Kyle Shanahan is bringing his balanced, adaptable version of the West Coast Offense to the North Coast.
Shanahan was hired Monday night as offensive coordinator by new Browns coach Mike Pettine. The deal is reportedly for three years.
Shanahan was a critical hire for Pettine, hired Jan. 23 to replace Rob Chudzinski. Pettine is in his first job as an NFL head coach and has spent his time in the league as a defensive assistant. So he will rely heavily on Shanahan, who’s been a coordinator for the last six seasons and will call the plays.
Shanahan has a strong resume, despite being only 34 years old. He’s the son of Mike Shanahan, the longtime head coach and two-time Super Bowl champion with the Broncos, and has been an NFL assistant for 10 years.
Kyle became a coordinator with the Texans in 2008 at the age of 28 after a year as quarterbacks coach and a year as receivers coach. After his time in Houston, he joined his dad as coordinator with the Redskins. They were fired Dec. 30 after a 3-13 season and a strained relationship with quarterback Robert Griffin III.
The Redskins had made the playoffs in 2012, and Griffin set numerous rookie records. Shanahan has four top-10 offenses, including the last two years, in six seasons as a coordinator.
In 2013, the Redskins ranked ninth in the NFL in yards per game (369.7) and fifth in rushing (135.3). Receiver Pierre Garcon set a franchise record and led the NFL with 113 receptions, and was eighth in the league with 1,346 receiving yards.
Mike Shanahan termed Kyle’s system the “East Coast Offense” in 2012. He incorporated the pistol formation and read option, and the Redskins won the NFC East in Griffin’s rookie year.
Shanahan used a zone-blocking scheme as sixth-round pick Alfred Morris set a franchise record and ranked second in the league with 1,613 rushing yards, third-most for a rookie in NFL history. But the Redskins were hardly one-dimensional.
They became the first team in NFL history to pass for 3,400 yards and rush for 2,700 yards in the same season. Washington led the NFL in yards per play (6.17) and in rushing yards.
Griffin set NFL rookie records in passer rating (102.4), interception percentage (1.27) and rushing yards by a quarterback (815), and was named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Shanahan interviewed Wednesday, and reports surfaced Saturday he was in line to get the job. Shanahan returned from a family vacation, arrived in Cleveland on Monday and a deal was struck.
He will have his hands full. The Browns are expected to draft a quarterback in the first round in May, and Shanahan will be responsible for his development. Shanahan also replaces Norv Turner, a veteran coordinator and three-time head coach.
Turner was allowed to leave after Chudzinski was fired. He was hired as coordinator by new Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. In Turner’s lone year in Cleveland, the offense ranked 27th in scoring (19.3 points per game), 18th in yardage (338.9), 11th passing (252.5) and tied for 27th rushing (86.4).
Quarterbacks, running backs and receivers have had success under Shanahan.
Houston’s Andre Johnson led the NFL in receiving yards in 2008 (1,575) and 2009 (1,569), and in receptions (115) in 2008. Texans quarterback Matt Schaub led the league with 396 completions, 583 attempts and 4,776 passing yards in 2009.
Before joining the Texans, Shanahan was offensive quality control coach with Tampa Bay in 2004-05. He played receiver at Duke before transferring to Texas.
The Browns also had interest in Gary Kubiak and Cam Cameron, and interviewed Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo on Thursday.
Shanahan joins Jim O’Neil (defense) and Chris Tabor (special teams) as Cleveland’s coordinators. Pettine also previously named Brian Angelichio (tight ends), Bobby Babich (assistant secondary), Chuck Driesbach (linebackers), Brian Fleury (assistant linebackers), Jeff Hafley (secondary) and Shawn Mennenga (assistant special teams) as assistant coaches.
Dowell Loggains (quarterbacks) and Andy Moeller (offensive line) have reportedly been hired, but Pettine hasn’t made it official.