Browns' inside receivers could be busy in new scheme, too

Posted May 20, 2011 @ 9:55 a.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

The Browns' revamped passing game, as designed by head coach Pat Shurmur, is likely to involve the outside receivers more than former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll's scheme, but slot receivers are also likely to be key contributors in the offense, with Cleveland expected to use more three- and four-WR sets than before, as a daily team observer suggests. The question is, who will be the Browns' primary inside receiver? Chansi Stuckey, their go-to slot receiver a season ago, was not tendered as a restricted free agent and is unlikely to be back. The feeling is the new coaching staff will try the wide receivers at a variety of positions, with third-year WRs Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi — primary outside targets in the old scheme — perhaps getting looks inside, too.

When Shurmur called the plays in St. Louis in 2010, a slot receiver, Danny Amendola, led the Rams in targets (123), catches (85) and receiving yards (689). The quick-hitting nature and overall design of the West Coast offense can lend itself to a slot receiver becoming a go-to target; look no further than the rapport Bobby Engram and QB Matt Hasselbeck had in Seattle, as one keen observer of the offense told PFW. Savvy slot receivers who uncover quickly and know how to get open are invaluable in the scheme, which demands fast reads.