Monday, January 20, 2014

Browns overcome by inertia

Take a few days off to tend to some personal business and what do the Browns do?


Absolutely nothing except maybe twiddle thumbs between throwing other names out there as coaching possibilities.

Only the Browns can be the first team to fire a head coach and the last team to hire his successor. It just adds to the embarrassment of being arguably the most dysfunctional team in the National Football League. It's an argument fighting a losing battle.

The foot dragging of the somewhat bewildered front office no doubt caused the club’s public relations arm to swing into action. How else can owner Jimmy Haslam III’s recent letter to season ticketholders be explained?

“We have purposefully been very methodical in our approach,” Haslam wrote in small part trying to calm anxious fans and explain that foot dragging. In other words, we can't make up our minds.

The Browns sure weren’t “purposefully very methodical” when it came to pulling the plug on Rob Chudzinski after just one season. Purposefully knee jerk is more like it.

As it stands right now, the Browns once again will wind up with sloppy seconds or even thirds for their next coach. For whatever reason, this franchise gets in its own way with something as simple as choosing a new head coach.

It seems as though every move the Browns make in that regard is the wrong move. All you have to do is look at their 15-year record since the resurrection to substantiate that claim. Again, Murphy’s Law seems to have taken up permanent residence in Berea.

What has gone on since Chudzinski was told his services were no longer needed resembles a merry-go-round of coaching names. (Cue the circus music.) From Josh McDaniels and Adam Gase – both of whom reportedly do not want the job – to Mike Pettine, Dan Quinn and Rich Bisaccia, the current names du jour, the joke continues.

Do not pay attention to the second interviews Pettine and Quinn are likely to get as this whole fiasco drags out until next month. Both men are defensive coaches and the Browns seek someone whose priorities lie on the other side of the football.

Unless Haslam and Joe Banner slam the brakes on that philosophical approach, interviewing Pettine and Quinn will be nothing more than a charade as we await something more dramatic involving an offensive coach.

Bisaccia, on the other hand, is a special teams coach with Dallas. Unless Haslam hopes to hit head-coaching gold as Baltimore did with former special teams coach John Harbaugh, forget Bisaccia.

And unless he changes his mind, Gase will not interview until the Super Bowl is concluded. His agent reportedly is advising the young Denver offensive coordinator to wait another year before entering the head coaching ranks.

Next season, the coaches of six NFL teams – the two New York teams, Dallas, Atlanta, Jacksonville and Oakland – could be coaching for their jobs. And all but one of those franchises are more attractive than Cleveland. Only the Jacksonville job could be considered worse.

Thus it wouldn’t be surprising to see Gase wait patiently and take over a team with much more potential and a whole lot less dysfunction than exists with the Browns.

But if Haslam wants Gase badly enough, he just might make it much more worthwhile to cast his lot with the Browns. In other words, make him an insane monetary offer he’d be crazy to turn down.

And if that doesn’t work, give him what the club wouldn’t give Chudzinski: total control of the roster. Disarm Banner and Mike Lombardi. Based on what he has accomplished in his brief time with the Browns, the reputation Banner built all those years in Philadelphia has been shot.

If Haslam is determined to be more hands-on because of what happened this past season, he might as well make bold moves. He’s got nothing to lose. If Gase is his man and he refuses to take no for an answer, then the owner has to overpay for a coach with only one season’s experience as a coordinator.

But if Gase listens to his agent and remains steadfast in his refusal to become a head-coaching candidate until the 2015 season, Haslam has to face a harsh reality. He spent a billion dollars to purchase a franchise that is nothing but trouble; a franchise whose unattractiveness scares off legitimate coaching candidates.

McDaniels, with his strong northeast Ohio connections, would have been a natural fit. Only he didn’t want to come back home, not with the current front office running the show. So he pulled his name from consideration even before a job was offered.

And now we are reduced to Gase and all the other guys. The Browns just might have to settle again for the first person who says yes.


  1. So, you want to hire somebody just for the sake of hiring someone? You need to strike up a conversation with MikeHey over on the OBR. He's got your back on this one. And who's not to say they don't want to go defense? All the so-called offensive geniuses we've hired haven't been worth a sh_t. Gase is riding Manning's shirttail and McDaniels has no positives in his past until he hooked up with Brady and Belichek(sp). Chud taught us that "strong northeast Ohio connections" don't mean crap when it comes to being able to coach.

  2. You're missing the point of his piece, anon. And next time, be brave enough to sign yure name.

    What's taking the Browns so long to make their choice? Do they have a plan?. Doesn't seem like it. Do they know in which direction they're headed? Doesn't seem like it.

    You very well might be right about hiring a defensive coach. Then again, maybe you're not. After all, this is the team that hired geniuses Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini. I'd be very surprised if they go that way.

    This team needs help on offense more than defense. Much more help.

    So who would you pick, anon? And this time, be brave enough to attach your name to it.

    1. There's no way to sign my name. When it says select a profile, the only available choice is anonymous. I don't have any of those other accounts they ask for. If I could sign my name. I would.

  3. When I sign into this hell hole my name might not show up, its Tim Brooks. Rich, you're an ass. The pressure is on the Browns to get right. Its their schedule and their team. Not yours, mine or the Tony Grossi Lemmings. They need to take their time and get it right. Period. If you guys want to run the team, go out and get a billion dollars and buy one. Do you just like being miserable?

    1. Hope you feel better, Tim, now that you've got that off your mind. And thanks for using your real name. This hellhole welcomes any and all opinions, including ones such as yours.

      I respect your opinion. Too bad you don't respect mine. Because that's all it is. An opinion to which, I'm sure you will agree, I am entitled.

      Just because you don't agree with it does not give you just cause to call me names. The worst name I can call you is sycophant because you seem to be the kind of fan who buys anything 76 Lou Groza Blvd. sells.

      These last 15 seasons must have been awfully tough for you. Me, too. At least I think we can agree.

      Don't be a stranger to this hellhole, Tim. Glad you found it and responded.

  4. Is it now time to hope for a 1-15 season next year? How does Haslam not fire a front office that offered a guaranteed contract to a guy hauled off in a paddy wagon two weeks before? I thought the Browns were a laughstock prior to this revelation, but now this? Paul from Seattle

  5. Hi Paul,

    First of all, good luck to your hometown team in the Super Bowl.

    The fallout of the Davone Bess situation should rest with the front office, which was duped by the Dolphins. Haslam should hold Banner and Lombardi accountable for that mess and then terminate Bess' contract immediately.

    If Banner and Lombardi are not on what constitutes probation, then there is something wrong with Haslam. The embarrassment they have caused on and off the field must not go unpunished. One more misstep and they should be gone.

    I'm not certain Tim Brooks (who posted directly above you) would agree with that, though.

    1. Medical information is highly restricted these days, thanks to all the regulations. Its not just out there for all to see. Why don't you go after the Dolphins for their deceptive tactics or is it just easier to blame the Browns for everything? My tag is Brownsouth, but it will probably show up as anonymous again.

  6. In this case, I'm blaming the Browns for not doing due diligence with regard to Bess' background, and the Dolphins for not disclosing his problems. It's up to both teams involved to make certain there is nothing being hidden. Banner and Lombardi should have checked to make sure Bess was squeaky clean. The league most likely will have something to say about this matter.

    And if you use the "comment as unknown" drop down, you'll see a place for your name/URL. Type your name or handle and hit publish.

  7. My bad. I didn't follow my own instructions. The above post is mine.