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Sometimes data (analytics, statistics, research… whatever you may want to call it) can provide an interesting nugget about sports. Sometimes data can surprise you as it shows you something you didn’t know or didn’t think was true.
Other times, like today, data can show you exactly what you saw on the field.
Last year, the Cleveland Browns had significant trouble separating from defenders while running routes. With WR Jarvis Landry and TE Austin Hooper leading the team in targets and WR Rashard Higgins fifth on the list, the Browns threw a lot of passes to players without elite speed or quickness.
None of those three had more than 11.5 yards per reception. Not surprisingly, all three of those players are now gone with WR Amari Cooper brought in to replace them.
The two holdovers slotted between Hooper and Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and David Njoku, had 17.6 and 13.2 yards per reception in 2021.
Overall, Cleveland’s pass catchers were third worst in the league at creating separation on routes:
a look at the best teams by separation in 2021
— ajay (@ajaypatell8) July 15, 2022
Again, that data is not overly surprising if you watched the games last year. The Browns are hoping that Cooper’s addition, development from Peoples-Jones and WR Anthony Schwartz along with the drafting of WR David Bell will improve this data for 2022 and produce a more explosive offense.