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Browns Would Have Tailored Playbook To Robert Griffin III Had They Drafted Him

By ZAC BOYER | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – Had Cleveland traded with St. Louis for the No. 2 draft pick in April and drafted Robert Griffin III, head coach Pat Shurmur would have also designed a portion of the offense around Griffin’s ability to run.

“I promise you we would have had more [of what] I’m going to call ‘structured quarterback-type runs,’” Shurmur told Cleveland-area reporters Wednesday. “That’s what I’ll call them.”

The Washington Redskins outbid the Browns for the No. 2 pick and Griffin, sending their No. 6 overall pick, their second-round pick and first-round picks in both 2013 and 2014 to the Rams.

Cleveland eventually drafted Brandon Weeden with the No. 22 pick, and Weeden has run only 23 times for 98 yards this season.

Griffin has run for 748 yards and six touchdowns on 112 carries this season – by far the most of any quarterback.

“If Brandon was a guy that could run the football better, we’d have some structured quarterback runs,” Shurmur said. “But, there’s something to be said for exposing your quarterback to a bunch of hits. You weigh it – that’s just what happens. I think you have to make that decision based on the guy you have.”

Shurmur was Philadelphia’s quarterbacks coach from 2002 through 2008, where he worked with Donovan McNabb.

Protecting McNabb on quarterback runs was not a priority, Shurmur said, because of the way they used him on offense.

“We trained him as a drop-back passer,” Shurmur said. “We had some structured quarterback runs, but not as many as I’m seeing from teams with [San Francisco quarterback] Colin Kaepernick, RGIII, [Carolina quarterback] Cam Newton and so on. It’s just all how you decide to use the players that you have.”