This past week, the Browns made a big personnel move by bringing in former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley for the same position. After another awful season of Hue Jackson calling the plays, the Browns finally decided to bring in an offensive coordinator and were able to get arguably the best available in Haley. Haley was in charge of leading the high-powered Steelers offense, that ranked first in total offense and passing offense per game this past season. He also has previous head coaching experience when he coached the Kansas City Chiefs from 2009-2012.
Now that the Browns have a new play caller, we have to wonder what kind of players will Haley want to bring in this offense for his new offense? The Steelers were an offense that relied heavily on their superstars LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown and Haley will look to recreate that in Cleveland. The Browns have superstar receiver Josh Gordon who, when on the field, is one of the best receivers in all of football. This upcoming season Browns fans should expect Gordon to play a similar role to Brown did in the offense and expect a lot of deep bombs down the field to Gordon.
The running back position will also be a major focal point of the Todd Haley. With the Steelers he had Bell and while with the Chiefs, he had Jamaal Charles. Both of these back were prolific rushers, but also outstanding receivers. Haley is a big fan of the pass-catching back and will absolutely want to have this in Cleveland next season. The Browns currently have one of the best pass-catching backs in the NFL in Duke Johnson who will definitely be playing a bigger role next season. However, we should expect Haley to want the Browns to draft Saquon Barkley out of Penn State, the best running back and arguably the best player in this upcoming draft. With the recent trend of successful first-round running backs with Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliot and Leonard Fournette, Barkley is a can’t-miss prospect that could revitalize the Browns’ lackluster offense.
Finally, the quarterback position; the most important of all. Of course, in Pittsburgh, Haley had one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Ben Roethlisberger. Haley though is a very big proponent of having a veteran quarterback behind center as opposed to a rookie. While in Kansas City, he brought in Matt Cassel to play quarterback and during his time as the Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator, he had Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner. Haley runs his offense through a veteran quarterback and the one that makes the most sense for the Browns to bring in would be Kirk Cousins. Cousins would be a huge pickup for the Browns and with recent reports that he would want to come to Cleveland, it seems more probable than ever.
Todd Haley was a fantastic signing for a Cleveland Browns team who have lacked consistent offense for far too long. The Browns currently have several playmakers that Haley will get even more out of including Gordon, Johnson and second-year tight-end David Njoku. However the biggest impact Haley could have would be the new players he could help to bring in including Barkley and Cousins. Obviously, things were at its lowest last season for the Browns, but with the new additions to the front office and coaching staff, expect the Browns to make big moves this offseason to greatly improve heading into next season.