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.