August 26, 2014

Despite concerns with Browns front office, I’m feeling patient during coach search

Banner Chud 4

Despite my feelings about the Cleveland Browns, which I laid out yesterday, I can be objective about the team’s head coaching search. The Browns have a tough job conducting this search because they destroyed an untold amount of their credibility with fans and around the league by firing a coach after just one season. When I read Jimmy Haslam’s letter updating fans on the process and practically begging for patience, all I could think was that it was the right idea, but an impossible task. Despite my concerns about this front office that missed so badly on Rob Chudzinski, this current search isn’t going all that badly. Or at least I don’t see any concrete evidence that this search is going catastrophically wrong.

Yes, the Browns are the last team standing without a coach. Yes, they’ve had guys like Todd Bowles and Josh McDaniels withdraw their names as other qualified candidates like Ken Whisenhunt and Jim Caldwell have taken jobs. Yes, I’m legitimately concerned that the Browns head coaching job is the 32nd most desirable NFL coaching job in the league. But, I wasn’t really super high on any of those candidates anyway.

I would have been happy to have a guy like Lovie Smith, who ended up in Tampa. I could have been sold on guys like Josh McDaniels, and Ken Whisenhunt. You would have had a very difficult time selling me Jim Caldwell’s resumé, and that’s the point. Other than the realization that the Browns didn’t have a distinct plan in place after firing Chudzinski – which I think we learned when McDaniels pulled his name – I’m not overly concerned that the Browns haven’t hired anyone yet.

Why? For one, there’s only so much we can know about guys like Adam Gase, and Ben McAdoo. The only way to find the right candidate from a pack of rapidly rising position coaches is to interview them and vet them. There’s no way for any of us outsiders to think our way into that knowledge.

So now that the shock has worn off from the Browns firing Chud and not hiring someone right away,  indicating it was a plan that had been in the works for a while, I’m feeling relatively patient.

Patience shouldn’t be confused with confidence, however. While the specific timing of this process isn’t giving me pause, the guys doing the hiring do. Again, we can only know so much about how functional or dysfunctional a front office is. The only proof we have right now is a four-win season and an embarrassing coach dismissal after just one year. Provided with that proof, there’s only so much you can do to stem the tide of nerves and worry.

Of course I’m concerned it can all go horribly wrong. I’m always concerned about that with most everything involving the Cleveland Browns. If the Browns are focused on Adam Gase and somehow miss in grabbing him, or find that he’s not their guy, I don’t know what the supply of available candidates will look like. While that does make me nervous, you never know how this stuff will shake out. They could end up going back to one of the candidates who withdrew their name if they need to do it. Despite pulling his name, I can imagine a scenario where Josh McDaniels might reconsider. At one time last year we all thought Chip Kelly was going back to Oregon.

In summary, the pressure is on. This front office makes me nervous because their recent track record is sketchy at best. At the same time, the isolated fact that the Browns haven’t hired a coach yet doesn’t doom the team’s hiring process, I don’t think.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Hey hockey is awesome. But in MacLean’s defense at least Columbus was an expansion team. I think after 14 years it’s safe to assume the tag expansion has been removed from the Cleveland Browns even though they don’t act like it.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    When you are young the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. As you age and grow older you just hope to have some grass left.

  • @TheDeePagel

    Thanks for the Hot Stove update…..jeesh.

    I was referencing Perez’s criticisms on low Indians attendance and high Browns attendance when the Indians have had more success.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Hey watch it your still on probation!!! ;=)

  • @TheDeePagel

    Speaking of conspiracy theories….has it occurred to anyone that the face behind “The_Real_Shamrock” is also the same face behind all the other Browns bashers on this site?

    I mean Boston sports has been known for cheating during competition, and perhaps this is one person’s attempt at poisoning the Cleveland fan base?

    Just something to chew on….lol

  • nj0

    I thought about the fans, but decided not to include them since it really isn’t an issue now. Three or four more years of bad decisions and four win football? Who knows?

  • nj0

    Harsh. You at least could have said Shapiro or Antonetti. My dog doesn’t get mail.

  • derek

    I don’t understand this logic that it was Chud’s fault that he didn’t start Hoyer over Weeden in the beginning. Weeden played the best out of the quarterbacks in the preseason and we all thought would thrive in a Norv Turner offense. And the fact is Chud new enough to start Hoyer instead of Campbell after Weeden went down. The fandom for backup quarterbacks with a minimal skill set in this town in nauseating.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    HA! With an avatar like that you should be the last one theorizing conspiracies!

    Besides I’m not a Browns basher I’m a Browns educator trying to provide a light for those of you lost in the fog. Proverbial and literal.

  • nj0

    I think all the supporters are Mike Lombardi. Just Mike Lombardi, Chris Perez, and some wicked haad headed guy from Bawstan yelling at each other.

  • saggy

    Pandemonium Palace!

  • Bob

    I’d love for someone in the media should ask Haslam/Banner directly “To what degree will the new coach be autonomous vs. being a ‘yes-man’ to Haslam/Banner?”
    (I have my thoughts on what the situation actually is, but I’d like them to directly and officially take a position on the record.)

  • Bob

    *completely unsubstantiated hypothesis

  • Bob

    Marty: Mr. let’s only rush 3 lineman for the rest of the game with 5 minutes to go and give a competent QB (Elway) all the time in the world to find the open receiver. I blame Marty more for the drive than Elway. Than history repeated itself when Butch Davis went against Foge Fazio’s game plan (one of the best names ever affiliated with the Browns btw) and went into the prevent defense at the start of the 4th quarter in our last playoff appearance.

  • Bob

    Shumer’s incompetence doesn’t mean anything when evaluating Chud. Just because Chud possessed one of the most basic skills that is expected of coaches at the HS level and above (clock management) doesn’t mean he’s a good NFL coach (you must compare him to the other 31 coaches). The banana sitting on my desk right now would look like a competent coach compared to Pat Shurmer.

  • DCTribeFan

    I think it’s also plausible, if not downright probable, that Weeds was/is the consummate “practice QB”. I’m sure he lit it up in practice, made all the throws, “led” his team, etc.
    But when the lights went up against a real opponent, his man parts shriveled to a microcosm of themselves.

  • mgbode

    I do hate the prevent defense, but can still appreciate the rest of Marty’s coaching skills. He was an extremely good coach.

  • Bob

    There is a time and place for an aggressive defensive strategy vs. prevent defense. Marty’s playoff record is terrible, both in Cleveland and SD…..I’d be curious to see his lifetime record against over .500 teams (better gauge than a small playoff sample size).

  • mgbode

    and don’t forget KC. Made the playoffs 7 times for them, so that’s 7 more losses.

    but, he was an extremely good coach. just take a look at his record everywhere he went.

    Browns 44-27 (and 2-4 in playoffs)
    Chiefs 101-58-1 (and 3-7 in playoffs)
    Redskins 8-8
    Chargers 47-33 (and 0-2 in playoffs)

  • eldaveablo

    Where is the evidence that Chud was a good coach? The record in Cleveland got worse under him, and the team got worse as the year went on. No other team interviewed him as a head coaching candidate last year, and his name hasn’t come up once this year. Meanwhile, in Carolina… the team thrived without him there.

    We all bought into the idea that he could be an up an comer, and the only “evidence” that this is still true is the belief that if you gave him more time he would improve.

  • eldaveablo

    Shurm took the Weeden lead team further last year (one game, but still), and the Panthers went further without Chud this year.

  • eldaveablo

    Totally agree. It’s not a stretch to see them liking Chud, but being sold once he announced who his coordinators were going to be. In hindsight, picking a coach based on who he can bring as coordinators was a red flag.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Are we sure that the Browns head coaching position is even the 32nd most desirable NFL coaching job in the league? Maybe “head coaching” job. The fact that McDaniels and Bowles withdrew suggests we might be #34 or lower. :(

  • Rudy

    Gase said no.