Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bad move

First off, a frank admission.

I was hoping the Browns would hire Mike Sherman to be their next offensive coordinator. Why? Because I think he has a better offensive mind that anyone else out there who was jobless.

The Browns reportedly had considered Sherman and Brad Childress for the job. It baffles me why they chose to go with Childress. His credentials pale in comparison to those of Sherman, who wound up succeeding Brian Daboll in Miami.

Then I thought it had to be the Bob LaMonte connection. LaMonte, whose Cleveland presence grows with every front-office hire, was Childress’ agent and got the job because Sherman was not in the LaMonte stable. I figured wrong. He is.

What a pipeline LaMonte has with the Browns. From Mike Holmgren to Tom Heckert Jr. to Pat Shurmur and now Childress, the agent might as well set up a satellite office at 76 Lou Groza Blvd.

So why did the wrong guy wind up in Cleveland? We’ll never know the real answer to that one, but here’s a guess. Sherman wanted total control of the offense, including calling plays, and Shurmur said no.

Childress, who called plays just one season in his National Football League coaching career, was more than willing to cede play calling to the head coach. After being out of the NFL last season, he just wanted to get back into the coaching ranks anyway he could.

Sherman was a highly successful head coach in Green Bay after succeeding Holmgren, who moved to Seattle. As the head coach and play caller, the Packers racked up a 53-27 record in his first five seasons, winning three straight NFC North championships.

Due in large part to significant early-season injuries to Ahman Green, Javon Walker and Bubba Franks, the Packers slipped to 4-12 in 2005 and gave the front office a reason to pink slip Sherman.

Childress does not own nearly as impressive a resume. He was given a large share of the credit when he was offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, but Andy Reid called all the plays for the Eagles.

After Minnesota tapped him to succeed Mike Tice in 2006, the Vikings struggled under Childress for a couple of seasons before winning back-to-back NFC North titles. He called plays his first year in Minnesota, when the Vikes were 6-10.

Darrel Bevel took over as offensive coordinator upon the arrival of Brett Favre in Minnesota. The two had worked closely while in Green Bay. Childress, meanwhile, busied himself as the head coach and de facto general manager. He was fired late in the 2010 season.

If Shurmur continues to call the plays for the Browns, we can look forward to pretty much what we saw this past season. What could Childress, who was Shurmur’s boss in Philadelphia, do to enliven a moribund offensive philosophy? He doesn’t have a young Donovan McNabb, as he did in Philadelphia, or a revitalized Favre, as he had in Minnesota. Unless Holmgren, Heckert and Shurmur decide Colt McCoy is not the guy for this offense, Childress is stuck with mediocre talent.

Would Sherman have been able to get more out of this talent? Maybe. Maybe not. The only certainty is that we’ll never know.


  1. Could be something as simple as Shurmur preferring to work with his
    old boss and management acceding to his wishes. Speaking of which,
    we've now had three head coaches - Romeo, Mangini and Shurmur - who seem to spend the entire game standing on the side lines with that placid look on their face. Very annoying. Can't remember if the Browns interviewed Rob Chudzinski for the HC job. Thought he called a good game as Brown's OC back in 2007.


  2. The Browns were not interested in bringing back Chudzinski and Chud no doubt was not interested in returning. That ship sailed a long time ago. Besides, he's having too much fun coordinating for Cam Newton.

    I still believe Shurmur will continue to call plays next season much like Andy Reid does in Philadelphia even though Marty Mornhinweg is the offensive coordinator.

    The only purpose of bringing in someone like Childress is to take the added responsibility of coordinating the offense off Shurmur's crowded coaching table. I'll be surprised if he gives up the play calling duties as well.

    Tnx for the post, Richard. Don't be a stranger, and pass the word about this blog. Tnx again.

  3. fyi......nolan cromwell, the other recent hire is also a bob lamonte client....disgraceful

  4. Bud Shaw of the Plain Dealer calls the Browns the Cleveland LaMontes. Good line. Wish I'd thought of it first.

    Check out this Mike Lombardi story on LaMonte in NFP in late 2009:

  5. i read that rich....i actually sent in a question to hey tony several weeks ago asking if there was any truth to the rumor the browns were chaning their name ot the cleveland lamontes....bud stole my line!!!! named bob lamonte the mvp!

    i suppose all we can do is laugh b/c the alternative might break my hand!

  6. I'm not laughing because it's not funny. I wonder when the irrelevant Randy Lerner will realize his club has been taken over by insurgents. Probably when Holmgren bolts and the Browns are still swimming with the fishes.

  7. i said that from the get go when so many media members in cleveland were star struck when holmgren arrived....snake oil salesman...nothing my opinion, i think a heckert mangini combo would have been successful....mangini is a good football coach, not so good at picking players.....regarding the current 'man in charge', all i'll say is this: they better be right.

  8. No, Mike, Mangini is not a good football coach if he's the head man If he's a coordinator, that's a different story. You can't seem to understand that.

    As for a Mangini-Heckert combo, Mangini never would have allowed that. He wanted to be the team's everyman. He wanted to do it all. That became obvious when George Kokinos came on board.

    He's much better off where he is right now at ESPN. He's very good at breaking down tape. That's his niche whether he realizes it or not.

    Get over your Mangini man crush. He's not going to duplicate what his idol, Mr. Belichick, has done. Not gonna happen.

  9. disagree rich, mangini's an outstanding football coach...not once did shurmrur have a game plan like the new orleans or new england games...jets think hardesty can replace hillis? wrong..that would be classic cle creating an area of need where there is none...& taking richardson at 4 is asinine

  10. You're not paying attention, Mike. Mangini will never get another head coaching job in the NFL. However, I will concede he's a much better head coach than Shurmur. If he is so outstanding, why didn't he land a job with all those openings recently?

    As for the New Orleans and New England games, how do you account for the fact that the club fell apart after those games and wound up 5-11?

    And no, I don't believe Hardesty can replace Hillis. But from what I've seen, Richardson is much more capable than Hardesty. He's a much stronger runner and he's healthy.