Robiskie doesn#039;t unveil Browns offensive identity

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

BEREA - The Browns want their offense to have an identity next year.

What that identity will be is still a mystery.

Newly named offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie didn't provide many clues in his first meeting with reporters since being promoted last week.

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The first decision he must consider is the Browns' starting quarterback. Robiskie would say only that the coaching staff is still evaluating both Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb.

''Tim Couch is a great guy. I think he's a great player,'' Robiskie said. ''I love him, and he's been tremendous for us, and we'll continue to evaluate him.''

Couch ($7.6 million) and Holcomb ($975,000) are both under contract for next season, but it's doubtful the Browns would bring both back.

Promoting Robiskie from within the organization will maintain continuity, said coach Butch Davis, who fired offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and two other offensive assistants the day after the Browns ended their season 5-11.

''Terry was the No. 1 candidate,'' Davis said. ''It's one of the reasons that I gave him the first opportunity to interview for the job.''

The Browns on Monday also promoted tight ends coach Steve Hagen to quarterbacks coach. Hagen was a quarterbacks coach during an 11-season collegiate career that included stints at California and San Jose State.

The Browns named University of Miami offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Rob Chudzinski to fill Hagen's old position.

Chudzinski served under Davis as the Hurricanes' tight end coach from 1996-2000 and has worked with Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow Jr.

Robiskie, 49, spent seven seasons as an assistant coach in Washington. He also was an assistant with the Los Angeles Raiders for 12 years, the last five as offensive coordinator.

He spent three years as Cleveland's wide receivers coach, and said Monday that the Browns may have relied too much on the playmaking ability of their receivers over the last few seasons.

Robiskie said his priorities for the offense are running the football successfully, avoiding turnovers and protecting the quarterback. He said the Browns' injury-plagued offensive line doesn't need a complete overhaul, but needs players such as Ross Verba to get healthy.

''We've got some football players here - offensive line, receivers, tight ends - I think we've got a tremendous amount of talent at a lot of positions,'' Robiskie said.

One change to the Browns offense next season could be the use of a fullback, which Robiskie said he would sign if they can find one.

Davis said the offense needs to develop several things it can do well regardless of the situation or opponent, and from there an offensive identity will develop.

The offense suffered last season from injuries to the line, the suspension of running back William Green and the release of Kevin Johnson.

The Browns failed to score a touchdown in five games, fell from No. 23 to No. 26 in total yardage and scored just 15.9 points per game after averaging 21.9 in 2002.