Pat McManamon reported in today's Akron Beacon-Journal that the Browns have interviewed ex-Falcons and 49ers coordinator Greg Knapp earlier this week.
If Knapp is hired by the team, he would almost certainly bring the West Coast Offense to Cleveland, as that is the style of offense he has run exclusively in his previous stops. For an offense seeking an identity, hiring Knapp would help provide it very quickly.
During yesterday's press conference, Phil Savage said several things which might indicate that the team is interested in Knapp, including his remark that the team's lack of offensive identity was one of this three biggest disappointments about the 2006 season (the other two being the team's 4-12 record and the injury to LeCharles Bentley). Savage also said that the team might make a decision as soon as several days from today.
The West Coast Offense, as the term is used today, represents a pass-first, run-second philosophy with a quick horizontal passing game. The idea is to spread opposing defenses to respond to the attack throughout the width of the field, and then be able to exploit resulting holes in the run game.
Implementing the West Coast Offense might breathe new life into QB Charlie Frye's attempt to establish himself in Cleveland. A mobile quarterback seemingly better at short throws, Frye might have a better chance of succeeding in a system which has fit quarterbacks like the Eagles Jeff Garcia. The challenge for Frye would be the need to make quick drops and throws - the Browns second-year quarterback would need to progess in this aspect of his game to be a successful WCO quarterback.
WR Braylon Edwards, who Savage noted yesterday does well on underneath routes, and TE Kellen Winslow might also thrive in the system, which emphasizes a short passing game. The system does require precise timing and route-running, the latter which has been noted as an issue for Edwards over the past year.
Another intriuging aspect of a possible WCO approach by the Browns is that it would play against AFC North defenses, which are currently string up the middle against the run. With the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals all possessing tough interior defensive linemen, spreading the field might make competitive sense in the division.
Major applause to Pat for breaking this story.