Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Don't be surprised if it's Reid

Andy Reid the next Browns head coach?

Don’t discount it.

If the Philadelphia Eagles do not make the playoffs this season, Reid most likely will be asked not to return as the head coach.

Which, of course, will place him on the open market.

Now start fitting the puzzle pieces together in their right places and you understand why Reid might possibly wind up in Cleveland.

There is no way short of the Browns making the playoffs that Pat Shurmur returns as the head coach in Cleveland next season.

Don’t get caught up in the giddy feeling Browns fans had following Sunday’s victory against Cincinnati. It’s nearly mid-week and that victory is ancient history. They’re still 1-5 heading into Indianapolis Sunday.

Back to the puzzle.

Now that Jimmy Haslam III is officially the team’s majority owner, Joe Banner is about 10 days away from becoming the club’s Chief Executive Officer. Forget Mike Holmgren. He’s gone.

Banner, as most fans know, is the former president of the Eagles, the man who anointed Reid as a National Football League head coach in 1999 following a successful assistant coaching career with Holmgren in Green Bay.

Banner is no longer around in Philadelphia to protect his man. Reid is out on the coaching plank with no safety net.

If the Eagles, who have split their first six games of the season and not looked good in doing so, cut Reid loose, it only makes sense for Banner to take a substantial interest in him.

It has been speculated in Philadelphia that Reid’s shaky position with the Eagles was one of the main reasons he fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo Tuesday.

He needs to turn this team around and he’s not getting any help from his quarterback. The Eagles have scored the fewest points of any NFC team that has played six games, averaging just 17 points an outing.

Now everything is predicated on the Eagles not qualifying for the postseason. If they do, then all bets are off. But that is unlikely to happen.

So do not rule out the distinct possibility that the big man from Philadelphia, who is only 54, could wind up as the brand new coach for the Browns next season.

No question Haslam will strongly suggest that Banner confine his search to someone who has a high profile. Someone like Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher. Or Andy Reid.

Ever since their return in 1999, the Browns have been saddled, for the most part, with head coaches who failed to get the most out of the players. The lone exception might have been Butch Davis, but he self-destructed when he chose to control the entire organization, thus reducing his effectiveness as a head coach.

Now it’ll be interesting to see just how Banner handles the situation. He was Browns General Manager Tom Heckert Jr.’s boss in Philadelphia. In fact, Heckert held the same title there.

But he was the GM in name only. Reid ran that organization from a player personnel and coaching standpoint. Heckert scouted, but Reid drafted.

If the Eagles choose to go in a different direction with Reid and he winds up on the lakefront, that could jeopardize Heckert’s role in Cleveland. Would Heckert agree to work under the same conditions in Cleveland that he did in Philadelphia?

Probably not.

So while Banner won’t have to hit the ground running, he’ll be faced with some interesting choices. And because Haslam is no hurry this season, which is pretty much down the drain, anyway, Banner likely will take his time in reconfiguring the Browns' football structure.

But do not rule out the possibility of Reid wearing the Seal Brown & Orange next season.

It might not happen, but it’s definitely within the realm of possibility if the Eagles flame out this season.


  1. I would be very happy to see Andy Reid in as HC, but I have a problem with HC/GM's. It didn't work with Holmgren in Seattle, the "Iggles" haven't been to a SB since 04'. One thing I am not sure of is when Andy Reid became the HC/GM? Are you aware of any successful HC/GM's?

    But either him or Gruden be a major upgrade and most importantly can work with the talent here without a complete reboot.

    Be well,
    Syco Marc.....

  2. Hi Syco,

    Reid's role, if he came to Cleveland, would not be quite what it is in Philadelphia. He'd probably be much more of a coach with a strong voice in the draft and makeup of the team. But not the decisive voice.

    My guess is Banner, if he doesn't keep Heckert, will bring in another GM with more powers than the current Eagles GM Howie Roseman. Unless Reid seeks a situation more like the one he has now in Philadelphia, he should be satisfied with something like that in Cleveland.

    Of course, it's all predicated on how well or poorly the Eagles do in their final 10 games.

  3. Hi Rich,
    It is my understanding that Banner left Philly because Reid went over his head directly to Lurie to gain more control of the franchise. Specifically, Reid balked at Banner's contract negotiation style that was squeezing his players and creating disharmony in the lockerroom. Reid wanted to pay his players better and have more control over free agent signings. Lurie sided with Reid and this is what I understand to be why Banner left. If true, it would make it very unlikely that Reid comes here. Of course, this might be heresay and who knows what really goes on behind closed doors. Thanks.


    1. Hi Paul,

      Word out in Philly on Banner's departure is mixed. One story says Banner wanted Reid fired after last season and Jeff Lurie said no. So Banner decided to step down and Don Smolenski, a protege, took his place as president.

      The other story is that Banner wanted to own part of a team and since Lurie wouldn't let him in Philly, he stepped down and placed himself on the open market. He found Haslam, the two of them found Randy Lerner and the rest is history. Lurie says the latter story is true.

      You can choose to believe either story or neither story. And you're right. We almost never know what really goes on behind closed doors.