Sunday, January 11, 2015

Now tell us something we don't know

It took the Browns two days to announce the departure of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains.

Why? What took so long to acknowledge what actually, at least reportedly, took place on Thursday?

Why did Shanahan leave? Was he forced out? Did he want out?

And what caused the club to let Loggains go?

Inquiring minds want to know the answers to these and other questions in the wake of yet another misstep by those who reside in the Ivory Tower in Berea.

Why did the team's public relations arm, which can’t wait to spread good news, sit on these two coaching moves when just about everyone else outside its walls knew?

When news broke Thursday via social media that Shanahan and Loggains were no longer gainfully employed by the Browns, the silence emanating from 76 Lou Groza Blvd. was deafening.

Fans who followed the team knew. The media knew. Confirmation from just about everywhere but Berea ignited a relative firestorm among the fans, a few of whom waited until the official announcement Saturday to react.

And when the club finally released what had taken place, all the right words were delivered. Perhaps it took that long to carefully craft those words so as not to make the club look bad.

The media initially reported Shanahan and the Browns had mutually agreed to go their separate ways with the coordinator citing interference from other areas of the front office as one of the reasons. The Browns couched it differently, suggesting Shanahan, who had two years left on his contract, had resigned.

“After conversations with Kyle this week, we’ve determined it would be in the best interests of the Cleveland Browns that he pursue other opportunities and we have accepted his resignation,” coach Mike Pettine said in a prepared statement.

With regard to Loggains, Pettine said, again via the same statement, “In Dowell’s case, it was a difficult decision, but one we felt we had to make. We wish them both well.”

Could it have been the failure of Loggains to successfully turn Johnny Manziel from a freewheeling, cocky college quarterback into a read-to-play National Football League quarterback? We’ll never know, of course. But that would be a pretty good guess.

Shanahan also issued a statement, most likely put together by the team’s PR guys. “I appreciate the opportunity Mike Pettine, (General Manager) Ray Farmer and (owner) Jimmy Haslam gave me to lead the Browns’ offense in 2014,” it read.

“The Browns’ organization is committed to improvement and winning. I regret how the inner workings of the organization were represented publicly the last few days. . . . In light of the circumstances, I have decided to resign. I’m grateful for my time with the Browns and wish them great success going forward.”

All the right words.

Did he mean them (and we have to assume he approved them)? Probably not.

In the end, these moves were inevitable, although the stability factor suggested the club might give these guys one more season. But there is no question the failure of the offense down the stretch was mainly responsible for the Browns losing their final five games of the season.

It would have been seven straight if not for a timeout called by (now former) Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith in the final minute in game 11, a game ultimately won by the Browns on the final play.

Someone had to take the fall. The clumsy way in which it was handled, however, sort of goes along with the way these things are handled by the Browns.


  1. C'mon Rich - I'm sick of comments like this one - "Could it have been the failure of Loggains to successfully turn Johnny Manziel from a freewheeling, cocky college quarterback into a read-to-play National Football League quarterback? We’ll never know, of course. But that would be a pretty good guess."

    Do you know for a fact? Quit BLAMING EVERY GODDAMN THING ON MANZIEL. People like you and Grossi and MKC don't know nothin'. If you did you state it as fact and where your source is from and quit hiding behind all the BS! I'm sick of the negatives, based on what facts??????????????????

    1. Simmer down, Tim. You might want to think about channeling your anger in a different direction.

      First of all, if you read what I wrote carefully, I didn't blame Manziel for anything. All I did was suggest that Loggains was fired because he failed to do his job with Manziel. Where does it say I blamed Manziel?

      And I did not state it as a fact. I merely proffered it up as a reason and suggested it would probably be a good guess.

      Do not confuse what I do with what Tony and Mary Kay and other reporters do. I pontificate. I am much more subjective and do not ever hide that fact.

      There will be plenty more of what I wrote regarding this latest situation with this dysfunctional football team. Count on it unless it shows signs of pulling out of it.

    2. I do hope you're kidding! "Tony and Mary Kay" are factual???? Grossi still carries his chip around on his shoulder for all to see, and MKC has no business reporting on anything, much less a sports team. However, she is very good at using other people's material!

  2. It's not much of a guess to believe Loggains was fired due to Manziel's lack of development, Hoyer's regression, and both QBs poor fundamentals. I would also suspect his loose tongue/texting didn't sit well with Pettine, Famer or Haslam.

    That's not on Manziel, that's all on Loggains.

    That being said, I'm not sure any QB coach could have gotten through Manziel's rather thick cranium this season.

  3. You're probably right about the loose tongue and texting on draft night. But it probably would have been forgotten had Loggains somehow been able to transform Manziel into an NFL quarterback.

    And you are probably right that the density of Manziel's cranium most likely would have made it impossible for any QB coach or offensive coordinator to be successful with him.

    That's what will make the search for a new coordinator and QB coach very interesting. It could wind up the laps of a couple of guy who will do and say anything to stay employed.

    Bears watching.

  4. Where do you get your "facts" from, Southie? And how do you know they are actually factual? And how do you know Tony and Mary Kay and all the others whose job is to cover the Browns aren't dealing with the facts as they know them?

    And what kind of chip are you talking about with regard to Tony? Why does Mary Kay have no business reporting on anything? What difference does it make whose material she uses? That's the way it's done in the business as long as other people are properly credited.

    Their job is to report what they know regardless of how they obtain the information. Keep the public informed. That's what journalism is all about.

    1. Grossi has had a hardon for the Browns ever since they dumped him for trashing "Jammies" and MKC seldom prints anything of value. Most of her articles belong in The National Inquirer. Just ask Lane about these two hacks.

  5. In what way did the Browns dump Tony? I have no idea what you are talking about.

    And what do you consider value when it comes to Mary Kay's stuff? Please explain yourself.

    As for Lane, for whom I have great respect, I don't have to ask him about anyone in journalism. Having been in the business for 40 years at the PeeDee, I have a pretty good idea of how things work in that industry and don't need anyone telling me differently.

    1. "According to Forbes, The Cleveland Plain Dealer removed Tony Grossi from covering the Cleveland Browns following this tweet: "He's a pathetic figure, the most irrelevant billionaire in the world." The pathetic, irrelevant figure Grossi was referring to was Browns owner Randy Lerner. "

      "Let's be clear: Grossi was reassigned within the Plain Dealer's sports department; he was not fired."

  6. The Browns didn't dump Grossi. Grossi dumped Grossi by stupidly hitting the wrong button on his tweet. The chicken-livered brass at the PeeDee, instead of maybe suspending him for a week or so, reassigned him. And face it: He was spot on with regard to Lerner.

    As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened to Tony. The opportunity at KNR/ESPN Cleveland was a no-brainer for him. He is in a much, much better place now and no doubt making more money than he did at the PeeDee.