On Tuesday the list of candidates for Cleveland’s vacant head coaching position got a little smaller. Arizona’s Todd Bowles reportedly told the Browns to remove him from their list, and former Green Bay quarterback coach Bob McAdoo took the offensive coordinator position with the New York Giants. Earlier in the week it was Ken Whisenhunt who came off the board by agreeing to coach the Tennessee Titans.
All three had reportedly interviewed with the Browns for the position of head coach.
So who is still on the Browns’ list? If you are one to believe the most recent rumors, Denver offensive Coordinator Adam Gase might be the frontrunner, although he hasn’t interviewed with Cleveland and won’t until the Broncos are done with the playoffs. Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is another target. Of course the man that everyone knew the Browns were interested in at the beginning, New England’s Josh McDaniels could still be a candidate even though he reportedly told the Browns he wasn’t interested.
And the wheels on the coaching search go round and round.
Adam Gase is a first time offensive coordinator in Denver. Previously the 35 year old worked as an assistant in Detroit for three years and also a year in San Francisco. He coached the wide receivers and quarterbacks in Denver before being promoted to OC last January. His offense set NFL records this season for points scored and a hundred other categories.
Oh, and his quarterback is Peyton Manning.
Josh McDaniels was a head coach in Denver, but was fired in-season after a 3-9 start. His quarterback was Kyle Orton. Following his stint in Denver, McDaniels took the offensive coordinator position in St. Louis where his offense was rated last in the league under quarterback Sam Bradford.
McDaniels returned to New England, where he is coaching in the AFC Championship game this weekend. With Tom Brady.
Notice a trend?
I would not go so far as to say the decision about the next head coach isn’t very important. It certainly is. But I do have to ask if that decision isn’t slightly less important than the decision on which quarterback is under center for the Browns next year.
When Adam Gase’s name first surfaced, I for one thought this could be a colossal failure- grab the ‘hot’ coordinator who more than likely wouldn’t be on anyone’s radar if not for the quarterback he coached. Sounds like ‘same old Browns’ kind of move. The same goes for McDaniels even though he has had a little experience as a head coach.
But the more I think about it, the more it just doesn’t matter to me if that is the list of candidates that the Browns have to choose from.
Think about head coaches who are successful in this league without having a top ten quarterback. Do any even come to mind? Are there coaches that will find their way to the playoffs year after year no matter who the quarterback is playing for them? I think that list is very, very short.
Now think about the coaches that have very successful quarterbacks. Here’s where it gets murky. See, those coaches aren’t let go because the team wins. Elite quarterbacks have that kind of effect.
Could Seattle’s Dan Quinn be that rare breed? Could he be that defensive minded coach that comes along and wins because his defense is so strong? I have my doubts, mostly because the rules just keep favoring the offense. These dominant defenses are getting harder and harder to find, but even Seattle’s defense which is the strength of the team still gets top 10 production from quarterback Russell Wilson.
Gase or Quinn? McDaniels or someone we haven’t even heard of yet? Do these questions take a back seat to solving the eternal riddle of which quarterback will be the one to stop the madness and etch his name on top of the depth chart in stone?