As I was speeding (and I do mean speeding) up I-71 yesterday from Columbus to meet up with my friend in Mansfield, the afternoon show on 97.1 was talking about the rumor of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops heading to South Bend to take over for the apparently-soon-to-be-deposed head coach of the Irish, one Charlie Weis.
While I think Stoops would have to be insane to leave Norman for South Bend, that’s not really the point. If the firing of Weis comes to pass as many believe it will, wouldn’t it make sense for the Browns to take a flyer at hiring the portly offensive coach to be their offensive coordinator?
Observe the following factors:
1) Brian Daboll is over his head.
I can’t look at the Browns defense and say they are light years ahead of the offense in terms of talent, but they ARE light years ahead in terms of results. Last night is a prime example: missing their two starting middle linebackers, they held the Ravens to effectively seven points on offense (with Robert Royal’s and Mike Furrey’s lack of hands accounting for the other nine, IMHO). The defense makes up for lack of talent with scheme and execution. The offense does not. That’s on coaching.
2) Charlie Weis has an NFL offensive coordinator’s pedigree.
He has three Super Bowl rings as an offensive coordinator, and is probably the one coach most responsible for the development of Tom Brady. That counts for something, and should calm some of the Browns fan-dom clamoring for more actual experience on the sidelines.
3) Charlie Weis and Eric Mangini should be somewhat familiar with each other, at least.
I’m not going to go out on a limb and posit that they have some great working relationship. I would imagine that their interactions were limited in New England, since Weis was the OC and Mangini coached the DBs, I believe. But, Mangini has to know what kind of offense Weis wants to run, and they should both be comfortable with one another given their roots in the Belichick coaching world.
4) Weis and Brady Quinn would be reunited, which would probably help both of them.
Put frankly, Quinn is where he is because of Weis. Weis took Quinn and developed him into a player that many felt was worthy of a first round draft pick. The two are more than familiar with each other in terms of abilities, strengths, and schemes. Part of what I think Daboll struggles with is how best to utilize what talent he does have (*cough* running the “Wildcat” with Jamal Lewis and Lawrence Vickers when you have a speedy Jerome Harrison sitting on the bench). Weis knows how to get the most out of Quinn, and as he showed in New England can scheme an NFL offense to mask weaknesses (other than an aging Corey Dillon, name one “good” running back NE ever had in their Super Bowl years). The Browns need that in spades right now.
This isn’t an open and shut proposition, of course. For one thing, The logistics of a Weis hiring would probably be tricky, since he probably won’t get fired until at least December, and by then Mangini could be a lame duck. In addition, if Weis were to be fired by Notre Dame, he would still be due quite a large sum of money from the university. Why, then, would he rush into quite possibly the worst offensive coordinator situation in the league, when the future of the coaching staff at large is in question? And finally, there’s still the matter of Mangini refusing to admit that Daboll is in over his head.
But still, there is that small chance that Mangini sticks around next year. And, if he does, he could do a lot worse than to replace Brian Daboll with Charlie Weis.
Now I’m done.