So, now that the Browns have gotten to the bye week with a 1-7 record, it seems Randy Lerner has decided to make himself heard. According to reports in The OBR and Cleveland.com Lerner was not only at the game yesterday in Chicago, but he made himself quite visible to the coaches and team as they exited for half time and after the game. I know a lot of fans won’t take any solace in just knowing that Lerner is upset right now. Something Mary Kay Cabot reports that Lerner said might change your mind a little bit, though.
“The highest priority that I have is a strong, credible, serious leader within the building to guide decisions in a far more conspicuous, open transparent way. I can maybe defend decisions by saying I’ve sought advice and I’ve brought people in, and we’ve gone to see people — and I think my highest priority is to have a stable figure that represents the voice that explains the decisions.”
I think all of us can say that a “strong, credible, serious leader… that represents the voice and explains the decisions” is exactly what this team needs. Most of us were distraught during last year’s hiring process that Lerner didn’t hire that person first before hiring Mangini. But now that Mangini and Kokinis are already here, Lerner, it seems, will be adding to his top-level executives.
So, what does that mean? First of all, I am just guessing here, but I don’t think it will be Bernie Kosar. For whatever reason after hearing Bernie on TV and on the radio, I just think Bernie is better off in his “advisory” role to Lerner. I know that opinion isn’t based on much, but that is how I feel.
Second of all, what does another layer of football executives mean for Mangini and Kokinis? It certainly isn’t the structure that Mangini signed on to be a part of when he took the job. I know most of us don’t care about Mangini’s feelings in all this, because the Browns hierarchy should have been this way from the beginning. Still, there is no telling how the organization will work if and when Mangini feels undermined.
The bottom line is this. I thought Mangini’s hire was suspect just like the rest of you. I thought it was too early to call Mangini a failure with his early struggles with personnel like Shaun Rogers. I thought Mangini came around a lot during training camp and I appreciated a lot of his moves early on in the season as he tried new things, instilling work ethic and discipline. I still think it is too early in the process to call Mangini a failure, but there are a couple moments where history is smacking me in the face.
We should have learned during the Crennel era that the coaching staff couldn’t be left unchecked. Between Ted Washington, Willie McGinest, and Maurice Carthon we should have learned a lot about how a coaching operation can fail to get out of its own way. While I am happy that Mangini ran Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow out of town, he has apparently become a little siloed in relation to some other things relating to the Browns’ offense. I am not sure what the biggest problems are with the Browns offense right now between play-calling and execution on the part of Derek Anderson. What I do know is that if the Browns had some more checks and balances in place maybe this team could be a little more fleet of foot as they find their way back to respectability.
From the sounds of it, we will hear a new top-level voice in Berea sooner rather than later.