faster paced, zone read type of attack in college and practically deserves the chance to play in a similar offense in Cleveland. Of course, much will depend on how the new Browns’ front office values the players that were drafted prior to 2013.
Anyway, as I suggested months ago, the IDEA of Kelly means that the Browns are finally moving towards becoming a contemporary NFL team rather than one that continues to copy old systems – i.e., the 49ers, Cowboys, Patriots, Ravens, Patriots again, Packers, Eagles, etc. Even if the Browns don’t eventually land Kelly, at least we know that the front office is genuinely trying to drag this franchise into 2013. And as for the real fans of the team, watching Kelly’s offense – in whatever variation it becomes – should be a reward for having to suffer through 32 games of primitive bonehead Shurmurball.