Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hello Whiz; goodbye Whiz?

One more down. One more added.

And the beat goes on and on and on.

Scratch James Franklin from the list of candidates seeking to become the next head coach of the Browns and add Ken Whisenhunt.

Franklin is taking his coaching talents to Penn State University, where he will match wits with the likes of Urban Meyer. Now we’ll see how good he really is.

Whisenhunt is a surprise added starter to the Browns’ search only because CEO Joe Banner said last week that no one interviewed last year when the job was open would be interviewed again this year. Whisenhunt will be, according to reports.

Someone, not Banner, seems to have steered owner Jimmy Haslam III in Whisenhunt’s direction. Not certain what else the former Arizona Cardinals coach can bring to the table that he didn’t last year.

Perhaps it’s because he was coming off his firing by the Cardinals last year and this year, he arrives as the offensive coordinator of the surprising San Diego Chargers, who upset Cincinnati last weekend in the playoffs.

The big question is whether Whisenhunt will make it to the interview at all with the Browns. The Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans are believed heavily interested in acquiring his talents.

One look at the Detroit roster tells you why Whisenhunt would be a fool to turn down an offer from the Lions should one be forthcoming. And the Lions would be just as foolish to let him interview with other teams.

Whisenhunt’s success and subsequent failure with the Cardinals is directly tied to whoever quarterbacked the team. When Kurt Warner was his quarterback, the Cards got to a Super Bowl and were annual challengers for the NFC West title. When Warner retired, the Cards’ fortunes plunged.

Now take a look at the quarterbacks for the Lions and Browns. The Lions have Matthew Stafford. The Browns have, uh, well, uh, Brian Hoyer. And, uh, Jason Campbell. And, uh, well OK. Advantage Detroit.

The Lions terribly underachieved under Jim Schwartz this past season. That’s why he’s looking for another job. Whisenhunt would be a perfect fit for an offense that features Stafford and Calvin Johnson and a defense that has arguably one of the best defensive lines in the National Football League.

So unless the Lions and/or Titans drag their feet with Whisenhunt, it looks as though his name will drop off the Cleveland radar almost as quickly as it reappeared.


  1. Hey Rich, I think Banner left the door open to interview candidates from last year when he said he didn't think they would, not they wouldn't. Splitting hairs. Also, since San Diego is still in the playoffs, Detroit or Tenn. can't make an offer, so I would think he will still interview with the Browns. Who knows, he may want to get back at the Steelers a couple times a year??? Go Browns.

  2. Sorry, David. He was quite clear when asked that question at the Chudzinski firing news conference.

    Good point on the playoffs thing, though. Maybe Whisenhunt follows through on his interview with the Browns, but I see the Lions going after him. He'd be a natural fit there, especially with the quarterback situation.

    As for the Steelers' point, I'd like to think Whisenhunt has let that go. He had a chance to get back at the Steelers in that Super Bowl his Cardinals played in and didn't.

  3. I guess we disagree on the interviews, as I remember listening to it thinking he didn't say no we aren't going to.

    Well, here's one fan who hopes he hasn't let it all go to beat the Steelers. I'm sure it wouldn't be an all encompassing thing, just one more thing to drive him as he gives a fist pump running off Heinz field after a win.....

  4. While I would welcome Whisenhunt, unless Mr. Jimmy really opens the purse and blows him away with his gold, there is no reason for him to take a job with the Browns or the Titans. It is my belief the only reason he is interviewing with teams other than the Lions is to make the Ford family dig even deeper into the coffers.