Cleveland Browns: Spread offenses hurt offensive linemen, too
By Joel W. Cade
It is not just quarterbacks that enter the NFL who are at a disadvantage. Wide receivers coming out of spread offenses, depending on the specific type, must learn basic skills like route running, how to release off the line of scrimmage and how to read a defensive backfield. These skills, which are taught to receivers at colleges who use a pro-style offense, are not as prevalent in a spread offense.
The effects of the spread are less on receivers, however. Corey Coleman was drafted in the first round by the Browns after playing in the same Baylor offense as Griffin. The concerns about Coleman coming into the draft were focused on his ability to run an NFL route tree. While Coleman will have to pick that up at the NFL level, fellow wide receiver Rashard Higgins, who was selected in the fifth round, comes from a pro-style offense that taught him an NFL route tree, how to release and how to find holes in defenses. Already having those skills is one reason why Higgins is projected by many to start opposite Coleman this fall.
While it is generally accepted by NFL analysts, coaches and general managers that the spread offense does not prepare players for the NFL, the same belief is not extended to offensive lineman. Rather, there is an irrational belief that the decline in quality offensive line play rests squarely on the shoulders of offensive line coaches.
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