Staff changes announced
The Cleveland Browns named Dave Atkins as senior offensive assistant coach, Anthony Lynn as running backs coach and Rip Scherer as assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach, the club announced today.
Atkins has served as the Browns running backs coach for the last two seasons (2005-06) and was named senior offensive assistant coach for the 2007 season.
Lynn joins the Browns from the Dallas Cowboys where he served the last two seasons as running backs coach. Lynn brings seven years of coaching experience with Denver, Jacksonville and Dallas, following his seven year playing career with Denver and San Francisco.
Scherer has served as the Browns quarterbacks coach for the last two seasons (2005-06) and was promoted to assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the 2007 campaign. Scherer has been responsible for tutoring young quarterbacks Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson and Ken Dorsey. Last season, he helped Frye complete 252-of-393 passes for a 64.1% completion percentage, which ranked as the second-best quarterback completion percentage in franchise history.
Complete bios on Atkins, Lynn and Scherer are below:
Senior Offensive Assistant Coach
Year with Browns: 3rd
Year in NFL: 22nd
Dave Atkins was named senior offensive assistant coach on Jan. 27, 2007, after serving two seasons as the Browns running backs coach (2005-06).
In 2005, Atkins worked with Browns RB Reuben Droughns to set a franchise record with 309 carries in a season and rush for 1,232 yards, becoming the first Browns RB to top the 1,000-yard mark since 1985. Atkins' impression helped Droughns 1,232 rushing yards rank sixth in the AFC and his 1,601 yards from scrimmage (1,232 rushing and 369 receiving) rank eighth in the NFL.
Atkins spent the previous five seasons (2000-04) as the New Orleans Saints running backs coach and brings 21 years of NFL coaching experience to the Browns along with stops in Philadelphia, New England, Arizona, Minnesota and New Orleans.
Atkins' impact on the Saints running game from 2000-04 was evident with the Saints featuring a 1,000 yard runner in five consecutive seasons, establishing a franchise record, and erasing a ten-year void of not having a 1,000-yard rusher dating back to the 1990 season.
In 2004, Atkins worked with RB Deuce McAllister, who rushed for 1,074 yards. In 2003, McAllister was voted to the Pro Bowl for the second-consecutive season, and ranked fourth in the league with 1,641 yards rushing and also added a career-high 67 receptions.
In Atkins' first season in New Orleans (2000), the club ranked eighth in the NFL in rushing with 2,068 yards, the highest the team had ranked since finishing third in 1987. That total was achieved despite the loss of starting RB Ricky Williams in Week 11. The Saints still averaged 113.7 yards over the final six contests, with the running game serving as a key factor in capturing the NFC West title.
Prior to joining New Orleans, Atkins served as tight ends coach with Minnesota for three seasons (1997-99) and had his first stint with New Orleans as running back coach in 1996. Atkins also brings NFL offensive coordinator experience to the coaching staff, having served in that capacity at Arizona from 1994-95. In 1994, the Cardinals led the NFL in time of possession (32:37), and the next season Arizona had one of the league's best backfield duos in FB Larry Centers and RB Garrison Hearst.
In 1993, Atkins joined New England as running backs coach. In his only season with the Patriots, New England averaged 111.3 rushing yards per contest, including a 1,088-yard effort by Leonard Russell, who finished second among AFC running backs. Atkins broke into the NFL ranks with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1986. He worked with numerous facets of the Eagles' coaching staff during his seven-year stay, including running backs (1986-90), special teams (1991), and tight ends (1992).
After playing three years of pro football, Atkins started his college coaching career at his alma mater, the University of Texas-El Paso, in 1979. He worked with the running backs and with the kicking game for two seasons at UTEP before joining the staff at San Diego State in 1981, where he spent the next five years.
Born May 18, 1949 in Victoria, Texas, Atkins and his wife, Cynthia, have a son, Dave Jr., and a daughter, Jasmine.
Running Backs Coach
Year with Browns: 1st
Year in NFL: 8th
Anthony Lynn was named the Cleveland Browns running backs coach on Jan. 27, 2007. Lynn comes to Cleveland after serving the last two seasons as the running backs coach with the Dallas Cowboys. Lynn brings seven years of coaching experience with Denver, Jacksonville and Dallas, following his seven year NFL career with Denver and San Francisco.
Last season with the Cowboys, Lynn helped Dallas rank sixth in the NFC in rushing with an average of 121.0 yards per game. Lynn guided young running backs Julius Jones, as he ranked tenth in the NFC with 1,084 yards rushing on 267 carries (4.1 avg.) and four touchdowns and also Marion Barber added 654 yards on 135 carries (4.8 avg.) and ranked third in the NFL with 14 rushing touchdowns.
In his first season in Dallas, Lynn oversaw the continued emergence of Julius Jones, who rushed for 993 yards - including a single-game career-high 194 yards at Carolina on Dec. 24, 2005 - in his second professional season despite missing three games with a high ankle sprain. In his place, rookie Marion Barber emerged as a solid ground threat with 538 yards, which ranked fifth in the NFL among rookies and a team-high tying fiv touchdowns.
Lynn served two seasons (2003-04) as the Jacksonville Jaguars running backs coach. Under his guidance, Fred Taylor recorded two of the top four single-season rushing performances in Jaguars history. After rushing for a team record 1,572 yards in 2003, Taylor accumulated 1,224 yards in 2004. He also caught 84 passes during that two-year span. In 2003, Lynn's three backs each averaged more than four yards-per-carry.
Prior to joining the Jaguars, Lynn spent three seasons (2000-02) with the Denver Broncos as an offensive assistant and assistant special teams coach. The Broncos kickoff coverage units were some of the best in the AFC during Lynn's time with the team - finishing first in the conference in opponents' average drive start in 2000 (26.1), third in 2001 (26.8) and third in 2002 (27.8).
Lynn joined the Denver coaching staff in August of 2000 after his playing career was cut short because of repeated occurrences of neck stingers. Prior to his move to the coaching ranks, he spent three seasons (1997-99) with the Broncos as an H-back/special teams standout and helped Denver claim back-to-back Super Bowl championships following the 1997 and 1998 seasons. He spent the 1995-96 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. Lynn went to his first NFL training camp in 1992 with the N.Y. Giants, but was released prior to the start of the season. He made the 1993 Broncos roster and saw action in 13 games, mostly on special teams. Lynn suffered a broken leg prior to the 1994 season and spent the year on the Broncos injured reserve list. During his seven-year playing career, Lynn appeared in 83 games and rushed for 177 yards on 28 carries and caught three passes for 35 yards.
Lynn was a standout running back for Texas Tech University, accumulating 1,911 yards and 17 touchdowns on 481 carries during his collegiate career. As a junior, he earned All-Southwest Conference honors after rushing for 884 yards and eight scores on 224 carries. He was then slowed as a senior by a knee injury.
Lynn was born Dec. 21, 1968 in McKinney, Texas, and played prep football at nearby Celina, Texas, High School. Lynn and his wife, Cynda, have two children - D'Anton (10/24/89) and Danielle (12/31/93).
Assistant Head Coach and Quarterbacks Coach
Year with Browns: 3rd
Year in NFL: 3rd
Rip Scherer was named assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach on Jan. 27, 2007. Scherer is entering his third season with the Browns, and served as the quarterbacks coach for the previous two seasons. Scherer joined the Browns in 2005 with over 30 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level. Scherer has the responsibility tutoring young quarterbacks Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson and Ken Dorsey.
Prior to joining the Browns, Scherer spent two seasons (2003-04) as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Southern Mississippi after serving as co-offensive coordinator at University of Kansas in 2001.
Scherer was the head coach at James Madison University from 1991-94, and during that time the team set or tied over 140 school records. While Scherer served as the head coach at University of Memphis (1995-00), the club registered the first and only victory over the University of Tennessee in school history.
Scherer was also the offensive coordinator at University of Arizona (1989-90), University of Alabama (1987) and Georgia Tech (1981, 1986). He also served as assistant athletic director at Georgia Tech in 1985 and director of football operations at Arizona in 1988.
Scherer started his coaching career as a graduate assistant under legendary coach Joe Paterno at Penn State University in 1974 and went on to coach quarterbacks at North Carolina State University (1976), running backs at the University of Hawaii (1977-78) and quarterbacks at University of Virginia (1979).
Scherer was a three-year letterman at College of William and Mary from 1970-74, where he played quarterback. Born August 3, 1952, Scherer and his wife, Michele, have three children: Scott, Melanie and Ryan.