CLEVELAND – New Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine has his play caller.
Kyle Shanahan was hired as offensive coordinator Monday after spending the previous four years in the same role with the Washington Redskins.
Pettine, hired Jan. 23 to replace Rob Chudzinski, is in his first job as an NFL head coach. His experience is as a defensive assistant, so he will rely heavily on Shanahan, who’s been a coordinator for the last six seasons and has 10 years as an NFL assistant.
An experienced coordinator is crucial as Cleveland tries to turn around its fortunes.
The Browns, who had four offensive players in the Pro Bowl, are expected to select a quarterback early in May’s draft and Shanahan will have a hand in his development.
Shanahan, 34, got his first job as a coordinator in 2008 when he was hired by Houston at 28 years old.
After two seasons there, he joined his father, Mike, head coach of the Washington Redskins.
Both Shanahans spent four seasons with Washington before being fired Dec. 30 after a 3-13 season. They also clashed with quarterback Robert Griffin III.
But Kyle Shanahan brings a strong resume to the Browns.
His offenses have ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in yardage four of his six seasons as a coordinator, including the last two in Washington.
Shanahan ran a version of the West Coast Offense, incorporating the pistol formation and read option, and the Redskins in 2012 became the first team in NFL history to pass for 3,400 yards and rush for 2,700. They led the league in yards per play (6.17), won the rushing title and Griffin set league rookie records for passer rating (102.4), interception percentage (1.27) and rushing yards by a quarterback (815).
The record slipped in 2013, but the Redskins ranked ninth in total yards per game (369.7) and fifth in rushing (135.3). Receiver Pierre Garcon set a franchise record and led the NFL with 113 receptions.
The Browns interviewed Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo on Thursday.
Shanahan replaces veteran coordinator and three-time head coach Norv Turner. The Browns allowed him to explore other jobs after Chudzinski was fired, and Turner was hired as coordinator by new Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.
The Cleveland offense ranked 27th in scoring (19.3 points per game), 18th in total yardage (338.9), 11th passing (252.5) and tied for 27th rushing (86.4).
Last week, Pettine hired Jim O’Neil as defensive coordinator and retained special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.