If there is one thing that the Browns should absorb from Super Bowl XLV is should be that quarterbacks who wear the number twelve have gotten it done on the game's biggest stage. They've compiled 13 Super Bowl rings in just over twenty appearances in NFL history. Throw in all of the Terry Bradshaws, and the Tom Bradys, and you've got a class for the ages.
Okay, I don't know who I am trying to fool. Colt McCoy is nothing compared to those legends; at least, not yet anyways.
But, if all goes well with the offensive philosophies of new head coach Pat Shurmur, the Browns could do exactly what Green Day did to send the Steelers packing. The Packers perfected it; the Browns just utilize it. Green Bay executed their blue-printed game plan right down the Steelers' throats, yet Pittsburgh still couldn't even slow them down. If you're a baseball fan, it's like hitting a Mariano Rivera cutter: You know it's coming, but you still can't hit it.
The shot gun formation is one that Browns fans will witness early and often in the beginning of the Shurmur era. It gave Pittsburgh issues in the Super Bowl, and Browns fans have no reason to believe it won't come again in the regular season of 2011. It was the scheme used in the 2002 AFC playoff match up against the Steelers, and got the Browns 33 points led by a second string quarterback in Kelly Holcomb. And those points were spread out over four quarters; which ideally is the way to go. But we'll take ‘em any way they come.
Thing is: Now that Green Bay did it in a juncture where everyone can see it, other teams will start to spread things out too; if they haven't already. The whole point behind the spread offense is to limit the effectiveness of the front seven; more specifically, the linebackers.
The line-backing core of the Steel curtain may just be one of the most versatile units of any unit at any position in the NFL. They can do it all; blitz, stuff the run, pass rush, even cover receivers. Pittsburgh wishes they had corners who could cover that well. Truth is, they don't. And when that spread offense is shown pre-snap, they have no choice but to sub in their less potent secondary backups. That's where you go in for the kill as a quarterback, which will be McCoy's job come next season.
If you can recall back to 2008 when the New England Patriots went undefeated, and the buzz around town was that a blue print was needed to stop them, this is that exact case with the Steelers. The Giants executed their blue print vs. the Pats in Super Bowl XLII, Green Bay lit up Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV, there is no reason the Browns can't do the same come their matchup vs. a very hated rival.