3 years ago from Cleveland Sports Talk…
Since this big move, the Cleveland Browns offense has played its best football all season because of the innovation that Freddie Kitchens has brought to the offensive play calling.
The first great addition that Freddie Kitchens has implemented into the offense is the use of the slant-flat concept. This concept is typically used against a Cover 2 Defense where there are two high safeties, corners covering the flat (area near the sideline within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage) and linebackers covering the hook zones over the tackles. To run a slant-flat concept the outside wide receiver runs a slant route towards the middle of the field while the inside tight end or running back runs an out-route into the flat. The whole idea around the slant-flat concept is to make the corner decide which player to cover in his zone: the outside receiver or the tight end/running back.
The other stroke of innovation that Freddie Kitchens has brought to the Cleveland Browns offense is his variation of the flexbone formation with three running backs. Kitchens sets up this formation with Baker Mayfield in the shotgun with two running backs to each side of him and a third running back behind him. The Browns have shown to both run and pass out of this formation, so it brings a lot of variation in what defenses can expect out of it. The generic run plays the Browns can run out of this formation are outside runs to either back beside Mayfield or inside runs to the back behind him with the front two lead blocking. The generic pass plays the Browns can run out of this set are play action passes or even the same slant-flat concept I discussed earlier with one of the backs leaking out of the backfield to the flat. The variety of plays the Browns can run out of this three running back formation helps them keep defenses guessing.
Maybe we’ll see the Giants do a little bit of this? We have the skill players.