It’s been three years since Kevin Stefanski took over as Cleveland Browns head coach.
And while he’s been doing a good job for the most part, he’s faced plenty of criticism for failing to ‘establish the run.’
So, now that Deshaun Watson is expected to be the focal point of their offense, and with all the rumors about Nick Chubb potentially being traded, people don’t think the Browns will be a run-heavy team anymore.
And judging by Stefanski’s appearance on the Pardon My Take podcast, it seems like they might just be right.
Stefanski went as far as to say that establishing the run was a fallacy, adding that you don’t need to establish the run to find success and that data actually proves that play-action shows that teams don’t necessarily have to have a strong running attack:
“That’s a fallacy- you don’t have to establish the run to throw it,” Stefanski said. “Play action, it’s been proven, that you don’t need to have a good run attack or be running the ball; there’s a lot of good data behind it.”
"You're not going to establish the run first?"
Kevin Stefanski: "That's a fallacy- you don't have to establish the run to throw it [..] play action, it's been proven, that you don't need to have a good run attack or be running the ball [..] there's a lot of good data behind it" pic.twitter.com/QSj4oyerBe
— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) March 8, 2023
Notably, Stefanski’s right from an analytics standpoint, as multiple stats-related sites such as PFF, The Athletic, and Football Outsiders show that having a run-heavy offense doesn’t correlate with winning.
Even so, people would expect you to be among the best running teams on Earth when you have a one-two punch consisting of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, which is why some of the criticism of Stefanski’s philosophy is rightfully earned.
Chubb is one of the most efficient and steady contributors in the league, and he should gauge plenty of interest if the Browns are actually considering moving on from him.
Should that happen, you better forget about establishing the run.