Out with the Old: Happy New Year in Cleveland with The End of Shurmurball and the Mike Holmgren Era

by Cleveland Frowns on December 31, 2012

“To me, [Pat Shurmur] was trying to hold back tears [in his post-game speech]. He put everything into it, and we were trying to do something that hadn’t been done since 1988. With everything else that’s looming over his head, it’s tough. He’s in a tough spot. The players appreciate it. We’ll run through a brick wall for him; it’s just too bad we couldn’t get a win for him.”D’Qwell Jackson

“Listen, I get this. We have not won enough football games and I know that’s the way this things works, but in our situation I see improvement and I’ll leave it at that.” — Pat Shurmur

“The Plain Dealer has confirmed that Shurmur has been fired by the Browns after two years as head coach. General Manager Tom Heckert also was fired today.”Mary Kay Cabot

“I don’t know what here is.”Phil Dawson

—————

However much run-through-a-brick-wall-type will there was in the Cleveland Browns locker room, it wasn’t enough to save Pat Shurmur’s or Tom Heckert’s job, and it wasn’t enough to keep the Browns from losing by two touchdowns to a creaky vacation-bound Steelers team playing out the string. As refreshing as it was to see 25-year-old second-year quarterback Thad Lewis, in his NFL debut, register a Total QBR nearly five-times better than what 29-year-old Brandon Weeden turned in against the same Pittsburgh defense five weeks ago in his eleventh career start, the real story today of course is Shurmur’s and Heckert’s dismissal.

So, let’s start with Shurmur’s statement that, “in our situation I see improvement,” which if not disingenuous is just meaningless as it applies to the head coach, because no team in the NFL that adds a total of seven (7) first and second-round draft picks to its roster over two seasons like the Browns did in 2011 and 2012 won’t show at least some improvement. The progressive NFL draft system, of course, the main reason why it’s possible for any other team in the league except somehow the Cleveland Browns to make the playoffs one season after being terrible. And it’s not just that the Browns added all those high draft picks, along with some useful hits on lower round picks, it’s that they added that talent to a healthy veteran core of Joe Thomas, D’Qwell Jackson, Ahtyba Rubin, Sheldon Brown and Ben Watson, along with other young but maturing (and also mostly highly drafted) building blocks like Joe Haden, Alex Mack, Montario Hardesty, T.J. Ward, Mohammed Massaquoi, and Shaun Lauvao.

Yes, the Browns have one of the youngest rosters in the league, and six of the twelve 2012 playoff teams (including two of the most likely Super Bowl champs) do too. Remember, “Anybody can gut a roster and replace it with rookies and first-year players. Really, anybody can do that.

So the more relevant point here is that if we’re talking about any improvement at all, we’re talking about the absolute minimum.

Brace yourself for this list of 7 of the 9 quarterbacks that Pat Shurmur beat in thirty-two games as head coach of the Browns:

  • Kerry Collins (2011 Colts 39-year-old model)
  • Chad Henne
  • Charlie Whitehurst (!!!)
  • Blaine Gabbert
  • Charlie Batch
  • Carson Palmer (2012 Raiders Derp model)
  • Brady Quinn (Brady Quinn)

Shurmur’s other two wins came against Philip Rivers, by one point, in Norv Turner’s worst and final season as head coach of the Chargers, and against Andy Dalton, when the Browns caught the Bengals in the middle of their four game mid-season skid. That was a decent win, and the signature win of Shurmurball, in which the Browns went three-and-out seven times, which was good for the most three-and-outs by the franchise in ten years, and the most by any team in the league to that point in the season. After that game, Browns players said they felt like they won the Super Bowl.

Anyway, really, look at that list of quarterbacks. Nine wins. Those nine wins. In two seasons. Along with “multiple missteps and mistakes in game-management and short-yardage situations, [in which it was clear that Shurmur] let previous failures cloud future decisions.” Which is all we got a full four seasons after Eric Mangini did so much dirty work to clean up a disaster of a locker room left by Phil Savage, a full two seasons after Mangini’s Browns were doing things like game-planning dominating wins against some of the league’s best teams (and first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Drew Brees) and establishing themselves as one of the league’s toughest outs despite a grade-D roster and less than zero NFL-level talent at quarterback, and a full three since Dawg Pound Mike and his enablers in the local and national press brought us Mike Holmgren and the era of the Quarterback Gurus in Cleveland.

As far as any kind of identifiable culture left by the Holmgren era in Cleveland, some optimists are fond of pointing to the play of the defense. “These kids hit hard. They play hard,” folks say. But every time they faced a quarterback or coaching staff with a spot of a reputation for reading defensive schemes (see 2012 games against the Manning Brothers, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and the Shanahans, even Jason Garrett and Tony Romo playing literally without an offensive line), Dick Jauron’s “Think Less, Play Faster” defense was shredded.

As for the rest, the best anyone can really say about Shurmurball is that sometimes the receivers were open.

Sometimes the receivers were open and most of the time Brandon Weeden missed them badly, because 2012 was the year of the rookie quarterback everywhere but in Cleveland, home of the Quarterback Gurus. The Browns’ first-year signal caller wasn’t just exponentially outplayed by his much younger rookie counterparts despite some of the best pass protection in the league and a talented set of highly drafted playmakers to work with, but he actually turned in one of the worst seasons by any quarterback in recent NFL history as measured by the most advanced metrics ever designed to evaluate the position.

Leaving aside that every franchise passed on Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins about 100 times, the Browns had as much cover as a club could have possibly had to “Suck for (Andrew) Luck,” the son of a St. Ignatius grad, and the best prospect to enter the league in more than a decade; And worse, of course, they had more ammo than anyone to land Griffin in a trade — Griffin himself even expected that he’d wind up with the Browns, despite reports that “the Browns coaching staff [was] confused about what to do with RG3” — yet Cleveland missed out on the rookie MVP candidate due to Holmgren’s and Heckert’s failure to follow basic instructions that were set forth by the Rams.

Let this sink in for a moment here, as hard as it is to do. There’s no bigger running joke in sports than the Cleveland Browns quarterback position. And of course, more than ever, the quarterback position is the most important in the professional game. 2012 was a year in which two generational talents entered the NFL with nothing approximating their talents on the horizon. And these two generational talents didn’t sneak up on anybody — last January every third grade American football fan knew Luck and Griffin would be stars. And every third-grader also knew that the Cleveland Browns were in as good a position as any franchise to land one of them. Yet now of course, both Luck and Griffin will lead the Colts and the Redskins into winnable playoff games next week as well as righteously unbridled optimism for the foreseeable future no matter what happens in those playoff games, despite each franchise being just one year off of respectively miserable seasons.

Meanwhile in Cleveland, every Browns fan with at least six brain cells is wondering who the Browns will bring in to compete with last year’s first round draft pick to play the position next season.

Yes, there are insane people who’ll tell you they’re glad the Browns didn’t “mortgage the future” like the Redskins did to get RG3 (because the future isn’t bright for Griffin, no), or do the little bit extra it would have taken to have landed Luck, and it’s easy to see why those might be comforting ideas to some. But a better idea, especially now that they’re all gone, is that these guys weren’t going to get it right no matter what they did, just like Raskolnikov was never going to get away with it.

The way the Holmgren regime came in, and what it did when it got here: The attempt on Eric Mangini’s career by hanging him out for one season before axing him for doing as well as anyone possibly could have in that year; Stealing so much of Randy Lerner’s and Browns fan’s money, funneling it through Uncle Bob. Shurmur and Heckert had to know somewhere inside that they were playing with fenced property.

Good men placed in a bad situation, probably. Probably all of them. Had they been more cognizant or honest about what that bad situation was and how much they personally benefited from it, they might all still be here today. But they weren’t, so into the Cleveland leadership vacuum with them, too, along with more piles and piles of cash.

[The Browns] will pay Holmgren, Heckert and Shurmur for the next two years. The latest firings will cost … an estimated $24 million.” On top of an estimated $40+ million the three have already made off with.

Happy New Year.

—————

RELATED: Mangenius Interrupted: An Institutional Failure in Five Acts

Where to for playoff tickets now? Mike Holmgren out as Browns President

 

  • Brian Sipe

    I am so so so happy Shurmur and Heckart and of course the walrus are out of town. It will be a great New Year for sure. Love Haslam and Banner. Look to be business all the way.

    Now all I need is Saban here next week and 2013 will be off with a bang

    • Steve

      Just change the names, and it sounds like every 3rd January in Cleveland.

  • http://twitter.com/DocZeus B.J. Steiner

    About the best thing, you can say about this regime is that they didn’t leave us in cap space hell. That’s about it.

  • Brian SIpe

    14-34 over 3 years… what a train wreck…. Just think, if Lerner had not sold we would have these losers back again next year. Can’t wait for new regime to step in

  • BIKI024

    “Yes, there are insane people who will tell you they’re glad the Browns
    didn’t “mortgage the future” like the Redskins did to get RG3 (because
    the future isn’t bright for Griffin, no)”

    yes, he’s had a great run this year, we’ll see how long he can keep it up. the dude just barely survived getting knocked out for the next 10 months with another catastrophic knee injury, we’ll see how lucky he continues to be.

    but to mortgage the future like the Browns would’ve had to (allegedly one additional 2nd rounder than STL gave-up and THE MOST ASSETS GIVEN UP IN NFL HISTORY) then he would have to stay healthy and put these types of numbers up for at least the next few years.

    but even if you take Weeds out of the equation (although I’m not sold that he’s not the answer, yet) based on who’s projected to be available with the #6 pick this draft, i think most GM’s would trade RG3 for TRich, Gordon, Schwartz, and 2013 #6 pick all day.

    • todd

      Agreed. Griffin’s success is built on his running (and the threat he may run). In his rookie year, he suffered a concussion & knee injury. It’s not unrealistic to think he won’t survive more than 4-5 years if he fails to curb his running.

      • BIKI024

        his rookie year is not over.. i went to college in DC and a lot of my boys are YUGE Skins’ fans and they all hold their collective breath each time he takes off. there’s a reason that style of play has not translated well in the NFL. sure he’s a once in a generation talent, but he’s 215 when he’s wet and wearin boots, that does not bode well for 10-15 hard pops a game.

        • alexb

          I 100% agree that you don’t firesale your draft picks for the next decade to land even a generational talent like Luck or RG. Would RG be doing in Cleveland what he’s doing in DC? Absolutely not, Shurmur is NOT a run coach. The Shanahans are doing something special out there with the read option. If RG was here in Cleveland he wouldn’t be running anything special schemewise. Would he still be awesome, yeah probably….but he would absolutely not be putting up the numbers here that he is in DC.

          • BIKI024

            i’m not so sure they wouldn’t have adjusted the offense in ways that Shanahan did. I recall one of the first pressers after the trade didn’t go through that both Shurmur and Chilly mentioned that they had spent a lot of time prior to the draft with coming up with ways they can utilize his unique ability. with Weeds, they felt that his skills translated well to the WCO, and I don’t think it was the system that really hurt us this year, but Weeds inability to be able to make the reads quick enough, or when he did see the open guy he missed them.

            familiarity with the system obviously helps, ala Thad Lewis the other day, in year 3 with Shurmur…

          • alexb

            SOrry i just don’t see Shurm and Chilly doing the stuff that the Shanahans are doing. If we had taken out that 2nd mortgage to get RG we’d have been running with Montario and Jackson the whole season. Not that those guys don’t have their place but they’re not every down backs in the NFL. I like Montario as the change of pace back we should give 5-10 carry’s a game. But he’s not a guy that can workload the majority of the season.

          • BIKI024

            who knows who we’d be running out there. heck we may have resigned Hillis, or via draft. the whole offseason strategy changed when that trade went down.

            and who knows what we would’ve run, it’s not like Shanahan has run the pistol before..

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

            The entire Holgorson “Airraid” offense was predicated on Weeden (and now Geno Smith) being able to make quick presnap reads at the line of scrimmage and calling audibles as well. Judging by his college stats, I’m blaming the antiquated WCO that he was shoe-horned into.

          • BIKI024

            disagree. i know i’m a Shurmur apologist, but time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time after time Weeds missed the open look. it seems to me that he just wasn’t comfortable adjusting to the speed of the NFL, which is understandable, it happens to a whole lot of them. unfortunately for him, the rest of the guys in his class seemed to have less trouble adjusting than he did. but hopefully with an offseason to study and practice more he’ll get better, that is the hope.

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

            Shurmur refused to tailor an offense that emphasized Weeden’s strengths. His version of the WCO was the laughing stock of the NFL. Shanahan DID tailor an offense to his young quarterback, and the ‘Skins are in the playoffs.

            None of these previous statements are arguable, at all.

            Here’s a link to Holgorsen’s offensive theme, and tell me if it in any way whatsoever resembles ANYTHING that Shurmur tried to implement at all.

            http://smartfootball.com/offense/dana-holgorsens-brand-of-the-west-virginia-airraid-offense

          • BIKI024

            i’m sorry, but if you’re a legit NFL QB in the league, there isn’t much more to tailor when there are wide open looks that the dude is just flat-out missing, you can’t put that on the system. it definitely says more about the QB than the scheme, which is why a lot of people are down on the guy. as far as tailoring the scheme to his strengths, i think they felt that he could handle the basic stuff they were running, and he failed at doing so. not sure it’s worth it to completely change everything up, especially with all the youth at receivers who were coming into Year 2 in the system.

            the Redskins didn’t really change much up for their receivers, just a little adjustment to the OL to run the pistol, but they were built for that stuff anyway, Shanahan always liked the nimble type lineman for his zone run blocking schemes..

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

            I went to 6 games this year, and had a very good view of the field. Sure, he missed some open guys, but the VAST MAJORITY of the time he checked down, nobody was open downfield. Nobody. I saw this. With my own eyes.

            Good coaches don’t force systems upon players. Good coaches find ways to utilize their strengths while disguising their weaknesses. At no point during these last two seasons has Shurmur shown any kind of ability to do either.

            So blame all you want on a rookie quarterback. He may be the guy, he may not be the guy. But from the word “go”, he was in a situation that doomed him to failure.

          • Brian Sipe

            I would not, but they could trade Cousins for a 3rd round pick, perhaps even a 2nd round pick to make up for lost picks.

          • mojo

            he certainly wouldn’t be *the most efficient QB in the league* if he was a Brown. In fact, he would probably look like a pedestrian rookie and we would be at best 2-3 wins better than our current 5-11. The read-option and shanny’s zone-running wizardry is a HUGE factor for the redskins.

    • trashycamaro

      The final paragraph got cut off, it should have had this pinned at the end: “…if they already had a franchise QB.”

      ALL of those Browns are replaceable once you have a franchise QB. I don’t think you could manage to trade for a true franchise QB. You can scheme your way to cover for other positions, but not a franchise QB.

      Seriously, only about 20% of Super Bowls have been won by non-franchise QBs. Brad Johnson. Trent Dilfer. Mark Rypien. Do you know who played with them? 2 of those teams have top 10 best ever defenses since 1991 as measured by football outsiders (feel free to choose another counting method, those Bucs and Ravens are routinely mentioned as some of the best defenses ever, with multiple hall of famers). That Redskins team is mentioned in the “best ever” conversation with 8 pro bowlers that year.

      The last time a “franchise QB” changed hands, Cutler + a fifth round pick was traded for a semi-competent QB, 2 first round picks, and a third rounder, and Cutler was semi forced out of town. The only reason Denver hasn’t regretted that is they had a magic Tebow run to the playoffs – and then could not get him out of town fast enough to sign a guy coming off 4 neck surgeries (who has definitely been worth it, but a heavy risk when signed).

      There is not a single GM today who would trade you RG3 for the slightly above average group you just detailed. Trent at this point has a worse injury history than RG3. Josh Gordon just put up 800 yards – good for a rookie, I’m excited for his future, but hardly 1st round worthy. I do not know enough to be able to competently talk about offensive linemen, but FO has Cleveland as the #18 Run Blocking line and the #11 Pass Blocking line, up from #23 and #16 last year. That’s not all on Schwartz, who is of course just one cog in a line with multiple starters picked in the first round. A #6 pick is nice, but certainly no sure thing, and definitely not a sure fire NFL starter at QB.

      Of course this is all hindsight. If the Cleveland brain trust called the Washington brain trust today and offered the same package, Washington would laugh and laugh. Similarly, if you had the same conversation with the Colts – who have strong needs at EVERY one of those positions – they would also laugh Cleveland off the line.

      Everything in the NFL is a risk – but risking on franchise QBs is the risk with by far the greatest payoff.

      • BIKI024

        i would make that trade for Luck, but not for RG3. i’m not convinced that he, or his style of play can handle the rigors of the NFL.

        • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

          I completely agree with this.

        • nj0

          I, for one, would take RG3 with the Skins playoff berth this season and their uncertain future over all those Browns players you mentioned. Maybe his leg explodes a few years down the road. At this point, I’d take two-three playoff years with a chance at the Super Bowl over this pipe dream of becoming an organization that always competes like the Pats.

          • BIKI024

            again, who knows how the Browns would’ve done with Hall of Fame coach Shanahan and his son leading our team and offense.

            why don’t you just join the bandwagon and become a Skins’ fan??

          • nj0

            cause i’m a browns fan

            but i agree, we shouldn’t have drafted anybody good with shurmur as coach

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

            I don’t think that’s the point here. The point that I’m getting is that it’s misguided to expect comparable results with inferior coaching.

            So, using that process of thinking, we may have better talent here than everyone believes we do.

          • nj0

            My point is talent is talent. I would not pass up on a top tier talent at QB like RG3 simply because our coaching is not up to snuff. New coaches are easy to get, once in a decade QBs are not.

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

            Two things:

            1 – At the rate RG3 is going, he won’t last the better part of a decade, in my opinion. If you’re going to ransom off 3 drafts for that QB, he better last at least a decade.

            2- I can’t say (and I don’t think that anyone can, really) whether Weeden is a guy that will get us deep in the playoffs or not. And that is Pat Shurmur’s fault.

          • nj0

            Personally, I think injuries in sports are impossible to predict. I also think RG3 has a skill set where, once he loses a step, he can still be effective as a QB.

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

            I wasn’t going off of predictions, i was going off of watching him almost get decapitated and having his knee nearly shredded in his first season.

            I guess the bottom line is I personally would have paid that much for Luck, but not RG3.

          • nj0

            Agree to disagree, I guess. Luck took some heavy shots this season too. Just part of the job.

          • BIKI024

            yes, Luck can get hurt too, and he may miss more games than RG3 will, but he’s not prone to get hit with the same velocity as many times per game since he’s not on the run as much, not to mention he weighs about 25 pounds more than RG3

          • nj0

            I get it. RG3 can’t play many more seasons like this past one and stay not dead. But I think he can be just as successful while playing a safer game.

        • Henry Brown

          Have you seen him throw? He is so quick with the release and sickeningly accurate. He doesn’t need to run, he just can. He need to slide more.

        • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

          I have thought that all along – I think the Skins fear that very thing which is why they went and got Cousins. Think of it this way: RGIII = more efficient, bigger Michael Vick. His better tools as a passer are negated by the zone-read type scheme that the Shanahans are employing. What I mean by that is that he will take as many shots to the body as Vick because the offense is designed for him to run, whereas Vick was forced to run because, A) he was never a very efficient QB and has below-average field vision, and, B) he has often played behind crappy O-lines.

          Am I bitter Cleveland fan that Aesop wrote a fable about (“that QB’s going to get hurt anyway”)? Maybe a little, but the fact that as a rookie, when his body is at the freshest it will ever be in the NFL, he went out with injuries multiple times is significant. But he’ll probably go insane in the playoffs, lead the Washington Indigenous Peoples to a Super Bowl victory, and Cleveland will destroy itself, with the riotous masses wearing Weeden masks.

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        Why hasn’t this post been like-buttoned 30 times?

      • mojo

        “You can scheme your way to cover for other positions, but not a franchise QB.”

        The seahawks, 49ers, and Redskins are proving this untrue. That’s why I’m a mouth-frothing Chip Kelly fanboy. The zone-read stuff enables a team to win with a QB who has talents not currently so highly valued in the NFL. The Redskins were foolish to give up so much for RG3 when the Seahawks have gotten similar performance out of a 3rd round pick.

        I’m begging you (everyone): get on the Chip Kelly bandwagon. Get positive. We didn’t miss as big as you think with RG3. His price was just too high. The scheme is more important. I’d trade that type of package for Chip Kelly (if the alternative was an obsolete NFL coach like Gruden). If you believe the reports, things are finally starting to swing our way. It’s finally time to ditch the defeatist attitude and get fired up.

        • trashycamaro

          You can scheme your way around the QB – if your goal is to just make the playoffs. If you want to win a Superbowl, however, you cannot scheme around the position, unless you have an all-time great defense, or get an all-time great season from the QB you have. The teams mentioned above have not made it to a Superbowl with their current roster, and I think that all three of those QBs have a strong shot at being franchise level QBs.

          I hear lots of calls for Chip Kelly, and he could be a great coach. I think it is more important to have a coach that will work with and develop the talent on hand or available (in fairness, Kelly’s reputation as an innovator seems to indicate that he is flexible). For instance, the Shanahans have done an excellent job of not running their offense but instead creating a scheme that fits the personnel they have on hand. Harbaugh ran a pro-style offense at Stanford with a pro-style QB, but has now worked to the strengths of his QBs with a zone-read style offense.

          There is no magic system in the NFL. The only constant in the NFL is change, and good coaches adapt (Belichik, Harbaugh, Shanahan). The most important tool a coach can have is a franchise QB .

          • mojo

            agreed: but what is highly valued right now is franchise ‘pocket passers’ meanwhile the seahawks or 49ers might win the super bowl with a franchise quarterback who probably couldn’t win just by dropping back and passing; they need their athleticism to survive. I think RG3 fits this category too. Kaepernick was a second round pick, Russell Wilson a third. these 3 guys have become 3 of the most efficient passers in the league in their first years starting. That just doesn’t happen. It isn’t possible that the three best young quarterbacks in the history of the NFL all magically appear in the same season. These guys are a product of the option changing the mathematics on the defense. The NFL doesn’t quite know how to deal with that yet.

            The browns are being smart: they see that the advantage is with the scheme. If you get that scheme rolling then you can probably find a ‘franchise QB’ where other people aren’t looking. Now you don’t have to trade three first round picks to get your guy. You might be able to find one in the 3rd round; or find another guy currently in the league that people have undervalued. It’s not magic; It’s more like moneyball.

            Best example might be Tebow: Everyone thinks he is defective because he isn’t a ‘pocket passer’ and has some wonky throwing motion or whatever. Maybe chip thinks this guy can ball if you just let him run spread-option. Tebow is about to be available for basically nothing, again. Now, I’m not sure Tebow is the right buy, but I AM sure that there IS a guy out there who won’t cost three first round picks and can be your franchise QB purely because you are running the scheme that fits him.

    • Steve

      Of course, we’re not picking #6 next year if we had RG3. That makes a big difference.

  • http://twitter.com/r_vernon Richmond Vernon

    Shurmur had to go. Bummed about Heckert but whatever. Haslam and Banner have a chance to either hit a grand slam or strike out with their next move. Theyre two hires away from being the most loved men in Cleveland.

    • BIKI024

      at least the scouting staff is being retained. they have done a heckuva job these past couple years.

      • humboldt

        MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          Like Button.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-White/100000446546049 Steve White

      I continue to worry that it’s yet another ‘start-over’. If it’s the last start over, and in a few years the Browns front office has the talent and stability of Baltimore or Pittsburgh, then great, it’s worth it. But if we’re looking for a new GM in three years to replace Lombardi I’m gonna cry.

      • Roosevelt

        I would mortgage my house to bet that in three years will be looking for a new GM and/or coach, and that we will not have gone beyong 9-7. Give me 3-1 odds, and I’d even bet that it will be Lombardi, because these are the Browns.

      • jaws

        Lombardi rumblings had to be a PR move, and a brilliant one: Leak Lombardi’s name out there and it helps both Lombardi and the Browns new brass. For Lombardi: it gets his name swirling in the league (for the first time in ages). For Banner/Haslam: It will soften the public perception of the Heckert dismissal (necessary if you want to offer the new coach tangible personnel power and make a clean break from the previous regime). Now ANYBODY they hire is AT LEAST BETTER THAN LOMBARDI!

  • atdietz80

    Amen.

  • Jew jitsu

    You with your worthless QBR

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    This is your shot Haslam.

    I would say that you can’t do any worse but I do live in Cleveland so…

    Good Luck!

  • BIKI024

    just too bad with how many job openings there are, we have some competition.. i would rank them as the following:

    1. Da Bears
    2. Chargers
    3. Chiefs (having #1 pick gives them slight advantage over us)
    4. Browns
    5. Eagles
    6. Cardinals
    7. Bills

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-White/100000446546049 Steve White

      Lovie Smith getting fired isn’t the surprise you’d think. I live here in Chicago and follow the Bears (every red blooded American boy is allowed to have one NFC and one AFC team). Lovie has had problems with the new GM, and his inability to fix the offense, particularly the offensive line, over the last three years did him in.

      Plus the Bears are about to blow up: the defense is getting old, Forte is nicked up, Cutler is inconsistent, and that O-line is just plain bad. Lovie might as well get out and let a new coach start over.

      • BIKI024

        i’m not surprised at all that he got fired, totally expected it. i just have them as the most desirable franchise that has an opening.

      • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

        Did Lovie Smith have complete control over personnel?

      • jpftribe

        I also think Cutler is a coach killer. The guy is bad news and I never understood why anyone would put him up there as an elite QB.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      Why on earth would the Eagles be ranked below the Chiefs or Browns on that list?

      • BIKI024

        their roster is in shambles that’s why. they have a couple good pieces on offense, but nothing worthy on defense. they gambled on winning these past 2 years with vets whose best days are behind them, and now it’s a complete rebuild job.

  • CleveLandThatILove

    Wondering where Mangini’s name comes up with all the vacancies today. Jimmy and Joe will do us all a disservice if they don’t at least call Ron Shapiro (Mangini’s agent/father-in-law) and make an inquiry.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      If he wants back in the league he should be able to land a coordinator gig pretty easily and has an outside shot at a head coaching job as well.

  • nj0

    Even if we had gotten RG3, he would have been playing Shurmurball. Considering we ended 2012 with our top three QBs on the shelf, I don’t know how healthy or successful Mr. Griffin would have been here.

    Just an example of the HUGE coaching gap between the Browns and the Redskins – Peter King pointed out in his column last week that the Skins suffered their first delay of game penalty in the 4th quarter of their 15th game. With two rookie QBs. That’s just… wow.

    • BIKI024

      they may not have delay of game penalties, but they have plenty of others as they are one of the most penalized teams in the NFL, 29th to be exact. (we are 28th!)

      • nj0

        Types of penalties tell me different things – if you get a lot of DPI or OH, it probably means your d backs and olinemen aren’t that good.

        When you don’t get delay of games, it tells me that your coaches know what they’re doing on offense and have a great system to get the plays in (which is something we lacked).

        • BIKI024

          how many delay of games did we have?

          • nj0

            Not sure how to check it. Googled around but couldn’t find any pages that break it down by penalty.

        • Beeej

          I wish I could remember what game it was, maybe week 6 or 7 and Jimmy Donovan was shocked/elated at the close of the first half when he said something along the lines of, “That’s only the Browns first delay of game this half!!!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-White/100000446546049 Steve White

    I don’t know what the Browns could have offered the Colts for the draft pick to get Luck. If you offered the entire Browns roster to Indy the Colts would have said, “thanks but we already have a better team; it went 2-14 last year.” Offer them the Browns’ next ten first round picks and the Colts would have said, “thanks but we only need one; this one, right now.”

    I’m still on the fence on the Griffin affair. Don’t get me wrong he’s quite a talent. But suppose for a moment that Shanahan coached Weeden and Shurmer coached Griffin. Any doubts as to the outcome there? I say the Skins would still be in the playoffs and the Browns would be 6-10 instead of 5-11. Even Frownie would be convinced.

    Griffin is great. But a great young QB talent needs coaching. Luck has it in Indy. Griffin has it in Washington. Weeds sure didn’t have it here. I don’t get that either; Holmgren, the QB ‘guru’ who wanted a 1st round pick like Weeden, should have slathered extra coaching on the kid. That was supposed to be part of Holmgren’s schtick, the ability to find and develop young QBs. Instead we had Shurmer and Childress.

    Browns need a QB. I’m not sure Weeds is it but before we panic why don’t we get a coach, O-coorinator and special QB assistant coach to develop him for a year? You know, a coaching staff that knows what it is doing in grooming a young QB. Keep Thad Lewis as the #2; I like what I saw yesterday, he has guts and an arm (I won’t hold Shurmer’s endorsement against him). I think now’s the time to see if McCoy can bring us something in the marketplace (maybe we could get our third round pick back on him!). Then find another QB in the draft as a prospect. We sure won’t find on in free agency.

    • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

      “Browns need a QB. I’m not sure Weeds is it but before we panic why don’t we get a coach, O-coorinator and special QB assistant coach to develop him for a year? You know, a coaching staff that knows what it is doing in grooming a young QB.

      I’ve been screaming this from the rooftop all year, I’m glad someone else feels this way.

    • alexb

      The skins would absolutly not be in the playoffs with Weedon as their qb. I know, Cousins came in and torched us….but, well we’re Cleveland. The skins are where their at because of that ridiculous read option that only RG can run. If Weedon was the qb the ends would crash down on Morris every time cause what’s the worst that could happen….Weedon breaks free to the outside, for what, 3 yds? That’s laughable. Every lb’er in the league could catch that even from the backside, every safety and corner in the league at the thought of playing the Skins would get huge boners that lasted for 4 or more hours after which they’d have to seek medical attention.

      • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

        You think Shanahan only knows how to get into the playoffs using the option? Go back and look at the 98-00 Broncos, kid.

        • alexb

          With Brandon Weedon at the helm? You did read that was teh stipulation right…kid? And we are talking about the Elway/Terrelle Davis Broncos now? You remember the guy named John Elway right? Was he any good I can’t remember……lmao. And he’s never used the option before, it’s something new he schemed because he had a guy he could run it with. But that’s not the point, the point is the skins would nto be in the playoffs if they had Brandon Weedon as their qb. Their defense is not good enough to make up for the loss in offensive production that would occur if RG was not their qb.

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

            Well, at least we know that you can see an alternate universe where Weeden has a solid coach that knows how to play to his strengths, so you have that going for you.

        • alexb

          You will be passed out by the time the ball drops if you’re drinking this heavily this early. You still got 6 hours to go but if you’re alrady at the point where you’re telling yourself that Mike Shanahan and the skins would be in the playoffs regardless of whether RG was their qb or not…..ur heading for an early night. Pace yourself dude.

      • Henry Brown

        They run read option like 3 times a game.

        • alexb

          uhhhh, when RG’s healthy they run the read constantly. Even when he’s not healthy, they run it constantly. Did you watch the Dallas game last week?

    • trashycamaro

      My $.02 is this the old way of doing things. Guys coming in to the league now are pretty freaking good when they get here. Yes they need coaching, but there is a limit to how far it can go.

      RG3 probably would not have taken the Browns to the playoffs (or Luck or Wilson for that matter). But did he ever look as lost as confused as Weeden would randomly do? Did he ever say in the 4th quarter – those guys were tired so I was just grounding the ball (that was Colt’s line).

      The players in DC believe in him – do you think any player on the Browns was thinking “hey, that Weeden guy should be our captain”?

      Seriously, who was the last QB that had a horrid start to his career and then became good for a sustainable period of time?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-White/100000446546049 Steve White

        Drew Brees.

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          Wasn’t close to Weeden-level horrid.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-White/100000446546049 Steve White

            Trashy didn’t ask for that level qualifier :-)

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      I think it’s beyond debate that the Browns would have been significantly better with RG3 than the alternative, and that the Skins wouldn’t have sniffed the playoffs with Weeds at QB.

      • alexb

        You would think but somebody just debated me on that based on the fact that Mike Shanahan won superbowls in the past……….with Elway and Terrell Davis of course but those are apparently minor details.

  • alexb

    Something needs to be said to Browns fans and we all need to take this to heart, no matter who Haslem picks as the coach, we absolutely no matter what have to STFU for “at least” 3-4 years. Every new guy is gonna want his own scheme and players so we just have to accept that there’s gonna be some more rebuilding. I “hope” that some guy can come in and do something with our current guys but we all know how this goes. What we cannot fcking do anymore is howl for guys jobs after 2 years. We can’t do it. I’m no fan of Shurmur but here’s why I would have given him one more year….simply to tell coaches all over the country Cleveland doesn’t prematurely run coaches out of town after 2 losing seasons. Who wants to come here for that? No coach can turn anything around, especially in Cleveland….in 2 fcking years. We just went through 2 coaches in 4 years. This is bullshit. I will absolutely settle for another couple losing seasons if
    A) I see a coach who’s resigned himself to the long haul here in Cleveland
    B) we make improvements, even if incremental, every year.
    But this has to start with Browns fans. Pete you have to be talking about this everytime you go on the radio. All of you guys have to be talking about this on other forums and also if any of you get on the radio. We just have to STFU and let the new coach do his thing.

    • BIKI024

      it seems to me that the changes weren’t made because they don’t agree with you on continuuity, but it more had to do with circumstance. but of course Lerner was the culprit in both cases. First he sandbags Mangini by bringing in Holmgren, who of course was going to make a change, it just how it is. New regime’s want to bring in their own guys, it’s just how it is.

      Then of course Lerner decides to sell after only 2 years of new regime, which of course he knew meant that another FO and Coaching change was imminent due to new regime, etc.

      it seems to me that Banner and Haslam get it, as their track record is their only thing we can go on and Banner only hired one coach in 14 years, and Haslam comes from Pitt who has only had 3 coaches in the past 30.

      now let’s see how well they do in picking the right guy. there seems to be quite a few great candidates out there, but with all the openings, it will be interesting to see who chooses us and which way they go. but yes, either way, they need to make their choice and give the guy 5 years.

    • Beeej

      I think you also have to remember that for whatever reason “everyone” assumed once Mangini was gone we could take our pick of Cower, Gruden, Hog-ram, or some other Superbowl winning coach that would be dying come toss gasoline on our dumpster fire. How many Mangini haters, including Grossi, would have been calling for his head had they known Shurmur was going to be the replacement?

      When Mangini was the coach I felt like he put the team in position to win at the end of the game. With Shurmur it always seemed like he made some boneheaded decision, or play call (or lack thereof) that cost us the game.

      • bupalos

        Excellent point that. And I was one such “hater” because I assumed John Fox was the Lamonte Industries cog that was going to be swapped in here.

    • Roosevelt

      No, we should not have to wait three or four years. Isn’t the point supposed to be to turn things around? Have you followed the Browns before this season? Nobody gets 3-4 years. They come in and announce that they will need to tear things down and rebuild, they send out the old terrible players, bring in new terrible players, show no improvement, and get fired after two years. Then a new group comes in and says that it’s a process that will take 3-4 years, and proceeds to do the same thing for two years and get fired. Saying we have to give them 3-4 years is saying that nothing has changed.

      And why is it that we are the only team that has to always be giving new regimes time? Marvin Lewis took the Bengals from 2-14 to 8-8 in one season. The Colts were historically bad last year, and they are in the playoffs this year. The only things that changed were a rookie quarterback and a coach getting cancer. On the other hand, the Saints essentially lost only a coach, and went from contending to sucking. Good upper management can turn things around in a hurry if they know what they’re doing, and as fans we absolutely have a right to demand ownership that knows what they’re doing.

      • Henry Brown

        The key here will be the ability to keep most of the players. Considering they’re young and not aholes, that shouldn’t be a problem.

      • alexb

        Ideally you’re right but this is cleveland dude, these blue chips from the south and the west coast aren’t exactly tripping over themselves to flock to Cleveland. It just takes time here….you have to find a group of players willing to come here and fire out for us. Guys like Cribbs….if we had 10 players like him we’d be in the playoffs every year.

    • jpftribe

      I don’t really agree with this line of thinking. The Browns problem has been inept Ownership, Management and Coaching. Since expansion, they have never had all three in place. As long as this exists, people should be calling for changes. When you hire the likes of Romeo, Butch Davis, Shurmur and Palmer, it is completely appropriate to run these guys out of town. Shitty coaching that’s stable is still shitty coaching. Even Mangini has been out of football since he left the Browns.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    hensley has this blurb in espn today:

    …and quarterback Brandon Weeden (which was more of a Mike Holmgren pick) in the…

    i never got the sense weeden was a homgrum pick. mccoy, yes. and holgren owned that one. but weeden was in for workouts and interviews and heckert seemed to love him as demonstrated by reaching up to the first round for the 28 yr old.

    did i miss something or are we witnessing some revisionist history out of the Lamonte Media Outlet?

    • BIKI024

      Lamonte is Heckert’s agent too..

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

        right, that’s the point.

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          Right. Mike’s already got his umbrella drinks.

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    Thanks ESPN…you guys should swing by here more often. We were all well aware of this.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8796643/trent-richardson-cleveland-browns-played-9-games-broken-ribs

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      Glad to see folks are finally catching up.

  • Brian Sipe

    The worst thing by far about the Heckart/Holmgren show is that we still have no QB. We got the worst QB of the 7 who stared an NFL game this year and 3 of them were picked well after Weeden.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      No QB. No head coach. Never had a QB. Never had a head coach.

      Griffin, Luck and the 2012 draft aside, I know some people aren’t crazy about him but we could have had Andy Dalton on the cheap if folks hadn’t been so insane about Chips McCoy in 2010.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1kbBmlAvdI PML

    If Shurmie just took my advice from weeks back and fired himself, we could have avoided all this. Although his players would have run through a brick wall they sure as hell couldn’t run through terrible offensive and defensive schemes. I hope that Phil and Cribbs stick around, but I ain’t mad at either of them if they choose to leave.

    On an unrelated note, I was perusing a toy store in La Jolla (pronounce “hoya” for all you readers in Western PA) that was closing its doors after 35 years in existence. I nearly crapped my pants when I saw this sitting in the back of the store (and I immediately bought):

    https://catalystweb.officedesktop.com/generic?downloadHandler=DocumentPreviewPageHandler&doc=UUID!7289815b-af28-4f8d-ac57-10fb80ba7a79

    • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

      Holy. Shit. Like. Then unliked, so I can like a second time.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      Wow. How much did you pay for it?

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1kbBmlAvdI PML

        Everything in the store was 80% off. I ended up paying 3.99. Mrs. PML said I had the biggest $hit eating grin on my face that she’s ever seen. They also had David Justice too but what do I care about him.

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          Highway robbery. That piece would fly off the shelves all day for $50 at Big Fun.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1kbBmlAvdI PML

            Everything’s coming up PML I tells ya

          • CleveLandThatILove

            Hey PML, tried to go to Bac last week after we visited the house from A Christmas Story in Tremont, but they weren’t open for lunch :-(

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1kbBmlAvdI PML

            That sucks – you would have loved it. He is closed during the week for lunch. A trip to the Christmas Story House just isn't complete with dinner there.

    • atdietz80

      It’s too bad Shurmur never coached Gus Frerotte. Or Kool-Aid man.

  • dubbythe1

    I posted this question via Twitter toward Pat McManahan (dunno if he frequents here but I know quite a few writers do)…
    Our new regime stated they would emulate successful clubs, citing discussions with Jerry Jones (LOL), Kraft, The Rooneys (BOO!!), so my question is this.. given the firing of Shurmus AND Heckert, and the speculation that Banner is the end all and will have a “personnel Director” under him covering scouting, allowing for a ‘high profile’ Head Coach to come in (whoever that may be) … What other Successful NFL teams operate under this type of heirarchy?

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      I mean, hire a Bill Belichick or be the Steelers. That’s the plan, I guess.

      • jpftribe

        49ers, Redskins, Seahawks and maybe Denver would all fit that mold. Also looks like the Jets may be going down the road as well.

  • zarathustra

    Very nicely put. All day I’ve actually been feeling bad for the poor unqualified bastard. Then I heard a report of him complaining about what he inherited in 2010 and I recovered my senses. The problem is it is impossible to even enjoy the extermination of all things Holmgren when those in the media that celebrated his arrival appear unable to acknowledge their culpability in the whole affair. Well, I suppose this is the same crew that mocked Belichick when he was here and when he went on to become the greatest coach in the game refused to even entertain that they might have been wrong about him. Nope. He just grew a lot. Is it any wonder how hopeless football has been around this town with apparent sociopaths leading the conversation?.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      The best are the morons who wanted to run Mangini after 4 weeks talking about how important continuity is now.

      • zarathustra

        And if by chance it is Saban and Lombardi they will be on the same 4 week deadline. Hell, Pluto, who is by all accounts the most fair and reasonable member of the local media, published a threat that he is going to surrender his objectivity and basic journalistic ethics to go full Grossi if Lombardi is hired.

    • Henry Brown

      Some of these coaches might want to consider they’re in a symbiotic relationship with the media and fans and that until they can coast on a couple of play off appearances, they could be a little more friendly and give the media something to write about every single day. Mangini seemed like a nice guy, no reason for him to be a total prick on a podium every chance he got.

      • zarathustra

        I listened to or read the transcript for every damn Mangini press conference when he was coach. I challenge you to substantiate your claim. Otherwise I have to dismiss your comment as relying solely on a stereotype created by lazy media members pouting about injury reports.

        • Henry Brown

          I watched him almost every day, he was pissy, annoyed and impatient with the media almost every time

          • zarathustra

            Well done Henry. You have thoroughly substantiated your original claim. I take back everything. Have a happy new year.
            By the way, I hear they got a big week planned on knr. Riz is going to have some great rants. You should check it out.

          • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

            Just a solidarity fist-bump here. I agree with what you said. Mangini was generally well-mannered, polite, and respectful during his pressers, and while he sometimes spent a long time talking without revealing much, you could also read between the lines and see the mind at work.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            This is so unbelievably stupid.

  • Bryan

    I will say this – I never thought he was a great coach, but Shurmur won me over as a person. He really seems like a good dude. And his team played hard for him, which says a lot about his character.

    At his presser yesterday, he was visibly emotional. You could see how much he cares about his players, and how much he believes they are a good group headed for success. I wish him well at his next job.

    Cheers, Pat.

    • Guest

      A toast to Pat Shurm… DARNIT howdoesthisdamnthingwork…

      Seriously though: I won’t miss Shurmur, but I will miss seeing his sad, humorous, bumbling and his sad, arrogant, humourous, press conferences.

    • jpftribe

      Agreed, and hoping he lands in Baltimore, Pittsburgh or Cinci.

      LOL.

      • alexb

        u a low down dirty dog for that one, but so am I cause I completely agree…..really nice guy, really hope he ends up in the AFC north somewhere too. LMAO

  • jpftribe

    I think a lot of folks are missing the bigger picture here. We can talk about RGIII, Holmgren, Shumurball, Mangenius interrupted etc… BUT, and it’s a big but, the core problem with this franchise has been ownership. Lerner is finally gone. This is a really big deal.

    Now time will tell whether Haslam is the guy, but if we were writing these comments say one year ago, New Year’s Day 2012, and someone said:

    I think the Browns are going to be sold to a multi-billionaire, with deep pockets, who loves football, understands the Browns tradition, spent 4 years as a minority owner of your dreaded rival, one of the best franchises in all the NFL, and he is going to quietly clean house and put in a reall football organization.

    The response would have :

    BHAWAHHHHHHHH!!!!! Yeah right, what alternative universe do you live in. This is Cleveland, those things just don’t happen here.

    But in fact, that is exactly what has happened.

    So what has he done so far. He’s brought Banner in with him as CEO. This is a credible hire. May not be the absolute best, but certainly not the worst. Eagles have had their issues, but they certainly have not been viewed as a flop of an organization that is lucky to make the playoffs once a decade. They have had organizational stability. The guy has a rep as being a rat bastard negotiating player contracts. Well here’s a news flash. Haslam didn’t make billions selling gas and building truck stops by being a nice guy. He is as much a rat bastard, mofo of a businessman as you can find, and frankly, I find that as an admirable trait in my NFL Owner. And if I’m him, when I hire the guy who is going to be facing off to the likes of Drew Rosenhaus and Scott Boras, I want a rat bastard in that position as well.

    First out, Holmgren. They put him on a short leash and as soon as he tried to chew it off, they cut him loose. Deftly handled from a PR perspective, they leaked enough to let the media know they weren’t happy with his Jerry Jones shenanigans, then completely denied it had anything to do with the timing of his departure. Completely hands off, they let him waltz into the media room and show the whole world how much of a self-serving ass he really is.

    Then they hired the dude from the Cowboys Alec Scheiner, as their President. Immediate response is why hire a lawyer in that role? The Stadium, that’s why. Bye bye Fred Nance and all your twisted Cleveland politics and your behind the scenes maneuvering to screw the local tax base. Look at the PR Scheiner has received for how that stadium was constructed. Again, this is a credible hire. And the media completely misread and mis-covered this hire. They took it as a replacement for Holmgren because of the title instead of the role. They gave him that title so they could hire him away from the Cowboys as an upgrade.

    They let the season play out with Shurmur and Heckert. A controversial call for sure, but one they had planned on from day one. It was a public commitment. It also bought time to study the organization and market for replacements. In hindsight, this move did not backfire on them, whereas canning one or both midway through the season very well could have. The team came to play every week for Shurmur and ultimately left no doubt he had to go.

    The canning of Heckert is somewhat controversial as well, but listening to his defense of Pat after the deed was done was all I needed to hear to understand this move.

    They moved swiftly in firing both of them immediately after the season. The announcement was the first made publicly on NFL.com and by 11:30am they were both speaking to the press. As one beat writer put it, the presser sounded more like a marketing campaign for the new head coach than it was a goodbye to the Holmgren era, as well it should be.

    Their approach to this hire is ballsy. My read on it is there are a lot more top quality HC candidates the GM candidates, so they are going after that first.. There is not much they will not be able to offer to a new HC. They can put control decisions on the table. This is a young team that is very strong on the line of scrimmage. Depth at RB and emerging WR’s (which is something that couldn’t be said last New Year’s Day). Big holes in the secondary and QB, but that is the case with 20 teams in the NFL.

    And they’ve kept Heckert’s entire staff, which is another smart move. Although as soon as Heckert lands somewhere the poaching will being immediately.

    Now they have to make the biggest decision they have to date and one the will assuredly shape the franchise for at least another three years. It will be telling to see who they land, but whoever it is the Browns franchise is already miles ahead of where they were last New Year’s Day.

    • jaws

      great post. I think you are exactly right. Banner and Haslam are really starting to feel like the right guys for the job. I like that Banner isn’t a grizzled ‘football guy’ or whatever like Holmgren. He seems like an intellectual and not some sharp-tongued bullshitter.

      I like that Haslam has been ‘involved’ and ‘visible’ about the team but not at a Jerry Jones level. I like that he is conscious of his level of involvement (as he revealed at the presser) and is actively trying to keep it at just the right level. I like that he is neither an attention-seeking turd like Woody Johnson or the aforementioned Jones, nor a greedy, fanbase-bilking miser like Bill Bidwell (of the Cardinals) or Wayne Weaver (formerly of the Jaguars).

      These two seem to me like win-first forward thinkers. Which is just what this team needs. Now, we are all at the mercy of their coaching hire. They’ve cleared the deck in the Browns’ power structure specifically they can offer their #1 any level of personnel involvement he prefers (probably the biggest reason Heckert was dismissed was his contract language.) I just hope they are as forward thinking as I think and are pushing all-in for Chip Kelly and the spread offense. I think Banner will stop at nothing to get his #1 guy and dick over his former bosses in Philadelphia. “Get ya popcorn ready!” for an exciting season of Browns football.

    • Bryan

      Just wanted to say great post. Great perspective here. Let’s hope Haslam nails the coaching pick. Then we may actually enjoy some stability in the organization.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-White/100000446546049 Steve White

      Good piece and I’d agree with most of it, especially the smooth moves in getting Holmgren out and Scheiner in. And yes, in a dog-eat-dog, cut-throat world, your club president should be a rat bastard — just as long as he’s YOUR rat bastard and not his own self-serving rat bastard (e.g., Holmgren and Lombardi).

      Heckert? I still like the guy, can’t help it, he seems to know what a good football player is. His statements about Shurmer I forgive since Heckert doesn’t seem to be the kind of guy who would go negative in public on anyone. But maybe I missed something there.

      So let’s see who they get as a coach, and let’s see if that coach can turn Weeds into a decent QB. I don’t see a top drawer QB in the draft and we’re sure not going to find one in free agency.

  • jpftribe

    Major WTF?

    http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2012/12/report_says_oregons_chip_kelly.html

    Kelly, whose Ducks will play Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl
    Thursday, runs a high-flying zone-read option that would require a
    running quarterback.

    Brandon Weeden, asked if the scheme would be compatible with his skills, said, “I don’t think I can the run the zone read.”

  • tochigi

    The author seems to really like Mangini. His biggest problem though was inability to draft. His draft in 2009 netted us a good center. Thats all.

    • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris Mc

      Could have been a lot worse. They could have netted Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        I’m pretty sure that if one was to go back and compare what every team netted in the horrendous 2009 draft that the Browns’ haul wouldn’t be in the bottom third. We’ll get around to it soon.

  • Beeej

    Not sure if it was mentioned yet, but did you see that cleveland.com broke the story that TRich was playing most of the year with broken ribs?

  • JohnnyJesus

    Since the Browns have returned in ’99, it’s worth noting they passed on drafting LaDanian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson, and missed on trading for RG3 (never mind that really just losing one more game — or maybe two — in 2011 would have given them RG3 without needing to make a trade). I suppose they got Joe Thomas instead of Adrian Peterson, but I’d still probably take AP. So that’s 3 pretty impressive talents the Browns left on the board.

  • Bryan

    Folks – I have the solution to our coaching search. Someone right under our noses who we have all been ignoring….

    “Adam Schefter ‏@AdamSchefter

    Mike Holmgren told @Edwerderespn he is willing to return to sidelines if some of the seven teams firing head coaches Monday have interest.”

  • bossman09

    I hope that someday you get bored of writing the same blog over and over and over again. How many times a week do you like your manginious interupted post? Five? Much like shurmur, you are going to keep saying the same things over and over until people start believing it or until people stop caring.

    BTW, is it weeden’s fault he sucked or Shurmur’s or are you blaming them both for the same thing? If weeden didn’t suck, and he made all the passes he should have, then the brown are a 9-7 team and competing for the playoffs at which point Shurmur isn’t a bad coach. Certainly you have have to see the contradiction there.

    As a correlation, how is it that mangini wasn’t a bad coach if his QB’s also sucked. Much like your Mangini argument, maybe if Shurmur just had more talent and time, he would have been successful.
    Not that I think Shurmur and Mangini are comparable, but your logic is flawed. (and tired – so very tired)

    • atdietz80

      Shurmur sucked before Weeden got there. There was in fact a 2011 season. I remember watching Shurmur have his near nervous breakdowns on the sidelines then, too. I remember the Ravens game from ’11 in Baltimore where the Browns were in the redzone before halftime. There was maybe 30 seconds on the clock. Somehow coach Shurmur was unable to even attempt a field goal. Shurmur sucks at so many aspects of coaching. Game management, play-calling, motivation. It would be easier to list the things he was good at: (thing space is intentionally left blank).

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      This is really stupid, too.

      Really, how hard is this? Weeden and Shurmur were both terrible and both should have done more with the talent and resources they had at their disposal. There’s simply no basis for a remotely equivalent criticism of Mangini and the quarterbacks and rest of the roster that he had to work with.

      Had Weeden been better of course Shurmur would have looked better, and might have hung on for a few years of mediocrity thanks to the improved talent on the roster (surely a 9-7 team can have a bad coach but of course the Browns would have found other ways to lose even if Weeden had been better).

      As for Mangenius Interrupted, you might notice that we’re closing an important chapter here. Of course it’s important for people to understand and remember that it actually was possible to see this whole disaster coming before it happened — especially since a read of our local fishwraps wouldn’t really suggest as much at all. I know it can be hard for people to remember how badly wrong they were about something, and it’s also hard to think too much about how badly institutions can fail us with no sign of repair on the horizon, but that’s all grist that’s well worth putting up with given the value of the reminder, regardless of how many assholes or idiots want to complain about it (it’s understood that there will always be some and sometimes lots of those).

      Happy New Year!

      • jaws

        i know you like Mangini, I do too. But you’ve got to just chalk it up to new regime -> new coach. This stuff happens in the league. I wanted Holmgren to keep Mangini mostly because it meant that there might be less groupthink in Berea. I hated that Holmgren dipped right into his coaching ‘tree’ of cronies for his guy.

        Mangini did get boned: He worked hard, he did a dirty job and got nothing but bad ink for it. He cleaned up the roster when it was totally garbage. He got his team to play smart, tough football. A spare-parts team that should have been about 1-15 ended up 5-11 twice. But it’s over.

        Mangini is gone. It’s time to move on. I’m ok with this. I think this regime is actually looking at some good candidates for head coach. They aren’t limiting themselves to their own cronies like Holmgren. They aren’t chasing Belichick’s latest minion. Let’s see how this plays out before we sour on these guys yet.

        • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

          I don’t really disagree with any of this except for the idea that “new regime = new coach” is a universally worthy principal and the related implication that the way Holmgren tried to have it both ways on this with Mangini was anything short of a horrifying crime.

          • Petefranklin

            R.L. should have been able to sniff out Holmgrens inherent dishonesty at the interview, that kept and will keep MH from being anything other than an old retread. My hunch is that he lied to Randy about giving Manginious a fair chance.Maybe MH doesn’t get hired if he tells RL the truth that Manginis system would never be a match and that he was going to fire EM no matter how many games he won.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      One more question: Are you a pro wrestling fan or is it just important to you that people believe that you’re a boss of things?

  • Petefranklin

    Live play on the Nuggets breaking the Clippers streak tonight guys G.L.

  • Brian Sipe

    This Chip Kelly crap scares me to death… Please bring me Nick Saban!!!!!!!!!!!

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