Browns OC Van Pelt to change Mayfield's footwork

Print

You can count on one hand how many offensive coordinators Baker Mayfield has had in his brief NFL career, but you're almost out of fingers after just two seasons.

Hopefully, we won't end up saying the same about his changes in footwork.

Mayfield's new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt told reporters Wednesday he plans on changing the quarterback's footwork, which he wants "to be like Mozart, not Metallica."

Among examples given by Van Pelt: Mayfield's foot placement in the shotgun before the snap. Van Pelt wants to switch Mayfield's lead foot from his right to his left, which Van Pelt believes will help Mayfield be more fluid in his three-step drop.

"That allows the quarterback to play with more rhythm," Van Pelt explained about the foot switch. "It's quarterback junkie talk, but it's something I believe in.

"In my opinion, it helps in the three-step game, the quick game. There's more rhythm, it's not as robotic, it's more fluid."

Van Pelt isn't suggesting a change just for the sake of change, but to help Mayfield improve in his third season. It's not necessarily the make-or-break campaign for him, but he does need to show positive progress after a second season that lacked it.

"I have a belief and a philosophy of footwork and it's extremely important to me and Kevin (Stefanski) as well," Van Pelt said. "It all starts with the feet. The feet never lie. They get you through your progressions."

Van Pelt said the changes will be in an effort to get Mayfield completing 64 percent of his passes or better, a number he called the "benchmark" for an effective passer.

If anything, Van Pelt definitely appears confident in who he is and what he wants to accomplish with Mayfield. As a former NFL quarterback of nine seasons and an assistant who has implemented his recommendations, he expects the quarterbacks to achieve the standard he sets for them. As offensive coordinator, that will be no different, as he said his "plan is to be the voice of the room" in greater offensive meetings.

With another coaching change just now settling in Cleveland, we have plenty of time before the season begins to critique every little move made by each member of the staff. We're still six months from games -- a good thing for a staff still attempting to learn each other -- but before long, the on-field activities will again matter. We'll see how long this group lasts.

Print