Which is more important for the Browns, the right coach or quarterback?

Browns quarterbacks

Browns quarterbacksOn 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?

  • Big Z

    QB x 100

  • Root4Cleveland

    Which is why I’ve been insisting since Mangini that they “can’t” fire a head coach – any head coach – until you have a QB that you know is legit. It also is why they “can’t” hire Munchak as H.C. because he had one and still lost a lot of games.

    The best thing you can give your quarterback is an established system to play in, and that being one he was drafted to play in because it suits him.

    Great college QB with a new HC in a new system that EVERYONE ELSE on the team is also learning for the first time? Not a recipe for immediate success.

    Established coach/offensive system that fits the offense you draft them to play in? Even an unknown 3rd rounder – a “Wilson Kapaernicus” we’ll call him – may surprise you!

  • Root4Cleveland

    “Wilson Kapaernickus.” TM.

  • Root4Cleveland

    Sorry, Dawg. I’m taking BB. Head coaches get a lot less injured a lot less often, and when they’re good like BB they have longer careers.

  • CLE23

    2000 Superbowl (1999 season)
    qb kurt warner
    coach Dick Vermeil’s third season
    rams went 4-12 in 1998

    2001 superbowl (2000 season)
    qb trent dilfer
    coach Brian Billick’s second season
    ravens went 8-8 in 1999

    2002 superbowl (2001 season)
    qb tom brady
    coach Bill Belichick’s second season
    patriots went 5-11 in 2000

    2003 superbowl (2002 season)
    coach Jon Gruden’s first season
    bucs went 9-7 in 2001 and fired tony dungy

    2006 superbowl (2005 season)
    qb ben roethlisberger
    coach Bill Cowher’s 14th season
    steelers went 15-1 in 2004

    2007 superbowl (2006 season)
    qb payton manning
    coach Tony Dungy’s 5th season
    colts went 14-2 in 2005

    2008 superbowl (2007 season)
    qb eli manning
    coach Tom Coughlin’s 4th season
    giants went 8-8 in 2006

    2009 superbowl (2008 season)
    qb ben roethlisberger
    coach Mike Tomlin’s 2nd season
    steelers went 10-6 in 2007

    2010 superbowl (2009 season)
    qb drew brees
    coach Sean Payton’s 4th season
    saints went 8-8 in 2008

    2011 superbowl (2010 season)
    qb aaron rodgers
    coach Mike McCarthy’s 5th season
    packers went 11-5 in 2009

    2013 superbowl (2012 season)
    qb joe flacco
    coach John Harbaugh’s 5th season
    ravents went 12-4 in 2012

  • CLE23

    a good qb makes for a good coach