The Cleveland Browns WR Corpse


This week has been a “lackluster” (for lack of a better word) for the Browns. Many thought the Cleveland Browns would have selected Sammy Watkins with the 4th Overall Pick, giving the Browns one of the best Duo WR punches in the NFL, Gordon and Watkins – not to mention Jordan Cameron at TE.

That obviously didn’t go as many [all] Browns fans predicted, or hoped.

Gordon’s likely 10 game suspension and the passing of (the next Julio Jones) Sammy Watkins left the Cleveland Browns WR-less. The Browns retaliated by signing 30 year old injury-prone Miles Austin and dropping former 2nd round pick Greg Little, of whom they passed Randall Cobb, Stevan Ridley and DeMarco Murray for.

The Browns went from having a WR Corps to a WR Corpse. Let’s take a look at who they now have at WR.
WR 1 – Miles Austin. Can Austin and his troubled hamstring handle the cold weather in Cleveland?
WR 2 – Andrew Hawkins. Another slot receiver the Browns signed who possesses playmaking talent, but his success will dwindle while Gordon is out.
WR 3 – Nate Burleson. The 3rd slot receiver the Browns signed this offseason has already fractured his arm.
WR 4 – Charles Johnson. The physical freak out of Grand Valley State is working back from ACL Surgery and won’t likely be ready until October.

It’s obvious TE Jordan Cameron is going to be the Browns go-to-guy in the passing game this season. With Kyle Shanahan the New Offensive Coordinator, lets take a look at how previous TE’s have performed under his system.

2008 Houston Texans
Owen Daniels – 70 receptions for 862 yards and 2 TD’s.
Joel Dreessen – 11 receptions for 77 yards.

TE’s caught 22% of passes this season. 81/367
TE’s caught 9% of TD’s this season. 2/21

2009 Houston Texans
Owen Daniels – 40 receptions for 519 yards and 5 TD’s.
Joel Dreessen – 26 receptions for 320 yards and 1 TD.
James Casey – 6 receptions for 64 yards.
Anthony Hill – 1 reception for 9 yards

TE’s caught 18% of passes this season. 73/399
TE’s caught 20% of TD’s this season. 6/29

2010 Washington Redskins
Chris Cooley – 77 receptions for 849 yards and 3 TD’s.
Fred Davis – 21 receptions for 316 yards and 3 TD’s.
Logan Paulsen – 2 receptions for 10 yards and 1 TD.

TE’s caught 28% of passes this season. 100/349
TE’s caught 33% of TD’s this season. 7/21

2011 Washington Redskins
Fred Davis – 59 receptions for 796 yards and 3 TD’s.
Logan Paulsen – 11 receptions for 138 yards
Chris Cooley – 8 receptions for 65 yards
Niles Paul – 2 receptions for 25 yards

TE’s caught 23% of passes this season. 80/346
TE’s caught 15% of TD’s this season. 3/19

2012 Washington Redskins
Logan Paulsen – 25 receptions for 308 yards and 1 TD.
Fred Davis – 24 receptions for 325 yards.
Niles Paul – 8 receptions for 152 yards and 1 TD
Chris Cooley – 1 reception for 8 yards

TE’s caught 20% of passes this season. 58/291
TE’s caught 8% of TD’s this season. 2/24

2013 Washington Redskins
Jordan Reed – 45 receptions for 499 yards and 3 TD’s.
Logan Paulsen – 28 receptions for 267 yards and 3 TD’s.
Fred Davis – 7 receptions for 70 yards and 1 TD.
Niles Paul – 4 receptions for 51 yards

TE’s caught 23% of passes this season. 84/355
TE’s caught 35% of TD’s this season. 7/20

Under Kyle Shanahan’s tenure as Offensive Coordinator (in both Houston and Washington) Tight Ends have caught a combined 27 TD’s out of a total 134, which is 20% of total receiving Touchdowns by Tight Ends under Shanahan.

Tight Ends have also caught 476 receptions out of a total 2107, which is 22.6% of receptions by Tight Ends in Shanahans career as OC.

We should expect this number to linger around the same percentage this season as the Browns look incorporate a Run Heavy Scheme. With lack of WR’s, Jordan Cameron will be the focal point in the receiving game, but it should remain clear that due to the amount of running – he will also be blocking more than usual. Under Shanahan, TE’s have caught 20% of the Touchdown passes, however, last season TE’s caught 35% of those TD’s. Jordan Cameron will be the main Red Zone threat again this year, as last year he received 19 Red Zone Targets, while catching 7 of them for TD’s.



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    TJ Yock

    May 16, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Good article and nice analysis.