Cleveland Browns: Who is the key to the offense having a successful season?
By Mitch Zoloty
The Cleveland Browns are stacked with more talent than they’ve ever had over the past few seasons. This team will go as far as left tackle Shon Coleman will let them.
The Cleveland Browns are the clear winners of the past off-season. General manager John Dorsey should have earned himself a raise for the amount of pure talent he brought in. Positions of need last season have become the teams strong points.
Fans should be delighted when thinking about this. Josh Gordon is back for the entire season. Jarvis Landry has arrived to Cleveland, bringing an unbelievable talent to the field. The offensive mastermind Todd Haley will be calling plays for the Browns.
The two aforementioned receivers will compliment each others games immensely. Gordon being a deep threat who will put up yards and touchdowns like no other, making the defense look silly. Landry is one of the most reliable targets in the NFL and he wont drop balls often while being the work horse of the receiving core.
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In addition, the Browns bring in the potentially-explosive Antonio Callaway and have Corey Coleman in a make or break season. They’re both talented young players that have time to grow and don’t have to carry the team.
Dorsey brought in veteran pro bowl quarterback Tyrod Taylor to start the season off. Tyrod is in the middle of his prime and is bound to succeed with his new weapons. First overall pick quarterback Baker Mayfield waits in the back learning from Taylor. This buys him time to develop, so the Browns can have the long term success they’re searching for.
The running back corps cannot be slept on either, as it has quickly evolved into one of the most dangerous groups in the NFL. Carlos Hyde was brought in after being the work horse in San Francisco. The dominant Nick Chubb from Georgia was drafted to eventually be the Browns work horse and the shifty Duke Johnson remains on the roster, as the Browns most versatile weapon.
With all of this being said, the Browns still have an issue on offense. The weakest position is arguably the most important on the field — the coveted left tackle spot. For years, the Browns were one of the worst teams in the league. However, this spot was filled by arguably the greatest to ever play the role: Joe Thomas.
With Thomas retired, veteran Shon Coleman will be relied upon to step up. This makes Shon Coleman the key to the Browns success on the field.
About Shon Coleman
Shon Coleman was taken by the Cleveland Browns in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was a third-round pick, 76th overall. Coleman started all of last season at right tackle after not starting a game his rookie year. He played his college ball at Auburn, alongside new teammate Greg Robinson.
Coleman was diagnosed with Leukemia during his time in college, missing his first two years at Auburn. He would battle back from this, playing football again in 2013 and earned a starting spot at Auburn after Greg Robinson’s departure in the draft.
Why Shon Will Succeed
The day after Thomas retired, reports were that he was already back in the team facility working with Coleman. Thomas was helping him with the transition from right to left tackle. This was a great sign to Browns fans on what his future holds. If he stays committed, the sky is the limit for him.
Standing at 6-foot-5 and 310-pounds, he definitely has the size to be a dominant left tackle. At 26-years old, he should be entering his prime here either this season or the next.
Coleman is one of the luckiest linemen in the game right now, as he was able to learn from Thomas for his entire career so far. As a player, he’s more of a run blocker than a pass blocker and Myles Garrett gave a great quote about him to ESPN’s Pat McManamon highlighting his strength in the run game.
"“He’s definitely a great run blocker and he’s coming along as a pass blocker as well. I like going against him because he’s aggressive and he doesn’t stop. He’s always trying to get after it whether it’s play 1 or play 40 in practice.” — Myles Garrett on teammate Shon Coleman"
Where Coleman can stand to improve is in his pass blocking. This weakness is what makes him the key to the Browns success as an offense. The left tackle is the quarterback’s blindside and if Coleman’s not stout in protection, Taylor will feel pressured, and the offense may start to collapse. The Achilles heel to many great teams has been their left tackle play.
An opposing defensive coordinator will game plan the Browns by putting their best pass rusher on him. Cleveland right tackle Chris Hubbard is new to the team and may not have as many starts underneath his belt, but he is used to the offense. Coleman will be the attacking point for opposing teams, so he better be ready.
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With his work ethic and getting to go against Myles Garrett and blitz-happy defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, Shon Coleman should be more than ready for this task. Browns fans should be excited to watch him develop this year, as he could very well become the left tackle of the future.