Austin Hooper expects more fun, added wrinkles from Browns offense

Sport

The Browns wrapped up their offseason program last week with a three-day mandatory minicamp that saw many of the team’s offensive players make their only appearance in Cleveland this spring.

Workouts in Austin, Texas were the way most of those players spent the rest of the offseason, but the handful of workouts last week still provided more opportunity for their players to get on the field than they enjoyed in the entire 2020 offseason. Tight end Austin Hooper thinks that will prove to be a positive.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski was in his first year and installing a new offense in 2020 and the limited time together led the team to keep things simple once they got to the fall. Now that the players have experience in that system, Hooper thinks the team is going to open things up a bit more.

“With no offseason and everything that led up to training camp, Stefanski definitely had to keep it pretty vanilla until about halfway through the year when we really understood [the schemes],” Hooper said, via the team’s website. “After having the full year where we laid it all out there, this is where we can have some more fun with it and add some wrinkles now that we’ve built a good foundation together. . . . It’s been fun to learn new stuff and when you think you have it all figured out, it’s like, ‘No, no no, we have some more stuff to add.’ It’s been a lot of fun.”

The Browns had one of the league’s most effective running attacks last year, but still wound up being outscored by 11 points while going 11-5. Improving the defense is a must to turn that around in 2021 and a more balanced offense would also be a plus for another playoff push.