Browns Stefanski avoiding use of a specific ineffective play so far in 2021

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The Cleveland Browns and their fanbase believe that the team got it right when hiring Kevin Stefanski to be their head coach. Shortly after, the Browns brought in Andrew Berry as general manager and beautiful chemistry has ensued.

The success on the field in the pair’s first season and three games together has shone brightly in the NFL, not to mention compared to Cleveland’s recent history. Even questioning their handling of one situation, it must be noted that they deserve more than a fair share of the benefit of the doubt.

It has been in so many details that the Browns are getting it right. From drafting, free agency, limiting drama, etc, Cleveland’s bosses have gotten it right.

Down to the littlest of things. As noted, Stefanski and Berry value information, often distilled down to the word “analytics,” to try to help them make decisions. One of the details where information is very helpful is play calling.

A new article from Pro Football Focus shows that the use of outside wide receiver screens is an inefficient play:

(The article explains how the data was analyzed for those who value that information.)

The author tries to work through the available data to try to uncover more about the success, or lack of, from different screen types. He postulates that outside receiver screens often fail due to, primarily, other receivers responsible for blocking for them while other screenplays have offensive linemen holding that responsibility.

Using five years of data to create the sample size helps give value to the above findings.

Do the Browns have access to this data? Most likely. Does it impact their play calling? Hard to say but, so far in 2021, Stefanski has not called an outside receiver screen:

It is possible that the return of Odell Beckham Jr. and the continued development of rookie speedster Anthony Schwartz could lead to a change in usage. However, it seems unlikely that Stefanski and company would make them a big part of their play calling sheet.