April 18, 2014

Brad Childress: ‘There are a lot of times … that I don’t look at halftime stats’

During his usual Thursday news conference, Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress was badgered with questions about the team’s run/pass imbalance thus far on the season. His answer to checking the balance of playcalling may surprise you:

(On if seeing an imbalance in the run and pass in the first half affects how he calls the second) – “Not usually, because we’re tending to script our openers. It takes us through the first quarter, sometimes into the second quarter. We have a pretty good sense of where we’re at. It’s not like one of those ‘Hey, let’s throw it, throw it, throw it, throw it’, or ‘let’s run it, run it, run it, run it.’ We’ll never get into that. There are a lot of times, Tony (Grossi), to be honest with you that I don’t look at halftime stats. You’re doing it by the way you feel like you need to play to win the game.”

(On if he’s ever surprised when he sees the stats) – “I’m never surprised. There are times I think I’ve told you, that you guys were talking about numbers of plays for Trent when he first came back. We’re mindful sometimes of things like that. Sometimes we’ll count carries or touches, but that certainly hasn’t been the case for the last three weeks.”

Tony Grossi, the former Plain Dealer reporter and current ESPN Cleveland scribe, later penned an article with these quotes saying that this play-calling discrepancy “makes no sense.” This particular comment also was a hot topic on 92.3 The Fan on Friday.

According to Team Rankings, the Browns currently rank third in the league by passing on 69.2% of their offensive plays this season. Only New Orleans and Oakland have passed it more. The Browns also lead the NFL with a 73.4% mark in the past three games, something Childress specifically pointed to in his comments.

[Related: NFL News: Josh Cooper will, in fact, be added to Browns roster]

  • Wow

    Wow this explains the team NOT making 2nd half adjustments. How do you not pay attention to things like this?

  • subadai

    Y’know the 15 play “script” is something these west coast guys believe in because Bill Walsh did it with the ‘niners back in the day. But for that team 15 plays was 2 or 3 possessions and usually got them 17 points by the middle of the first quarter.

    But for this browns team, 15 plays is like 5 or 6 possessions and 2 turnovers with MAYBE 3 points. And, as Childress says, the script lasts all the way thru the first quarter and into the second.

    This is my biggest beef with the way Shurmur has organized the offense…. we follow the West Coast blueprint way to closely. This scripting of plays is just one feature of that. It’s like these guys are afraid to (or can’t) think for themselves.

  • NoVA Buckeye

    Do my eyes deceive me? Is this guy for real? What a hack.

  • Steve

    The assumption that because things are bad that they couldn’t be worse is incorrect. More than the west coast guys scripted plays. Mangini did it when he was here.

    And of course its Grossi who is playing “gotcha!”. Who else but that hack.

    Part of the reason this team throws the ball so much is that they are both behind, and the other team knows that Richardson is our best offensive weapon and they’re keying on him. When you’re down by multiple scores and the defense is still putting an 8th guy in the box, running the ball is not going to be any more effective.

  • Harv 21

    That’s not what happened last week with Richardson. The Browns started the third quarter with the ball and down ten points. They desperately needed a sustained drive and points after the end of second quarter debacle, and to keep Manning off the field for a while. Giants weren’t 8 men/box. But Shurmur/Childress did not hand off to Richardson at all the next two series, they went three and out both initial drives, I believe. Some of the complaints are not merely the number of Richardson’s touches. It’s the panicky “omg!” playcalling like the third quarter last week, when the Giants hadn’t stopped Richardson, and it boomeranged to then put all the pressure on the rookie QB when the Giants kept scoring. They abandoned the run ten points down with the ball and 30 minutes to play.

    They drafted a young powerhouse RB, and he will draw defensive focus and get stopped at times. He will also wear down a defense, as Bettis and the young Jamal Lewis did, and then bust long runs. Our playcallers have this weapon but seem to instinctively trust the pass more, and that’s weird when the receivers are undeserving of any trust.

  • rick173

    What a difference five months and some common sense makes.